Civil enforcement officers in Hounslow and Ealing vote to strike
Motorists in the boroughs might avoid parking fines over two weeks
January 12, 2023
Civil enforcement officers, including parking attendants and CCTV operators employed by Serco in Hounslow and Ealing have voted for industrial action.
Unite the Union says there was 100% support for strikes that will take place between 18 January and 31 January and will provide the opportunity for free parking in the boroughs.
The union claims that its members working on the contract for the two boroughs have been offered and ‘offensive’ 20p an hour with no rise at all for staff on the real living wage. It is hoping that the prospect of free parking and the consequent loss of revenue for the two boroughs will force Serco to consider a higher offer.
The current pay offer amounts to a 1.7 per cent pay increase for workers in Ealing who earn just £11.35 an hour. Workers on the Hounslow contract currently earn just £11.05 an hour. They have been offered nothing above the rate for the real living wage.
Ealing Council has decided to bring parking enforcement in-house and it is believed that one of the reasons is disruption caused during an earlier round of strikes.
Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said, “It’s an absolute disgrace that a hugely profitable business like Serco has put this offensive offer to this workforce.
“Little wonder then that these essential council workers across West London have begun the New Year with a 100 per cent vote for strike action.
“The civil enforcement officers and CCTV operators are joining forces to fight back against Serco, an outsourcer with a track record of paying workers poorly.
“Serco has to give itself a shake and get back to the table, ready to make these workers a reasonable and fair pay offer.
“If not, the workers’ unanimous strike vote will be matched by Unite’s total support.”
Unite acting national officer Clare Keogh said, “Serco and the London boroughs still have time to prevent a strike and the resulting loss of income. If the strike goes ahead it will mean free parking while workers fight for fair pay. The truth is that the council workers face real hardship when inflation is around eight times higher than their pay offer. For workers on the living wage, it’s hardly enough to live on.”
Kieron Clarke, Serco’s Head of Parking Services, said, “It is always our intention to work in partnership with the trade unions. We fully appreciate the impact of the current cost of living challenges are having on our people and we are fully engaged in discussions in an attempt avert any strike action.”
An Ealing Council spokesperson said, “We are aware of the dispute between Unite and SERCO. Ensuring workers who deliver public services are treated fairly remains very important to the council, especially during the current cost of living crisis. We hope that this dispute will be resolved swiftly.
"Ealing is committed to improving our parking enforcement. Earlier this year we committed to bring the service back under the direct control of the council, and work continues to make this happen.”
Hounslow Council declined to comment.
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.