PCS members angry at low wages set to take action from end of the month

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Public (PSI), PCS,

Windsor CastleLow paid staff who work at one of the Queen’s occupied royal residences have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.

In a ballot of 76 of the wardens at Windsor Castle, the PCS members 84% voted for action on a turnout of 82%.

Years of pay restraint mean these loyal workers start on as little as £14,400 a year but they are now expected to carry out extra duties, including giving tours of the castle without receiving additional pay – even though visitors are charged for these.

The union says non-strike industrial action, including withdrawal of this goodwill, could start from the end of April.

The wardens, employed by a charitable arm of the Royal Households called the Royal Collection Trust, work at the castle entrance, around the grounds and inside the palace, helping visitors and protecting artworks.

They only narrowly accepted an unsatisfactory pay offer last year on the understanding that additional allowances for paid-for tours and other skills would be considered this year.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “These loyal workers are the public face of Windsor Castle and with this vote their message to their employer is loud and clear.

“Staff should be properly rewarded for their commitment to ensuring visitors from around the world can fully enjoy their time at the castle.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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