THIS FRIDAY will see the UK’s leading trade unions backing ongoing school strikes demanding action to tackle climate change.
Hundreds of youngsters are once again expected to walk out of the region’s classrooms to take part in the Guildhall protest. This time they will be backed by the Trade Union Congress, representing 6.2 million workers in the UK, after it passed a motion calling for a 30-minute workday campaign to coincide with the global school strike.
Portsmouth Trade Union Council and Portsmouth City UNISON are supporting the movement.
Chair, Jon Woods, said: ‘We expect to see large numbers of trade union members coming out to join school, college and university students. We want the maximum number of people to show solidarity with the climate strikers.’
Having declared a climate emergency, the council are supporting the rally and leader, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, has emailed all employees saying they can request to take time off from their normal duties to attend.
Gerald said: ‘We voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency and should be respectful of each individuals decision to go to this.’
While the National Education Union (NEU), the country’s largest teaching union, will not be striking they are supportive of the campaign.
NEU vice president and Portsmouth teacher, Amanda Martin, said: ‘While the NEU cannot support or call strike action on September 20, we recognise that the young people we teach will face the biggest impact of climate change and that they have shown knowledge, courage and leadership in responding to the crisis.’