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30 June 2011, 10:18
Tens of thousands of workers in Yorkshire have downed tools to join the biggest national strike in five years.
Over 500 schools are closed in our region as teachers join other public sector workers in the 24 hour walkout.
Job centres, driving test centres and courts in Yorkshire are also closed.
Bill Adams, the General Secretary of the TUC in Yorkshire and the Humber, told Capital, " (public sector workers) are going to have to pay more to their pensions to get less out, and are going to be working longer."
Striking workers are joining picket lines up and down Yorkshire as well as large marches planned for Leeds, Hull, York and Barnsley. South Yorkshire Police tell us there's already a thousand people demonstrating in Sheffield City Centre.
Nationally, The NUT has estimated 85% of schools could be affected, which equates to around 17,000 state schools, collectively educating millions of pupils.
The Government has said "rigorous'' contingency plans are in place to ensure essential services are maintained during the strike.
But the National Association of Head Teachers has expressed "grave concerns'' about a call by Education Secretary Michael Gove that parents could volunteer to cover for striking teachers.
General secretary Russell Hobby said: "It is probably not unlawful but we would strongly advise our members not to accept voluntary help to cover for absent staff this Thursday.''