FIREFIGHTERS will join hundreds of thousands of other public sector workers in a national day of strike action on Thursday.

Some schools are expected to close due to a walkout by teachers and support staff.

Local government workers and civil servants will also join the stoppage.

The Fire Brigades Union is in a long-running dispute over changes to pensions and the retirement age of firefighters.

The NUT, which is protesting over wages, pensions and workloads, says it has chosen the date to cause the least possible disruption to exams.

Members of Unison, Unite the public service union PCS and the GMB say their action is in protest at a national pay offer that would award the majority just 1 per cent. They say they have not had a pay rise in three years.

There will be picket lines outside libraries, leisure centres and tax offices as well as schools.

The GMB counts many teaching assistants among its membership.

Its local organising officer Carole Vallelly warned: “Schools are going to be very hard hit.”

Wiltshire Council says it is making contingency arrangements, and updates will be on the Journal website as they become available.