Camden parking wardens walk out over “low pay” in third strike in ten years

Striking parking wardens outside of Regis Road vehicle pound in Kentish Town. Picture: Sam Volpe

Striking parking wardens outside of Regis Road vehicle pound in Kentish Town. Picture: Sam Volpe - Credit: Archant

Camden’s parking wardens are in the middle of a five-day walkout over demands for a “fairer” pay rise.

This is the third time in ten years that the wardens, who are employed by Camden Council’s contractor NSL, have taken industrial action in protest at working conditions which see them routinely abused by those they seek to give parking tickets to.

They have been picketing outside the Regis Road vehicle pound each morning this week.

Unison rep Tunde Isiaka told the Ham&High: “We want a real living wage. We had an agreement with them [that when the London living wage went up we would get 25 pence an hour on top of that but that hasn’t happened.

“We’ve had a strong turnout here, people are very passionate. Our reps have a meeting today with ACAS and hopefully we’ll get a better offer, but we’re not expecting one.”

Yesterday, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis attended the picket. He said: “Considering the vast sums that NSL takes in from parking in Camden – and the bumper salaries earned by their top executives – we know they can afford to meet UNISON’s reasonable demands for proper pay.”

Another man at the picket, who has worked for NSL for a decade, did not want to be named. He said: “This is the the third strike in ten years, we’re not being treated well.

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“We are obviously asking for £11.15, and they have offered us £10,45, there needs to be something in the middle but there has not been that yet.

“I work in a different job for NSL in Camden, but these guys on the streets deserve more, they face abuse day and night.”

A spokeperson for NSL said: “NSL has offered a three year deal comprising a 4.5% pay increase this year, much higher than other public sector pay deals and well above the rate of inflation.

“We regret that Unison has not chosen to accept this offer, which takes into account the increase in London living costs while remaining affordable to Camden council. Negotiations remain ongoing at this time.”

The strike is expected to last until Friday unless an acceptable deal can be made.