Traffic wardens in Hackney in east London are being balloted for strike action in a bid to get a proper sick pay policy provided by their private sector employer.
The 30 employees, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will be balloted from today (Monday 6 July) whether they want to strike against APCOA Parking, which has the contract from Hackney council to run the service. The ballot closes on Friday 17 July.
The focus of the dispute is that the traffic wardens, known as civil enforcement officers, have worse pay, and terms and conditions than council staff – employees of the same authority that hands out the contracts to private companies.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The main issue is that there is no company sick pay policy with APCOA Parking – our members only get statutory sick pay (SSP). They have also rejected a 1.5 per cent pay offer for this year.
“The point that our members are making is that in their role, sickness absence is not uncommon in light of the frequent incidents of abuse and assaults they suffer. Yet all they get is SSP – it is not good enough.
“In Hackney, the traffic wardens are on poorer pay and conditions than the staff in the local authorities that hand out the contracts to the private companies – this disreputable two-tier pay policy must cease.”
The dispute comes against the backdrop of a Fair Deal For Local Government campaign by Unite’s London and Eastern region which has almost 300,000 members. The campaign is aimed against privatisation and austerity in local government.
The campaign is a set of proposals that Unite is putting to councils in the region. It is a procurement strategy to ensure that quality services are maintained and that there is no ‘race to the bottom’ for pay and conditions post any transfer.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite regional officer Onay Kasab on 07771 818637 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2061 or 07768 693940.
The main points of Fair Deal For Local Government campaign are:
• if services are performing well, leave them in house
• if they are not performing well, look at ways of putting it right in house
• when contracting out services, over 50 per cent of the consideration should be about quality rather than cost
• fair employment rights for transferred staff – no zero hours contracts, pay the ‘living wage’, no downward pay and conditions harmonisation
The campaign website is http://uniteforpublicservices.org/index.php
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.