Environment Agency workers announce a four-day strike as workers reject the 2 percent wage offer
Environment Agency workers announce a four-day strike as staff working on water pollution, flooding, fires and fly-tipping reject a 2 percent pay offer
- The strike will last from 7pm on Friday April 14th to 7am on Monday April 17th
Thousands of UNISON Environment Agency workers in England are expected to be the last public body workers to go on strike for four days this month blame for government inaction for endangering communities, water bodies and wildlife.
According to UNISON, the strike action was necessitated by the government’s refusal to invite unions to wage negotiations – despite months of strikes and other actions that have seen workers withdraw from being “on call” to respond to incidents.
The strike action means workers working on coastal defences, protecting communities from floods, fighting water pollution, garbage fires and fly tipping will all leave their posts permanently.
You will not work from 7:00 p.m. next Friday (April 14) until 7:00 a.m. Monday morning (April 17).
The importance of the Environment Agency’s work was only made clear last month when hundreds of workers were involved in the cleanup of the Poole Harbor oil spill.
After a leak in a pipeline at the Wytch Farm oil field spilled 200 barrels of reservoir fluid into the port, Taff worked tirelessly to clean up the affected area and contain the spill.
The scene of the oil spill, where Environment Agency officials helped oil workers clean up the residue
Workers in a field during clean up operations at Ower Bay in Poole Harbor in Dorset
But Unison said “endemic” low wages mean the Environment Agency (EA) is struggling to retain experienced staff and hire new staff.
The longer the government sticks to its “do nothing” approach to staffing issues, the worse the situation, the union said.
Unison said the government’s refusal to allow the agency to improve a 2% plus £345 pay rise granted to staff in the autumn means workers have no choice but to strike again “reluctantly”.
In the event of danger to life and limb, emergency cover for life and limb has been agreed.
Unison’s environmental director, Donna Rowe-Merriman, said: “Every community in England needs these experienced workers to protect their local environment.
“All talk and very little action best describes the government’s approach to environmental policy.
“Announcements come and go but not much is happening to clean up England’s seas, rivers, lakes and canals.
“That needs to change. The government needs a well-staffed environmental agency if natural habitats and water sources are to be protected.
“But with too few experts on its books, there’s no way the agency can punish polluters and keep everyone safe.
“Therese Coffey (Environment Secretary) should stop ignoring the plight of these invaluable workers and start addressing the growing staffing issues at the Environment Agency.
“Hourly rates are so low that some employees had to get an emergency pay rise earlier in the week or their employer would have breached minimum wage laws.
“It’s time the government called in employers and unions to settle this damaging dispute once and for all.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11940967/Environment-Agency-workers-announce-four-day-strike-staff-turn-2-cent-pay-offer.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Environment Agency workers announce a four-day strike as workers reject the 2 percent wage offer