Another Round of Strikes Ahead by Wandsworth Parking Attendants

Union says council will lose thousands and demands £5 an hour increase

Parking wardens on strike in Wandsworth. Picture: Paul Grafton

July 14, 2022

Parking attendants in Wandsworth are set to walk out again next week in an ongoing row over pay. Drivers are expected to dodge “thousands of pounds” in fines due to tickets not being issued over the strike action, the GMB union has claimed.

The union says it has more than 60 members employed by Wandsworth Council’s private parking contractor NSL, and that most have walked out on the strike days. The union has asked for a pay rise of £5 per hour for the workers.

The parking attendant have already walked out for 11 days across June and July so far and are planning to stage a two-day strike next Monday before walking out for five days the following week. Organisers claim the action has cost the council “thousands of pounds” on the days staff have walked out due to tickets not being issued.

The union is calling for the council to intervene in the dispute. Paul Grafton, GMB regional organiser, said any money “lost due to tickets not being issued falls at the feet of the council”. He said the contract “ultimately needs bringing back in-house to be council-run” but the immediate priority is to “discuss a sensible pay offer so we can put this dispute to bed”.

He added, “GMB would like to once again ask Wandsworth Council how they are planning to make up the budgetary shortfall this dispute is causing – will it be through a council tax hike or by cuts to local services?”

NSL said the parking attendants were offered a seven per cent pay increase which was “above inflation at the time it was offered”. The contractor said it remains open to reaching a “realistic settlement” to the dispute. The council previously said that it has ensured the wardens are paid the London Living Wage and that a “number of offers” have been made which were rejected by the union.

Parking wardens on strike in Wandsworth. Picture: Paul Grafton

The wardens first walked out for three days from June 20 to 22, and then another three days from June 27 to 29. They walked out for five days last week, between July 4 to 8, and are planning to strike next week on July 18 and 19. The workers are also set to strike for a full five days from July 25 to 29.

A spokesperson for NSL said, “Civil enforcement officers have been offered a 7% pay increase which was above inflation at the time it was offered. The GMB have refused to negotiate on their unrealistic demand for a 58% pay increase. NSL remain open to discussing a realistic settlement to this dispute.”

Wandsworth Council has been contacted for comment.

Charlotte Lillywhite - Local Democracy Reporter