BURY is on shutdown as council staff, teachers and firefighters go on strike on today.

Most council buildings are either closed or services have been reduced, and most schools are also closed or part closed.

Radcliffe pool and fitness centre will be closed all day, Castle Leisure Centre will be closed until 4pm, but Ramsbottom pool and fitness centre will be open. Bury Library is also closed.

In addition, no bins are being collected across the borough today.

The industrial action taken by public sector unions Unison, Unite and GMB is in protest at a one per cent pay rise, which they argue is not enough.

Members of the National Union of Teachers are also striking in protest at pay, pensions and workload, with the Fire Brigade Union also walking out until 7pm tonight in protest at changes to their pension.

Many striking staff from Bury are attending a regional rally at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester to voice their protest.

Steve Morton, secretary of Bury Unison, who is at today’s rally, said: “We are treating today’s action as a success, we have had about 90 per cent of staff either stay at home or protest at a picket line.

“Most of the town’s municipal buildings are like a desert, lots of people have decided to stay away even if they don’t go to a picket line.

Cllr Noel Bayley, who is also attending the rally, said he was there to stand up for public sector workers, as he himself works at Manchester City Council.

Cllr Bayley, who represents St Mary’s ward, said: “Public sector workers are generally low paid. This is ordinary people who are being affected by this.

“Public sector staff have only had one pay rise in the past few years, and that is a real terms pay cut.

“It is affecting everyday people, they are seeing their food prices rise in the shops, and the emergence of foodbanks has also highlighted this, that wouldn’t have happened five or 10 years ago.”