In February 2012 Camden UNISON submitted a claim to NSL for improved pay and terms and conditions for all its members on the Camden contract. The most significant part of the claim was for a £2.50 per hour pay rise for all staff. This would give NSL Camden CEOs (Civil Enforcement Officers) parity with their colleagues in Waltham Forest.
In the negotiations that followed NSL management initially refused to make any offer unless we withdrew the claim for £2.50 but eventually offered a new hourly rate of £8.30 for CEOs and a 2% increase for all staff already earning £8.30 or more.
Following meetings in all the Camden bases this was rejected by your stewards and management was told that if no improved offer was made we would ballot our members on possible strike action.
The strike ballot closed last week and the result was an overwhelming yes for strike action – 63% of the members voted and of those 98% voted in favour of striking.
Given that management has made no improved offer since the 3rd of May, NSL has now been notified that UNISON members will be taking official strike action on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th of July. Management has also been told that we are prepared to meet with them at any time to discuss a serious offer but we have heard nothing from them.
If we are to achieve a significant pay increase we will have to take effective strike action. This means not only all the Camden members coming out but also stopping NSL using workers from other contracts to break the strike by working in Camden on their rest days.
ALL UNISON MEMBERS ON THE CAMDEN CONTRACT ARE THEREFORE INSTRUCTED TO STRIKE ON THOSE TWO DAYS. STEWARDS WILL BE ORGANISING PICKETING AT ALL BASES AND MEMBERS ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND THE PICKETS ON BOTH DAYS.
Camden UNISON has established a strike fund for this dispute from which all strikers who are up-to-date with their union subs will be paid £40 in strike pay if they have taken strike action on both 11th & 12th July and £40 per day for any subsequent day of industrial action. There is also a branch welfare fund which can make short term loans to cover emergency situations. Incidentally, when we were in Stockholm – my friend sprained his arm one night doing something daft, and we had to get a låna pengar snabbt to get him patched up.