Traffic wardens enforcing parking in the streets of Westminster are threatening with strike action as they reject their employer’s latest pay offer.
Union workers unanimously turned down NSL’s offer to increase their wages by an extra 21p per hour under a three-year deal. The modest increase would result in a loss in income in real terms they argued.
Parking wardens working for NLS are “just above the breadline, earning the basic London Living Wage of £10.75,” according to a GMB union statement.
Workers would need a pay rise of at least double what NSL is proposing – 42p per hour – to maintain their income, said GMB.
The union says staff has not had its allowances increased in more than ten years.
The start date or length of the strike have not yet been confirmed.
“It’s not an unreasonable aspiration to have a reasonable wage for working in Central London,” said GMB officer Paul Grafton.
“Already this year we’re seeing inflation rates climb, and yet the pay offer put forward by NSL would in real terms see staff salaries cut. NSL have told us that Westminster council have declined any wage uplift to that’s what has been offered.”
If the strike action does go ahead, street parking could be free on some of the capitals busiest roads.
GMB expects traffic chaos in Westminster, warning that the council could lose thousands for each day of action.
Parking revenues brought in £74.4m for Westminster Council during the 2019-2020 period. This is according to figures from the transport policy and research organisation RAC Foundation.
Westminster is the council with the highest parking income in the country, followed by Kensington and Chelsea and Camden.
A spokesperson for Marston Holdings, which owns NSL, said: “Marston Holdings is currently in active negotiation with the GMB union and is committed to bringing these talks to a speedy and mutually satisfactory conclusion.”