Portsmouth parking wardens in new strike over ticket targets

ON PATROL A parking warden checking tickets in Clarendon Road, Southsea. Picture: Allan Hutchings (113795-399)
ON PATROL A parking warden checking tickets in Clarendon Road, Southsea. Picture: Allan Hutchings (113795-399)
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PARKING wardens have stepped up their bid to be taken seriously over issues with the way they work.

Workers say Portsmouth City Council bosses have left them with ‘no choice’ but to take industrial action this week.

Workers who are part of the Unite union aren’t issuing a ticket to vehicles overstaying their time between 9am and 10am and 1pm and 2pm.

The action, which is taking place until Friday, comes after bosses refused to pay staff for taking part in action short of a strike before Christmas.

And in another blow, workers have been told they won’t get paid if they revolt again this time.

Ian Woodland, Unite regional officer, said the situation could have been prevented.

‘This dispute was avoidable,’ he said. ‘The union has been complaining for a number of years over how the job evaluation is managed at different sections of the council, and this dispute is the latest example of employee dissatisfaction at the council.

‘Together with poor management, our members just do not trust what management say or do any more. While our members are taking action short of strike, management have decided to withhold all pay which has aggravated the situation.’

Unite members voted by an 80 per cent margin to take action on a range of issues, including the use of ‘performance indicators’ to increase the number of tickets handed out. The dispute is also about the job evaluation process and unsuitable changing facilities.

Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader, said the council’s attitude towards pay will end up escalating the situation. ‘They’re taking a hard-line approach it would appear,’ he said.

‘The council is provoking them to take full strike action.

‘I’m concerned that the council is not sitting around the table and actively trying to sort this out.’

Richard White, Unite convenor at the council, said: ‘Our members have brought a number of long-running issues to the attention of council officers, and we have been met with nothing short of ambivalence.’