Coronation strike: Westminster traffic wardens set to walk out on King’s coronation in a dispute over pay
Strikes will take place during the King's coronation on 6 May
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Traffic wardens in Westminster are set to strike next week, including on the day of the King’s coronation, after a new pay offer was rejected.
A GMB union spokesperson said an improved pay offer was “overwhelmingly rejected” by its members and the strikes would lead to chaos on the roads during the King’s coronation. Members of the union employed by the council’s contractor NSL will walk out on 2, 4 and 6 May and take other forms of industrial action for a week from 1 May.
GMB official Alex Etches said: “Our members have once again rejected another below-inflation pay offer from the company. There is no reason why our members, who do a difficult and dangerous job, should be poorer this year than the last.
“People in this country are fed up of private companies making millions off the public purse while the people that do the job that generates that money are asked to justify maintaining their standard of living.
“Our members’ strike action will lead to chaos on the roads of Westminster during the coronation. NSL must get serious about giving our members an offer that doesn’t leave them worse off this year or they will be to blame for the disruption on the day of the coronation.”
Traffic wardens in Westminster are currently paid £12.61 an hour and are demanding a rise in wages at the same rate as inflation. A council spokesperson said: "We hope that the GMB and NSL are able to come to an agreement. We will continue providing parking services across the city in the event of strike action."
This news comes after more than 130,000 civil servants, in 132 government departments, walked out on Friday (28 April) after the government announced pay rises would be limited to 4.5-5%. The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) described the pay announcement as an “insult”.
PCS members have been taking strike action for months over pay, jobs, pensions and conditions. The last strike took place to increase the pressure on the government as members were offered a 2% to 3% pay increase.
Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect, said: “We have repeatedly offered to engage in pay talks aimed at resolving this dispute, provided they followed a comparable approach to that employed elsewhere in the public service. By publishing the pay control, the government has abandoned its staff to further real terms cuts and to remain at the back of the public service pay queue.
“This industrial action was entirely avoidable, but the government's failure to bring anything to the table has made it inevitable and it leaves hard-working civil servants with no option but to protest over their treatment.”
He added: “If the government doesn’t change its stance, then it will face a recruitment and retention crisis that degrades the Civil Service and the public services we all rely on.”