Parking wardens are set to walk out again on strike, costing council ‘a fortune’

By Charlotte Lillywhite, Local Democracy Reporter 

South London parking wardens will walk out over pay again in September as union bosses warn that every day of strike action is costing the council ‘a fortune’.

Members of the GMB union employed as parking wardens by Wandsworth council’s private contractor NSL Parking Services are demanding a pay rise as they deal with the spiralling cost of living crisis.

The dispute between GMB and NSL started in June and has seen 20 days of strike action so far.

The union warned the action will continue until NSL makes an offer members are happy to accept. It said its members want an “improved pay deal which reflects the extremely high rate of inflation and the attached cost of living crisis”.

The council said it wants both sides to reach an agreement so a “full service” can resume for residents.

NSL said its latest offer of a pay rise of 21.3 per cent over three years was rejected by the union. The wardens are now set to walk out for a further four days of strike action on September 9, 12, 23 and 26.

The union has previously said it wants the wardens’ contracts to be taken back in-house by the council, but that its “immediate priority” is reaching an agreement over a “sensible pay offer”.

Paul Grafton, regional organiser at GMB, said: “This dispute has been rumbling on for two months now, with every day of strike action costing Wandsworth council a fortune in lost revenue.

“Our members are determined to secure a proper pay deal, and this dispute will continue until NSL table a pay deal that the members are happy to accept.

“Once again, this lost revenue will need to be paid for somehow, so presumably Wandsworth council will be either raising council tax rates or else cutting services within the borough.”

A spokesman for NSL said: “NSL are disappointed that our latest pay offer of 21.3 per cent over three years has not been accepted. “We remain committed to finding a solution.”

A spokeswoman for Wandsworth council said: “We obviously want both sides to reach an agreement so that this industrial dispute can be resolved and a full service can resume for our residents and businesses.

“The matter is currently heading to arbitration via ACAS and we sincerely hope that the issues will be resolved there.”

Pictured top: Parking warden strike Wandsworth Picture: Paul Grafton

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