Portsmouth motorists could enjoy ‘free parking’ when traffic wardens strike on Wednesday (5 February) in the escalating dispute with “the overbearing and micromanaging bosses” at the city council.
Unite, the country’s largest union which represents 23 civil enforcement officers (CEOs), accused the Liberal Democrat-controlled council of being focused on intimidating union members rather than resolving the dispute.
In three months that the dispute has been brewing, the city council bosses have only met twice with Unite.
The 24 hour stoppage will commence at 00.01 on Wednesday 5 February and the causes of the strike are:
- An unfair job evaluation process which resulted the CEOs getting no pay increase, while supervisors’ income rose
- Poor staff changing facilities which is not segregated between men and women – only recently has a plaster board wall been erected
- A hostile, overbearing management style which results in the CEOs being micromanaged
- A 40 per cent increase – from five to seven – in the number of penalty charge notices (PCNs) that the CEOs have to issue on a daily basis.
- The CEOs are also angry that, having taken industrial action for just two hours on 28 January, they were docked a full day’s pay.
Unite convenor Richard White said: "Our members have reluctantly decided to move to full strike action. It is regrettable that we have to take this step, but the attitude of council management has left us with no alternative.
“So far, our members have taken action short of strike and strike actions lasting only an hour, on both occasions , Portsmouth City Council has docked members a full day’s pay.
Unite regional officer Ian Woodland said: “We are dealing with a situation of overbearing management intent on micromanaging our members who are doing a good, but stressful job.
“In 2014, we have a situation where men and women have to change after a day in the rain in the same room – and only now, after Unite pressure, has the council put up a flimsy modesty wall made of plasterboard.
“The council needs to get around the table urgently to reach a settlement of this dispute which is becoming an embarrassment for the city council.”
For further information please contact Unite regional office Ian Woodland on 07770 704480 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors:
- 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.