Around half a million workers have walked out on Wednesday bitter disputes over pay, conditions and jobs which affects trains, buses, schools and universities.
Picket lines are building up at schools, and railway stations and civil servants have also walked out seeing them outside government buildings across the UK.
NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said, “Taking strike action is very much a last resort for our members. They do so with a heavy heart because they cannot stand by and watch their pupils not receiving the education they deserve.
“Parents know from first-hand experience that children are losing out because of the chronic shortage of teachers. Often pupils are being taught by short-term supply, or staff who aren’t qualified in the subject they’re teaching.
“Knowing that parents and members of the community support them taking a stand to Save Our Schools will give educators huge confidence in taking this action, not just for fair pay, but in defence of children’s education.”
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union have seen more than 100,000 of their members on strike, which includes Border Agency staff ay airports and ports, and their members based in France are set to strike on the February half term which will affect people travelling to the country.
The TUC have also taken strike action to protest against the government’s new laws only allowing minimal levels of those to strike and a petition with more than 200,000 signatures has been handed in to Downing Street.
Members of the National Education Union (NEU) have walked out which has seen thousands of schools closed on Wednesday which is affecting parents and them going to work as many only found out about the strike this morning.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said she had been surprised to find out that teachers are not required to say in advance they will be taking strike action.
She told Times Radio. “It was a surprise to some of us that was in fact the law. I did write to everybody urging them to be constructive, to let their heads know, and I am sure may teachers will have done that.
“There are discussions around minimum service levels, minimum safety levels, around hospitals, around rail – education is part of that Bill as well.
“We are hoping not to use that, we are hoping to make sure we continue with constructive discussions and relationships, but these things will always stay under review.”