Hackney traffic wardens go on strike again in pay row – and more workers threaten to walk out

PUBLISHED: 17:09 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:02 13 July 2018

A file image of a traffic warden. Picture: PA

A file image of a traffic warden. Picture: PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Traffic wardens are on strike again in Hackney, and two other groups of workers could be set to down tools too.

Parking enforcement officers who are members of the union Unite are embroiled in a row over pay that has been going on for months – and has already led to two strikes.

Their contract is run by APCOA on behalf of Hackney Council, and the dispute centres over a demand for a 5 per cent pay rise that would take them over the London Living Wage. They want more money to cover the rising cost of living, sickness procedures and holiday.

Forty workers downed tools on Monday and will be on strike until midnight on Saturday.

Meanwhile, staff at Rushmore Primary School have unanimously voted to be balloted for strike action to support a school caretaker who they say was sacked after he raised health and safety concerns about building work.

Drivers and “passenger assistants” from the council’s educational transport service are also now being balloted for a walkout after the town hall refused to negotiate a payment to compensate staff for working split shifts.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We are prepared to reach a negotiated settlement in all three disputes.

“However, the employers are clearly either not capable or willing to do the same.

“The fact we recently met at ACAS with APCOA, the council parking contractor, is more than a sign of our commitment.”

But he said that, in his opinion, “the fact APCOA [...] after only an hour halted the meeting stating it needed to discuss the matter with the council shows all they were willing to do was play games.”

He added: “I guess they feel able to play games.

“Low-paid workers do not have the same luxury.”

On the school dispute, Onay added: “There have been rising health and safety issues at Rusmore. Things like a wall not being repaired that could fall on kids.

“He raised it but the school took issue with how he did it and said it bought them into disrepute.”

The driving staff want compensation for the split shifts they work, which is offered by other councils in London.

Hackney Council has not responded to the Gazette’s request for comment but ACPOA said: “We support good industrial relations and are disappointed we weren’t able to come to an agreement with Unite through the arbitration service ACAS.

“The last time a strike was held the impact on services was minimal. We are hopeful talks can resume in future and have the full support of our client, the council, during these negotiations.”

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