UNISON members at the Environment Agency (EA) have announced further strike action. They are due to walk out from 7pm on 14 April to 7am on 17 April.
EA workers have been taking last resort industrial action since December 2022, after the organisation failed to offer a fair pay rise in the face of soaring household bills and inflation.
They staged a 12-hour walkout in February, picketing the EA’s head offices in London. And in the past two weeks they have stopped attending incidents at weekends, including floods, water pollution, spills, waste fires and fly-tipping.
With no signs of negotiation from EA management, workers have been forced to escalate their protest, with strike action now planned for 14-17 April.
From April, the lowest pay rate at the EA (£9.53 per hour) will fall below the new national living wage of £10.24 per hour, meaning the agency would have to increase rates if it is to meet minimum legal standards.
EA workers have seen pay fall since 2011, with the result that the union believes they are effectively working one day a week for free. A UNISON survey has revealed that some EA workers are now relying on food banks.
Donna Rowe-Merriman, UNISON’s national secretary for business, community and environment, said: “Environment Agency workers deserve better. They deserve better from their employer and better from a government that has the ability to come to the table to negotiate an improved settlement for some of the lowest paid public sector workers.
“If they don’t take action, our members will.”
The article EA members announce new strike dates as pay falls below minimum wage first appeared on the UNISON National site.