Street wardens in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, who are mostly members of Unite (T&G), have won a four-year battle for proper compensation for their anti-social hours.
The wardens, who are used as a flagship service by the borough, have been underpaid since their inauguration in 2003. Originally, their demand for anti-social payments of £3,600 for shifts that can go on to 10pm in summer and Saturday working was turned down.
The council imposed a £2,000 payment without agreement from the union. This was substantially lower than other warden schemes in London.
For four years the union has been negotiating with the council, who have continually claimed there is not enough money to pay the claim. Finally, the street wardens had had enough. In a ballot they voted overwhelmingly for strike action and took three 12-hour strikes in January.
Del Ahmet, their steward, said: "We think we proved a point. The second strike day was the best because we stood firm."
This finally brought the council to its senses and, following further negotiations, they have agreed a one-off payment of £2,150 as recompense for the last four years, enhancement of late hours and weekend working payments, plus a regular anti-social hours payment.
While the wardens recognise that they haven't won everything they asked for, this is a big victory at a time when other Waltham Forest council workers are facing attacks to their pay and conditions through single status.
10 Jul Stop the FLA - No to racism
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 0798 202 1969
East Mids: 0773 797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 0784 114 4890
North West 07769 611 320
South East: 020 8988 8777
South West: 07759 796 478
Southern: 07833 681910
Wales: 07935 391 947
West Mids: 02476 555 620
Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551