A 24-HOUR national strike of public sector workers will close schools and benefits offices in West Cheshire on Thursday, June 30.

Union leaders are threatening the biggest wave of industrial action since the general strike of 1926, after the government unveiled proposals for employees to work longer and pay more for less generous entitlements in retirement.

Among the unions taking part are the National Union of Teachers who have predicted most primary schools and some secondary schools in West Cheshire are likely to close.

Also striking are the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the University and College Union affecting West Cheshire College and the University of Chester.

Public and Commercial Services Union members are also walking out who staff government offices such job centres and benefits offices.

The West Cheshire Trades Council (WCTC), which was formed last year in response to the Government’s programme of cuts, is organising a rally outside Chester Town Hall at 12.30pm on the day of action which will be addressed by union speakers.

Greg Foster, of Cheshire West NUT, fears many colleagues will have nervous breakdowns if they have to keep teaching into old age.

He said: “New entrants are going to have to work until they are 68. But at that age you are too old to cope with thirty-five 14-year-olds going through puberty.”

Mr Foster said teachers were being asked to pay higher pension contributions, work longer and get less generous entitlements, amounting to a pay cut.