20 July 2024

Don’t get caught out: Parking restrictions and charges to remain during strike action

All parking restrictions and car parking charges will remain in place across the county on Saturday 7th May as some parking civil enforcement officers go on strike.

The GMB Union has notified the council that some of its members who are civil enforcement officers intend to strike on Saturday 7th May, with pickets planned at Monkton Park in Chippenham and Salisbury Library. A rally and demonstration are also planned at Salisbury Library on the same day.

Despite the planned industrial action, the council is reminding people that parking restrictions remain in place, including car park charges, and enforcement with the possibility of a penalty charge notice being issued will continue.

The industrial action is over proposals to make changes to the council’s current unsocial, standby and callout policies. A two-year increment freeze and changes to overtime policies for staff have already been agreed by the unions and their members.

The aim is to agree on policies that are standardised, fit for purpose, financially viable and support the delivery of the council’s business plan while ensuring staff are fairly and appropriately rewarded. There are no proposals to cut the base pay of any council staff.

The council has currently paused negotiations on these changes and has set up a working group with the three recognised trade unions, UNISON, Unite the Union and GMB, with the aim of reaching an agreement on proposals so that negotiations can re-commence by the end of June.

Terence Herbert, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Council, said, “We recognise the right for GMB members to take industrial action if they wish, but it seems strange to do so at this time, given that no final decisions have been made and we’re currently negotiating with UNISON, Unite the Union and GMB on the proposed changes to terms and conditions.

“Workers’ pay is not being cut; we are reviewing specific proposals related to unsocial hours, standby and call out policies, and no final decisions have been made. However, we do need to make some changes to ensure we continue to stay on a strong financial footing, making savings without making redundancies.

“We have always strived to work with unions positively to deal with any matters related to employee relations, and our focus over the next few weeks is to continue to work with union representatives to find a solution to the issues that have been raised by staff about these proposals.

“We value our staff, and we thank them for their continued professionalism throughout this ongoing process. We’ll continue to listen to their views throughout this process.

“While the strike is being held on Saturday 7th May, residents should continue to pay for parking as normal, as all charges and restrictions remain in place.”

Written by
Beth Doherty
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Written by Beth Doherty