|How the Strikes Will Affect Chiswick|
Wednesday walk out will hit schools and other services
Chiswick will be affected by Wednesday's (November 30th) national strike of 2.6 million public sector staff as local schools close, and a question mark hangs over the provision of public services from refuse collection to libraries.
However essential services including ambulance and fire brigade services are expected to continue.
Many primary schools in the borough are affected and Chiswick Community School will close, as members of Unite and Unison state a one-day walk out over changes to their pensions.
Strand-on-the-Green primary school will close its doors while nearby Grove Park Primary has announced that it will close some classes. Those closed are , Reception, Year 2, Year 3, and Year Five. Nursery, Year 1, Year 4, and Year 6, remain open.
Parents at St. Mary's Primary School have also been told to expect that the school will be closed.
Schools have told parents that they have no option but to close if there are inadequate numbers of staff to supervise children safely.
It is expected that Chiswick Library will be affected though staff were unclear at the weekend and awaiting further instruction.
Anne Gibbs, Director of Operations for West Middlesex University Hospital said "Patient safety remains our key priority so we have been working on plans to safeguard our services and prevent or minimise any impact on patient care resulting from the planned industrial action, whilst still recognising the democratic rights of our staff.
“We have been meeting with our unions who have agreed that the strike action will not affect critical services and are working with them to allow us to provide safe levels of cover across our hospital."
Patients should direct their enquires about planned outpatient appointments to 020 8321 5601. NHS direct can be contacted on 0845 4647 / www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk for advice on the treatment of common conditions like colds and flu.
Brentford Fountain and Leisure Centre, and Chiswick New Pool are expected to remain open. They are managed by Fusion, a sports management company which works in partnership with Hounslow Borough Council.
Hounslow Borough Council has not released information on its web site as to whether the strike will affect libraries, leisure centres and refuse collection. Some parts of Chiswick have refuse collections including recycling collections, on Wednesdays.
It is not yet clear whether local GP surgeries will be affected by the strike.
A Hounslow Council spokesperson said, “Along with other London boroughs, Hounslow Council is likely to be affected by the planned industrial action on 30 November 2011, relating to a dispute between the unions and the Government on the future design of public service pensions.
"We have contingency plans in place to maintain services, and to ensure that vulnerable residents receive the care they require.
"We are monitoring the situation closely, and will be working with our partners to minimise disruption and return to normal service as soon as possible.”
The Council added that information on service impacts and school closures will be made available on the web site, www.hounslow.gov.uk, on the day.
The following is a list of schools in Chiswick and the vicinity confirmed closed on Wednesday.
Belmont Primary, Cavendish, Chiswick Community, William Hogarth, Strand-on-the-Green Nursery, Infant, and Junior School, Gunnersbury Catholic, The Green School. It is expected that St. Mary’s RC Catholic Primary will also close. Grove Park Primary will have some classes open.
For full information on schools closures, please refer to the Council web site or contact the school.
The National Archives in Kew will be closed.
National figures suggest around 400,000 nurses and healthcare assistants, paramedics, physiotherapists, and support staff like cleaners and administrators, will join the action against changes to public sector pensions.
The strike , expected to be the biggest in decades, involves 33 unions and has been criticised by the Government. Prime Minister David Cameron has urged union members to defy their leaders and go to work as normal. There are fears of chaos at Heathrow Airport and airlines have been asked to divert or re-organised scheduled flights.
And despite the Prime Minister's suggestion that organisations should help by letting parents bring children to work, it's expected that most people will either be forced to stay at home if they cannot arrange childcare or try to work from home. The cost to the economy through lost labour is likely to run into millions of pounds.
Thousands of NHS operations and appointments are being cancelled and rescheduled as a result of Wednesday's strike.
In England, around 60,000 non-urgent operations, out-patient appointments, tests and follow-up appointments are thought to be postponed. This is based on the NHS doing 20% less work if around a fifth of staff go on strike.
Across the UK, the NHS will operate as if it were a weekend or Bank Holiday. The focus will be on emergency and critical care and patients with the highest levels of need such as chemotherapy and kidney dialysis.
Calls to 999 will still be responded to, but ambulance staff will undertake fewer duties such as transporting patients to hospital.
Chiswick W4.com will be keeping locals up to date with with regular updates throughout the day.
November 29, 2011