Traffic wardens in York are taking a sixth consecuitive day of strike action on Saturday in a dispute with the local authority over working patterns. “These are not the most popular public servants,” UNISON regional organiser, Melanie Onn told UnionNew …

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Traffic wardens in York are taking a sixth consecuitive day of strike action on Saturday in a dispute with the local authority over working patterns.

“These are not the most popular public servants,” UNISON regional organiser, Melanie Onn told UnionNews.

“But they’ve had lots of people congratulating them for the stand they’re taking.

“People understand it’s a result of government cuts and austerity.”

The eleven traffic wardens have been working a 4-day shift pattern, which is designed to allow them to recover from the many miles of walking they do every day as well as the verbal abuse and hostility they frequently endure from irate motorists.

However, as part of a £70,000 programme of austerity budget cuts, the local authority says it has no alternative but to put the traffic wardens on a 5-day working pattern.

Says Melanie Onn: “The wardens accept the need to make savings, but we’ve told the council that the chances to rota patterns only amount to savings on paper.

“We have presented alternatives, but they keep saying it has to be five days, it has to be five days and that’s not acceptable.”

The strikers say there has been a noticeable increase in traffic congestion during the strike, but residents and traders in York city centre have welcomed the fact that no-one has been issuing parking tickets all week.

The strike continues for its seventh day on Sunday.

The wardens return to work on Monday, but say they are prepared to take further industrial action if the council continues to demand implementation of the 5-day pattern.

UNISON lodged detailed alternative savings proposals on Friday. Officials say they await a response from the city council.


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