INDUSTRIAL action which took place across the country today affected three schools in Wyre Forest as well as local council run services.

Bayton CE, Burlish Park and Offmore primary schools were closed, or partially closed, as were some library services.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service put plans in place to still provide a service while its members who are part of the Fire Brigades Union were striking.

Wyre Forest District Council said bin collections were not affected.

The various unions which took action today want a £1.20 an hour rise, to bring the lowest level of pay in local Government and schools to the living wage of £7.65 outside London.

Unison, the second largest trade union in the country, backed the public sector workers who striked, which included refuse collectors, school staff, cleaners, street sweepers, care workers, nursery assistants and social workers.

Its members voted to reject the pay offer in April and move to a formal ballot for strike action, which was followed by a yes vote in the ballot last month.

Ravi Subramanian, Unison West Midlands regional secretary said: “It is a massive decision by local government and school support workers to sacrifice a day’s pay by going on strike, but today they are saying enough is enough.

“It is a scandal that people who educate and support children in schools, maintain crucial local services, keep our communities clean and safe places to live and protect the homeless and vulnerable, are not paid at least the living wage.

“We are calling on the local Government employers to come back to the table and settle this dispute.”

Fellow union GMB said there were more people than just union members who joined in the strikes.

Brian Strutton, GMB national secretary for public services, said: "From ringing around GMB regions and branches our information is that over a million workers are on strike in councils and schools.

“The majority of schools are closed or partially closed and council services are significantly affected, however a number of our members have been released to work so that we do not endanger life and limb.

“The bottom line is that there are more people on strike than just union members and we've been overwhelmed by the support.

“Local council and schools staff, union members or not, are very angry and it's time someone listened.”