Good morning and welcome to our strike liveblog. Covering the events for you today will be Emily Norton, Elizabeth Fish and Steve Smailes.
Public sector workers across Lincoln will go on strike on Thursday, July 10, over pay, pensions and workloads.
As part of the national strike, groups from various organisation and their unions will will be forming picket lines outside their places of work as well as taking part in a march and demonstration through the city.
Follow the action live on our liveblog.
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Why are people going on strike?
Staff from a range of public sector organisations — such as local authorities, teachers, Job Centre staff, firefighters and other civil servants — will be striking on July 10 over a range of issues. The main issues the strike hopes to tackle though are disputes over pay, pensions and workload.
According to UNISON, the Local Government Association’s pay offer of 1% will apply to more than one million workers including teaching assistants, planners, administrators, social workers and engineers. For these workers, the offer represents a real terms cut in basic pay of almost 20% since the Coalition came to power.
UNISON also expect around 90% of these workers to receive a pay cut this year.
In Lincoln, the strike will be met with picket lines this morning at County Offices, Orchard House and Witham Park House.
Council workers are picketing outside Orchard House. Pictured is Stephen Lockwood, Sandra Hill and Marcus Needham. Stephen said: “Over the last few years we’ve had to accept real term pay cuts of around 20%.”
Officers at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue are joining the day of strike action between 10am and 7pm.
A march by demonstrators is also set to take place from 11.30am on Brayford Wharf North, meeting from 11am, which will culminate with a rally at 12.30pm in City Square.
Unison representatives and members are picketing outside the Lincolnshire County Council offices. Pictured is children’s services worker Helen Clark, Unison branch secretary for Lincolnshire Helen Stokes, Unison official Dave Godson and branch representatives Kathy Symes and George Ayre.
Helen Clark said: “I’m striking because I feel enough is enough. There comes a point when you have to say no, I don’t accept what you’re doing.”
MP for Lincoln Karl McCartney said the strikes “won’t just be an inconvenience to thousands of people in Lincoln, they will hurt the economy and damage children’s educations”.
Lincolnshire Archives in Lincoln will be closed today due to strikes.
Lincoln and District TUC secretary Nick Parker said: “Workers across the country have been forced to put up with austerity for years , and we’re saying enough is enough.”
Other services affected include Lincoln public toilets, bin collections along Brant Road, and parts of Waddington, Bracebridge Heath, Branston, Washingborough, Heighington and Canwick.
Helen Stokes, Unison Branch Secretary for Lincolnshire, said: “We’ve got so many of our members that are now on poverty pay. We want pay rises that count for at least six years.
“In real terms people are having to access more benefits. It takes more from tax payers, more from the economy and there is less for infrastructure.
“Ive got members now that are working full time with families that are having to access food banks. It’s an absolute disgrace.
Public sector workers at Lincolnshire County Council said they are asking for a pay rise of at least least £1 per hour, bringing the lowest paid staff up to around the working wage.
Unison representatives picketing for fair pay.
The City of Lincoln Council has confirmed that City Hall services are not running today. Additionally, council-owned car park lifts, Hartsholme Park Visitor Centre and some public toilets are also not open.
Members of the GMB union are waving their flags on Brayford Wharf North.
Lincoln’s Conservative MP, Karl McCartney, commented on the strike action today: “Let’s be clear: Labour’s elected representatives – whether in Lincoln or at a national level – cannot stand up for Britain against the noisy demands of unions, who would hurt British business if they were given the opportunity. Nor can they stand up to their own party who want to spend, borrow and tax more.
“This strike is more evidence of the unions writing policy for the Labour Party. Similarly, Lincoln’s Labour Councillors’ non-attendance at the Lincoln Major Works Programme on Thursday is another example of Labour putting the interests of their Trade Unions ahead of the interests of their constituents.”
Around 100 public sector workers have gathered on Brayford Wharf for a demonstration through the city.
Regional organiser of the NUT Vin Wynne said: “disrupting the school day is a last resort. The government’s decision to employ unqualified teachers is a bigger disruption to education.”
And they’re off!
Public sector workers have arrived at City Square in Lincoln where they will continue to rally for fair pay and pensions.
Unison representatives picketing for fair pay.