Only seven per cent on strike

Published: Wednesday 30th November 11

Only seven per cent of council staff in Wandsworth are taking industrial action today (Wednesday.)

The latest staff returns from all council departments show that overall only 7.1 per cent of employees have chosen to go on strike today.

Only 30 per cent of trade union members who work for the council have answered the call for strike action. The vast majority of trade union members are working as normal.

Apart from schools, all council services are operating as normal. Almost all frontline services to the public are not affected in any way.

Refuse collections are operating as normal as is the borough's street cleaning service, the register office and the housing benefits service. All of Wandsworth's leisure centres are operating normally as are most of the borough's libraries, although the branches at Balham and Southfields will be closing slightly earlier today.

The latest figures show that 41 of the borough's 80 schools are either fully open or partially open. The remaining 39 have closed for the day.

Council leader Ravi Govindia paid tribute to all council employees who are working normally today. He said: "On behalf of the public I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all those hard working and dedicated members of staff who are today providing the public with the same level of high quality service they have come to expect in Wandsworth."

The council's cabinet member for education and children's services, Cllr Kathy Tracey added: "It is regrettable that some schools have had to close as a result of today's industrial action.

"I hope that today's strike is the one and only day of industrial action and that the trade unions now return to the negotiating table in order to reach a settlement. They should certainly not be causing any further disruption to children's education or unnecessary inconvenience to hard working parents."


ENDS

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Recent comments

Excellent points made by David. Unison should be ashamed for not having explained that to the public on Wednesday.
jeremy clarkson

2 December 2011

Rather disingenuous of the Council to boast that refuse collection, street-sweeping and leisure centres were all unaffected. Of course they were unaffected, the staff who do those jobs do not work for Wandsworth Council and are not in the Local Government Pension Scheme, having been outsourced years ago. I trust they were not included in the figures shown above. Most of the low-paid Council jobs went this way years ago, the remaining Council payroll is increasingly dominated by highly-paid middle and senior managers with impressive salaries and pensions to match, and many of whom are sufficiently close to retirement to be unaffected by the Government's proposals. I'm not surprised that most of them didn't strike.
David

1 December 2011

This is shocking. I am one of the lucky ones who will not be affected as I am close to retirement but I am angry enough about the situation to forego a day's pay to show my disgust with the government. I would urge all members of staff to fight for their rights over this issue if it remains necessary. When you joined the service you had certain expectations regarding the pension that you would receive when you retire and how much it was going to cost you. The argument for changing the LGPS is weak, to say the least. Councillor Govindia's implication that strikers are not hard-working and dedicated is insulting and, let us face it, ignorant. Stange that this news item, posted by a council employee, should be almost gleeful in tone.
Andy Hoskins

1 December 2011

It is clear staff there know side of the bread is buttered for them. the union is totally ineffective there as most employees are rewarded well and part of the unwritten deal is to keep stum. Anyway I can only thank the present staffs past and increased future contributions for keeping me in the lifestyle I was accustomed to while working for dogsworth. Anyway got to go and fill the gas guzzler up for a trip to the villa in france kindly paid for by dogsworth workers past and present. You all need to get around the negrotiating table and have yer heads banged together.Often brings people to there sences. FOI request- how many dogsworth middle & senior management own second homes and property abroad paid for by the tax payer. ard work?uhm
elroy

1 December 2011

Err, I don't think the Trade Unions have ever left the negotiating table. Rather it is the government who have gone walkabout. Even Wandsworth is concerned at the prospect of large numbers of low-paid staff leaving the pension scheme and making it unviable(see committee Report 11-888). If its in a Committee Report, it must be true?And the encouragement from senior management on the picket lines was overwhelming!
Philip Bradley

30 November 2011

A resounding thanks to those in Wandsworth who went on strike for the day and lost a day's pay. They have selflessly acted in the public interest and Wandsworth Council should be ashamed of themselves for not fully supporting this incredible outpouring of anger at this government consisting of twenty three millionaires and their destruction of our welfare state. It is about time Wandsworth Council and its spokespersons started acting in the national interest and applauding the actions of its staff who went on strike for all of us.
Mike Squires

30 November 2011

Wow. The wandsworth staff buck the trend again. Just leave it to us northeners to maintain your pay and service conditions again.
pete

30 November 2011

It is clear wdsworth is the Syria of local authorities. It should allow all comments before deleting those which are true and wholly appropriate. Crease me.
Mr Bird

30 November 2011

Having worked at Wndswrth in the 80's/90's I can understand why most of their staff are not striking. Wndsworth is encased in its own nutshell and will be for some time to come. It allows so called 'professional' staff to create empires and write their own job descriptions to justify the vast salaries paid. Including the senior and middle managements own. Truth is most are not striking, because they know that in the real world many would be unemployable in the private sector after years of nannyism and they would never work again if made redundant. Many of the 'administrative' staff are paid well above the rates nurses fireman teachers and police are and do not strike because they know their 'skills' are insignificant in the real world.
anonym

30 November 2011

I would like to pay tribute to those Council staff who have decided to stand up for their pension rights and go on strike today. I am sure that many more would have joined them if it were not for the current fear of losing their jobs in "slash and burn" Wandsworth.
Longtime resident

30 November 2011

About pensions? The public should know what pensions are paid to ex middle management heads of departments and service. Extraordinary and extortinate! They do not work hard that is left to the front line staff who have to deal with real problems. They sit back having meetings and retiring at 60 or before taking huge lump sums and pensions. If there is a real problem then it is farmed out to legal firms to deal with-not Wadsworth's employed. Truth is wadsworth's employees pay could be frozen for the next ten years and most would still be far ahead of private sector pay. Start to ask about the pensions paid and projected to be paid to senior staff in the next five years. It needs investigating by the press. Nepotism at wadsworth? LOL.
jezabel rioghti

30 November 2011