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Posted on 1 May 2013 at 14:31 GMT

Education civil servants' walkout this afternoon

Civil servants in the Department for Education are walking out on strike at 3pm this afternoon, 1st May, in opposition to the closure of half of the department's 12 offices in England.

This includes Runcorn, where low-paid staff will be forced to move or commute to Manchester to work in a building that is due to be demolished.

Around 500 jobs are at risk across the sites.

PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka said in a press release: "Ministers are ignoring all reasoned argument and pressing ahead with cuts and closures that are clearly purely political.

"As it slashes half of its budget and plans to cut a quarter of staff, the DfE is yet to say what it will not do in future and we fear vital public services, such as ensuring children are safe at school and supporting special educational needs, will be put at risk."

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