Glasgow parking enforcement staff are staging strike action which could disrupt a major cycling event in the city.
GMB union members in Glasgow City Council parking services will begin two days of strikes on Thursday after rejecting a 5.5% pay increase from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla).
Staff will walk out for two days as the UCI Cycling World Championship begins.
The strike could mean parked cars block the route of road races while events at Glasgow’s velodrome may be affected.
The GMB claims staff have been pushed to “breaking point”, with the parking enforcement service understaffed and overstretched.
The union said morale is low and the condition of the city’s roads is putting more pressure on workers.
Staff will rally in the city centre at 12pm on Thursday and they are expected to speak about abuse from drivers who have parked illegally as road markings and signs have fallen into disrepair.
The union criticised Glasgow City Council, saying roads are in a poor condition and drivers are becoming more frustrated after repairs were ordered along race routes for the cycling championships.
Sean Baillie, GMB Scotland organiser, said: “Drivers and pedestrians in Glasgow deserve to know why roads can be repaired for a cycle race but not for the people using them every day of the year.
“It is our members who suffer the consequences of that and must endure the anger of drivers frustrated by dilapidated roads and faded markings.
“The willingness of our members to strike is absolutely no surprise. They have tried and tried again to encourage the city council to deliver fair pay and protect Glasgow’s infrastructure but been ignored.
“The pay offer to council staff is lower than last year despite the cost of living rising and is below that offered to local authorities in England and Wales. Our members want their work to be fairly valued but want their city to be valued too.”
Glasgow City Council refuted the union’s claim that roadworks were ordered for the race route as “categorically untrue” – and said the union is “well aware” of this.
The council said the repairs may coincide with some of the race routes, and that repair budgets were doubled to £12m this year due to the especially cold winter.
A council spokesperson said: “Pay negotiations are carried out nationally, through Cosla – not individual authorities.
“However, the council’s political leadership has made it clear it supports, as it did last year, a strong settlement that delivers for our staff and also public services.
“We are working with partners to manage the impact of industrial action on the UCI Cycling World Championship.”
The strike by Glasgow parking staff on Thursday and Friday comes days after GMB members working in schools and early years education across ten of Scotland’s local authorities voted to take strike action in the new term in support of a fair offer on pay.
Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland senior organiser in public services, said: “Whether it is our members voting to strike in schools or those in parking taking action today, council staff are sick of being overworked and undervalued.”
“It is time for political leaders to show some leadership and deliver a fair pay offer for these crucial workers.”
A COSLA Spokesperson said: “The reality of the situation is that as employers, council leaders have made a strong offer to the workforce. A strong offer which clearly illustrates the value Councils place on their workforce, and it compares well to other sectors. It recognises the cost-of-living pressures on our workforce and critically, it seeks to protect jobs and services.
“While the offer value in year is 5.5%, the average uplift on salaries going into the next financial year is 7%. Those on the Scottish Local Government Living Wage would get 9.12% and those at higher grades, where Councils are experiencing severe recruitment challenges, would see 6.05%.
“It is an offer which recognises both the vital role of the people who deliver our essential services across Councils every day and the value that we, as employers, place on them. Crucially, it also raises the Scottish Local Government Living Wage by 99p to £11.84 per hour and sets out a commitment to work with our Trade Unions to develop a road map to £15 per hour in a way that protects our workforce and services we deliver.”