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Wandsworth School Transport Strike Ballot

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

GMB Strike Ballot For Wandsworth School Transport Drivers For Disabled Children Facing Pay Cuts Of Up To £4,000 Per Year

Tory councillors are not prepared to ask wealthy residents to pay the same level of council tax as those in neighbouring boroughs and this is a direct result of that decision says GMB.

GMB members employed by Wandsworth Council as drivers of busses that transport disabled children to and from schools within the Borough have voted 100% to ask for permission for an official strike ballot after being told they would have their working year would be cut to term time working only leading to a cut in pay of up to £4,000 per year. These staff work out of the Frogmore depot in central Wandsworth.

No satisfactory offer has been made by the council to compensate members for these losses. In addition senior managers have also failed for a number of years to adhere to Councils policy of undertaking annual appraisals whereby staff can see an uplift in pay.

The Southern Regional Committee has now given authority for an official strike ballot to go ahead. Wandsworth Council have now been formally notified and the ballot will conclude on 12 May 2015.

Paul Grafton, GMB Regional Officer, said “Staff are vehemently opposed to this change since they simply cannot afford to see pay cut by up to £4,000 per year.

This is what Tory cuts in wealthy Wandsworth mean for those who are already the lowest paid people currently working for the Council. Tory councillors are not prepared to ask the wealthy residents to pay the same level of council tax as those in neighbouring boroughs and this is a direct result of that decision. 

These staff voted by 100% to move to an official strike ballot which will go ahead and will close on 12 May.

In addition senior managers have cheated these staff by not undertaking appraisals for some years despite this being a contractual right. Appraisals can have an impact on earnings as if a positive review and score is gained an automatic pay lift is given to each staff member. Senior management were fully aware of these not being undertaken as they have to authorise uplifts in pay.

A collective grievance was placed to the HR Director on the appraisal issues. The day after the collective grievance was lodged staff were victimised. They were obliged to stay on site if they finished all their work early as previously they were permitted to go home.

When GMB representatives undertook a detailed investigations it became apparent that with previous appraisals undertaken some years ago that managers had altered the council documents to show no automatic uplift is given to staff.

As a result a further collective grievance was lodged with the HR Director and it was agreed that staff would have all of their appraisals looked at and any uplift given. However in spite of this staff were told after the new appraisals that regardless of the outcome of the exercise they would not gain any uplift or back pay.

To add insult to injury Kevin Powers the senior manager responsible has been promoted despite seriously breaching council policies and procedures.”


Contact:  Paul Grafton, GMB Organiser on 07714 239092 or 0208 397 8881 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823.



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