Portsmouth parking wardens take strike action over range of issues

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 were set to go on strike this morning in a dispute over pay, targets and working conditions.

Workers who are part of Unite union will only observe motorists parking between 9am and 10am and again from 1pm and 2pm, rather than issue parking tickets to those who overstay their time.

The workforce, employed by Portsmouth City Council, will repeat that action over the next four days.

They feel they’ve been left with no option but to take strike action after bosses refused to pay them for taking part in action short of a strike before Christmas.

The wardens who part of the Unite union have voted by an 80 per cent margin to take action on a number of issues, including the use of ‘performance indicators’ to increase the number of tickets they issue.

Unite has already for the local authority to enter into constructive talks to reach a fair settlement.

The dispute also centres on the current job evaluation procedure and unsuitable changing facilities.

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

‘Notice of this dispute was submitted back in November and to date we have only met the chief executive on one occasion.

‘We have also written to the chairperson on the employment committee seeking a meeting and are yet to receive acknowledgement.

Ian Woodland, Unite regional officer, said: ‘This dispute was avoidable.

‘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 PCC.

‘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.

‘The ball is in their court to resolve this.’