Council investigating harrassment complaint on picket line during traffic warden strike (From York Press)
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City of York Council investigating harrassment complaint on picket line during traffic warden strike
COUNCIL bosses are investigating allegations of bullying and harrassment on the picket lines during York’s traffic warden strike.
UNISON says its members received letters from City of York Council suggesting disciplinary action was being taken against staff who had been on the lines, and also that the matter was being referred to the police.
But Melanie Onn, the union’s regional organiser, said she was not aware of any incidents of bullying or harrassment during the seven day strike in July. She said she had visited several picket lines during the week and found only an amicable atmosphere, with, for example, strikers chatting to passersby.
She said the dispute over shift changes which sparked the strike and still involves members working to rule, was close to being resolved.
Talks had been held with ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) earlier this month and further negotiations were also held between the union and council last Thursday.
Charlie Croft, the authority’s assistant director of communities, culture and public realm, said: “An internal complaint has been made which the council is currently investigating.”
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman was unable to comment on any involvement by the force in the issue.
The strike was staged amid union claims that a council decision to switch members in its environmental enforcement and parking services section from a four-day to a five-day week to cut costs would place “even more strain” on employees.
The union claimed then that the move would lead to sickness and stress levels rising, and would “damage” the service, and it did not believe the changes would save money.
But the council said then it was “extremely disappointed” the strike was taking place and hoped to resolve the matter as swiftly as possible, adding that the change would enable it to run an effective and full service across the city, had not been taken lightly and took into consideration best practice models elsewhere.