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Classrooms left empty as teachers strike in mass protest over pensions

PUBLISHED: 19:06 28 March 2012 | UPDATED: 19:06 28 March 2012

Members of NUT and UCU out in force in Bloomsbury heading to the Department of Education

Members of NUT and UCU out in force in Bloomsbury heading to the Department of Education

Archant

Picket lines were drawn across north London as teachers walked out in a mass protest against proposed pension changes today (Wednesday, March 28).

Classrooms were left empty as 60 schools in Camden, 41 in Haringey and 50 in Barnet were closed due to a national strike.

The walkout was organised by teachers’ unions against the government’s proposed changes to pensions, which would raise the retirement age for teachers to 68 and increase contributions by 50 per cent.

Unions say the proposals will make teachers “pay more, work longer and for less”.

Teachers and lecturers marched from Malet Street in Bloomsbury to the Department for Education in Westminster.

Andrew Baisley, Camden National Union of Teachers (NUT) secretary, said: “There is sufficient anger and strength of feeling among teachers in Camden to move to strike action.

“These aren’t industrial workers, it takes a lot for teachers to go this far.”

Speeches were made by socialist writer and author Owen Jones, union members and Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: “Teachers cannot be expected to do anything other than defend the right to a pension which they have paid into in good faith.”

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