Many private sector workers who have faced cuts to their pensions as the result of the recession and the economic crisis are against the industrial action.
Nick Riddle, of Sheffield estate agents ELR said: “I think the public workers are being bloody stupid taking this action.
“Everyone who works in the private sector has taken a hit on their pensions so why shouldn’t they?
“If public pensions stay the same, there are more people living longer and the amount of money being paid in is not rising, so more taxpayers’ money will have to be used to cover the difference.
“Yet private employees who have seen their work pensions cut and have invested in private schemes have had their tax relief cut so they are paying more in to the Government to subsidise the public sector, whose scheme will still be much more generous than in the private sector even after changes.
“Public workers should take what they are offered and stop being greedy. A strike is not a way to get ordinary people on their side.”
Although over 120 city schools are shut today, a minority of primaries stayed open because staff were uncertain about taking industrial action.
Chris Holder, headteacher at Lowfield Primary, is keeping his school open despite being a member of the NAHT which voted for action.
“We have told three of our classes to stay at home but a majority of our staff will be in school. Some are non-union, others have chosen not to take part,” he said.
“I have chosen not to take action, I have the responsibility of running this school and I feel very strongly it should be open to serve this very diverse community.”
Sue Preston, head at Clifford Infants at Nether Edge and an NUT member, also said she had taken a personal decision to stay at work.
“We have four teachers in although our support and office staff are on strike. It was difficult but everyone has made their own decision even though they are all in unions.”
Catherine Skinn, head at Emmanuel Juniors at Waterthorpe, said her nine staff had decided to stay at work.
“They have all decided individually what to do and have decided to work. I am in the NAHT and I have made a personal decision, I wish to say no more,” she added.