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'Local government workers have seen their living standards decline': Barnet's public sector workers go on strike
Library staff, binmen and teaching assistants are among dozens of public sector workers taking part in a day of strike action over pay, pensions and cuts today.
At least five picket lines have been set up across Barnet including North Finchley Library in Ravensdale Avenue, which will remain closed today.
Cathy Yilmaz, who is a health and safety representative at the library, said: “Local government workers have seen their living standards decline as the effective value of our pay has fallen 20 per cent since 2010.
“Libraries have seen staff numbers reduced. But library workers continue to provide a much loved and needed public service.
"We make people’s lives better by widening horizons, improving opportunities, allowing access to entertainment, education and information, and not least by giving human contact to many people who are otherwise isolated from the wider community. This deserves fair pay.”
Other picket lines have been set up outside North London Business Park, Barnet House in Whetstone, Mill Hill Depot Bittacy Hill and Chipping Barnet Library this morning.
Barnet Council leader Councillor Richard Cornelius had said he would be “disappointed” if the strike hit council services in the borough.
He said: “I appreciate the impact that limited pay increases has had on the lowest paid public sector staff, which is we have why we made sure the lowest paid Barnet Council workers receive the equivalent of the London living wage."
This afternoon, union members from Unison, GMB, NUT and Unite will join forces and march to a rally at Trafalgar Square starting at 1pm.