Traffic warden: Life is a struggle on our pay

A parking warden, who has been striking over pay and working conditions, has spoken about the struggle to feed his family.

The warden, whose identity has been protected because of his involvement in industrial action, has worked as a parking attendant for NSL, the firm contracted to run Camden Council’s parking services, for eight years.

Employees of the firm have gone on strike twice over pay and working conditions and are currently working to rule as demands for a pay rise from �8.09 to �10 an hour have not been met.

The warden rents a two-bedroom flat in south London where he lives with his wife and three children, who are all at primary school.

“By the time you pay your rent and take away travel expenses and bills, the money left for food is little,” he says.

“I have about �55 per week to feed the family.

“You can’t buy the things the kids want. If you want to buy them something, you need to scale down on the food bill and the type of food you want to eat. It’s difficult when you can’t buy them things you want.”

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He earns �1,200 to �1,300 per month, which can rise to �1,400 with overtime, and his wife works in catering part-time to bring in an extra �150 per week and help make ends meet.

“I need my wife to support me otherwise I could not afford to survive,” he said.

He added that a pay increase would give him more time to spend with his family. He works 42.5 contractual hours a week and 47.5 hours when doing overtime.

“Currently if I want more money I have to do overtime,” he explained.

“When I do overtime I don’t have time to spend with the kids.

“If we get a pay increase, it will give me more time to spend with them.”

NSL and trade union Unison, who are representing NSL employees, were due to meet the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) today (Thursday) after talks broke down.