Teachers, doctors and town hall workers to strike next week

Teachers, GPs, social workers and town hall staff in Tower Hamlets are set to join a nation-wide strike over pensions next Wednesday.

Unison says that more than 100,000 of its London members will join the 24-hour walkout alongside 28 other public sector trade unions.

They are striking over government plans to increase pension contributions and extend retirement dates.

Around 3,000 Unison members at Tower Hamlets council will join the protests and hundreds of GPs, teachers and lecturers are also set to take to the picket lines.

Social workers, planning officers and admin staff are expected to join them.

John McLaughlin, branch secretary of Tower Hamlets Unison, said: “We’re expecting to have a big public presence with people outside the town hall, Mile End hospital and the Royal London.”

Mr McLaughlin said the arguments against changes to pensions are even more relevant in deprived areas like the East End.

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“One of the arguments the government is using is that people are living longer but it’s not true that life expectancy has risen equally everywhere. They are often lower in inner city boroughs.”

The Labour group in Tower Hamlets is putting forward a motion, to be brought to the council on Tuesday, to support the industrial action.

Part of its motion pledges to support the campaign and join demonstrations.