Traffic wardens to go on strike but council warns drivers will still have to pay

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Traffic wardens are set to go on strike - but the local authority has warned drivers will still have to pay for parking.

Wiltshire Council is facing a walkout in a row over pay cuts and alleged “fire and rehire” tactics just days after the largest rail strike in three decades grips Britain.

Local traffic wardens - who hand out tickets for parking violations - are expected to refuse to work for seven days starting on 30 June.

“Wiltshire Council needs to understand that this seven-day strike will be a major escalation from GMB,” Keith Roberts, the union’s regional organiser, said.

“We will ensure that it hits them hard in the pocket, costing them up to £200,000 in lost income.”

But the council has rejected these estimates and told residents the strike does not mean they will be able to park for free.

“GMB union has informed us that some officers in our parking enforcement team are planning to strike from Thursday 30 June until Wednesday 6 July,” Terence Herbert, its chief executive, said.

“Parking restrictions, including all usual car parking charges, will still be in place during that time.

“We are disappointed that the GMB has chosen to escalate this strike action, and we will be putting in place measures to minimise both customer and financial impacts, including continuing to enforce parking restrictions.”

Protesters took to the streets over the weekend in a call for pay rises in the cost-of-living crisis (Getty Images)
Protesters took to the streets over the weekend in a call for pay rises in the cost-of-living crisis (Getty Images)

GMB union has triggered the strike in Wiltshire over a proposed pay cut for traffic wardens. It also claims the council has refused to take firing and rehiring workers off the table to push it through.

“This is the disgraceful practice, of sacking your own workforce to force through contractual changes,” Mr Roberts from the union said.

“This is a red rag to a bull for our members, who will not voluntarily accept a pay cut.”

Workers marched on Parliament Square over the weekend in a call for better pay (EPA)
Workers marched on Parliament Square over the weekend in a call for better pay (EPA)

The union says Wiltshire Council is seeking to remove a contractual unsocial hours payment from hundreds of staff, which would work out as a 10 per cent pay cut - or £2,000 less a year - for traffic wardens.

Mr Herbert from the council said base pay was not being cut and no final decisions have been made - but changes were needed to ensure policies were “fit for purpose” and “financially viable”.

“While the ability to make changes to policies through a process of dismissal and re-engagement is one of a range of options open to any employer, it is not something that is currently being looked at or discussed,” he added.

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