Parking attendants in Wandsworth went on strike last week (March 1), as union bosses call on the council to end the "horror show" of outsourcing parking services.

Along with Westminster Council, Wandsworth council outsource parking services to private contractor NSL, despite making million in parking fines every year.

According to GMB, the union for council workers, staff are struggling to make ends meet on "some of the worst terms and conditions we've seen in local government."

GMB members on the Westminster contract do not even gain the London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour. They are not covered if they have an accident at work, and if they are sick, NSL refuse to pay them for the first three days of illness.

Although paid the London Living Wage, those on the Wandsworth contract are not covered for accidents at work and many do not get sick pay for short-term sickness.

Westminster and Wandsworth were among the top 10 councils in England recording the largest surpluses from parking operations in 2016/17, according to the RAC Foundation.

The list was topped by Westminster with surplus produced from council parking operations reaching £73.2 million and Wandsworth in 6th place with surplus of £20.5 million [1].

Paul Grafton, GMB Regional Organiser said: “These are appalling terms and conditions of employment – some of the worst we’ve seen in local government.

“It’s a scandal that eye-watering sums that could help fund local services and give dedicated workers decent terms and conditions are instead being used to line the pockets of shareholders and senior managers.”

“Both councils must put an end to the discredited, false economy of outsourcing, and move to bring services back in house and treat their workers decently.”

According to Wandsworth Council, all the money generated from parking is reinvested back into funding transport improvements and services such as taxicards for disabled residents, freedom passes for local pensioners and meeting the cost of transporting pupils to and from special schools.

An NSL spokesperson said: “NSL is honouring in full a five year payment agreement signed with the GMB last year, and we are surprised and disappointed that further strikes are being threatened as part of an additional pay claim.

"We have made a substantial offer to the GMB which would provide sick pay for all colleagues and are happy to continue meeting at ACAS. We hope to reach an amicable conclusion.”