Some parking Wardens in Portsmouth are unhappy with their working conditions and wages, and have taken industrial action. The protest is a result of growing job duties and higher expectations and pressures put on workers. They are expected to cover a wider area and given more duties, which they feel should be reflected in a wage increase.
The Wardens have been told that if they continue with the action they will not be paid, as they are breaching their contractual agreement. The Wardens work for Portsmouth City Council as part of the public sector, which has seen a number of budget cuts and financial pressures over the past year. Not all Parking Wardens have taken the action, and it’s been reported that the number is actually very few.
New working rules have been introduced and some Warden are happy with the results. As part of the new working conditions, Wardens are expected to hand out more penalty charges, and use electronic devices a opposed to notepads. Portsmouth Council has refused to provide paper tickets and claim they are not suitable. Any worker found not to be using the electronic devices provided will not be performing their job fully and are potentially breaching their working contract. As a result of this, they will not be paid for the work they do.
The workers are within their rights to strike, but ultimately will lose pay as a result. Many Parking Wardens requested to have their jobs re-assessed as a response to the increase in duties. The result was not positive leaving many workers unhappy, hence the latest strike action. Portsmouth Council is arguing that they have to move with the times, and we are living in an age of technology. The electronic devices are more efficient, cost effective and current. Any worker that doesn't agree with this and refuses to use the new system, is not doing their job properly.
Portsmouth Parking Wardens could potentially be fighting a losing battle. It is unlikely that the Council will back down, so it could be a case of do the job or lose the job.