Strike action is on cards over the lack of split shift payments for Hackney drivers and escorts who take disabled children to and from school, Unite the union has warned.
Unite members, employed by Hackney council’s learning trust, have voted by 100 per cent for strike action over the council bosses’ refusal to discuss the split shift payment, as outlined in the National Joint Council For Local Government Services agreement.
“The dispute is about the employer’s refusal to even discuss a pay claim we have made for our 32 members to compensate them for working split shifts,” said Unite regional officer Onay Kasab. “We want the claim backdated to April 2018 and updated each year going forward.
“The drivers and escorts do the school run in the morning with the children, then return to work for the school run in the afternoon, hence the split shift.
“They are part of a national collective agreement which states that unions and employers can negotiate and agree such a payment.
“The mean-spirited refusal of the council bosses to even discuss this legitimate claim led to this unanimous vote for strike action – an indication of the depth of anger.
“This is a shot across Hackney council’s bows and we call for a constructive dialogue on this issue before we announce strike dates.
“Strikes are the last thing our dedicated members want to do because of the vulnerable group they look after, but they feel they have been forced into a corner by an authority that won’t abide by a national agreement it has signed up to.
“We strongly believe that there are workers in the same position across the country. Our aim, at Unite, is to spread the word so that we build a co-ordinated campaign for the same claim at other recalcitrant councils.”
There are more than 70 schools, nurseries and play centres in Hackney – all of which can access the service.