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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Parking wardens to go on strike
Parking warden
Edinburgh parking wardens earn less than those in Glasgow
Edinburgh has been warned to brace itself for possible traffic chaos after its parking wardens announced they would strike in a dispute over pay.

The Transport and General Workers' Union said its members would not issue parking tickets in the city on 20 June.

Edinburgh parking attendants, who earn as little as 11,500 a year, recently turned down a 4.4% pay rise.

The wardens are employed privately by NCP Services, which said it was "disappointed" by the strike ballot.

The Edinburgh wardens have claimed they earn only 6.26 an hour compared to the 9.19 hourly rate enjoyed by their Glasgow counterparts.

They perform a vital role, are out in all weathers and frequently have to put up with abuse from members of the public
Pat Rafferty
T&G union

They have demanded a minimum annual salary of 14,000, which would rise to 18,000 within five years.

T&G senior regional industrial organiser Pat Rafferty said the union was not ruling out future strike action if NCP refused to meet its demands.

He said: "Parking wardens are grossly undervalued in Edinburgh and there is a huge difference between what they earn and what attendants in Glasgow earn.

"They perform a vital role, are out in all weathers and frequently have to put up with abuse from members of the public.

"Living costs in Edinburgh are rising all the time and it is surprising anyone steps up to the job for such a pittance."

Mr Rafferty said the union was willing to meet with NCP bosses in a further bid to thrash out a pay deal.

But he stressed: "We are prepared for further industrial action in the future should it become necessary after 20 June."

'Amicable resolution'

Mr Rafferty said a picket would be held outside the NCP's Broughton Street depot where wardens are based.

He added that he hoped the 40% of Edinburgh wardens who were not T&G members would support the action.

NCP director of communications Tim Cowen said: "We are disappointed that the T&G have decided to proceed with this action and will be working to ensure that the public notice no difference on the day itself to the level of service in the city.

"This action is being taken after just 32 members of an overall workforce of 150 voted in favour of strike action and it is regrettable the union has opted to press ahead despite our efforts to bring this issue to an amicable resolution.

"Our team of parking attendants provide an essential service in Edinburgh keeping the streets clear and the traffic moving and will continue to do so."

NCP was awarded a five-year parking contract by City of Edinburgh Council last December.

Wardens in Glasgow are employed directly by the local authority.

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