Highways agency staff this week began a campaign of industrial action over pay.
Over 1,500 members of the PCS and Prospect civil service workers’ unions are working to contract for up to ten weeks. The action will progressively slow down and disrupt the agency’s work on planning and implementing new road schemes, billing and meetings with contractors.
The workers rejected a pay offer for 2005 which would mean a pay cut for the most experienced staff.
The agency is based in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bedford, Bristol, Dorking, London and Exeter, together with seven traffic regional control centres and their out-stations.
Staff taking action include civil engineers, bridge engineers, environmentalists, traffic management officers and staff employed on finance and procurement.
Over 20,000 civil service workers in Northern Ireland are being balloted by their Nipsa union for an all-out strike over pay.
The balloting covers all Northern Ireland government departments. Northern Ireland minister Peter Hain imposed a pay award before Christmas which had already been rejected by the union’s members.
Nipsa says it adds up to just 0.2 percent for the majority of civil servants.The ballot closes on 30 January.