Traffic wardens striking over pay dispute – no parking fines may cost council £30k daily

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GMB Union has called a seven day strike of all civil enforcement officers, or traffic wardens, in Wiltshire later this month. The strike will begin on Thursday, June 30 until Wednesday, July 6, and will have enormous consequences on the local council.

Previously, traffic wardens in the area went on strike for two days which took place in May.

The union members are opposing a pay cut of 10 percent for traffic wardens, which would mean a £2,000 annual pay cut. 

According to GMB, Wiltshire Council is seeking to save £800,000 by withdrawing contractual unsocial hours payments from almost 350 staff.

This includes civil enforcement officers, social workers and care workers.

During strike days, Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for unlawful parking will not be issued, and parking charges in council car parks will not be enforced.

It has been estimated that this will result in the council losing up to £30,000 per day.

Keith Roberts, GMB Regional Organiser, said the members were “at the end of their tether” after failing negotiations.

He added: “In the middle of a cost of living crisis, our members have the terrible threat hanging over their heads of a huge pay cut. 

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“This is impacting their wellbeing and several are off sick with stress. 

“The council need to start acting like grown-ups, and take the proposed pay cuts off the table. 

“To make matters worse, the council have refused to take Fire and Rehire off the table. 

“This is the disgraceful practice, of sacking your own workforce to force through contractual changes. 

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“Wiltshire Council needs to understand that this seven-day strike will be a major escalation from GMB, and we will ensure that it hits them hard in the pocket, costing them up to £200,000 in lost income.”

Civil enforcement officers are employed by the local councils to fulfil the duty of ensuring that parking regulations are being abided by and issuing PCNs when necessary.

Traffic wardens must give motorists a grace period of up to 10 minutes after their parking ticket expires, which applies to both council and private car parks.

Terence Herbert, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Council, said: “GMB Union has informed us that some officers in our parking enforcement team are planning to strike from Thursday, June 30 until Wednesday, July 6. 

“Parking restrictions, including all usual car parking charges, will still be in place during that time.

“We have been working with ACAS to find a date that suits the council, GMB and ACAS, and we are committed to holding these talks at a time when all parties can attend.

“Discussions between the council and the three recognised unions – Unison, Unite the Union and GMB – over proposed changes to terms and conditions are ongoing, and GMB’s claim that we refuse to take the option to ‘fire and rehire’ off the table is unhelpful. 

“We are disappointed that the GMB has chosen to escalate this strike action, and we will be putting in place measures to minimise both customer and financial impacts, including continuing to enforce parking restrictions.”

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