Park Rangers £250,000 Pay Backlog

Ealing council staff owed thousands despite being told cash set aside

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Park rangers owed around £250,000 following a wage review should be paid immediately according to a local councillor.

The role of the rangers, who care for the our local parks, open spaces and nature conservation areas, was due to be re-evaluated in 2003 but this didn't happen until 2007.

Following the review their grades went up by two pay scales - effective from May last year - but many are still waiting for the back-pay.

Easily identifiable by their green fleeces and purple top, the rangers spend about half their time patrolling local parks including Acton Green Common and Southfield Park. They check play equipment, park furniture and landscaping so any problems can be dealt with quickly. The rangers also deal with incidences where by-laws may have been broken.

Around 20 staff are owed money by Ealing despite being told cash is set aside. Council chiefs have been accused of delaying. Former ranger Steven Byrne is owed about £16,000 and was quoted in the Evening Standard as being "disgusted".

Council leader Jason Stacey claimed Unison, the rangers' union, blocked a deal because of a dispute over school staff also having pay re-evaluated. Unison said it was "legally obliged" to meet a collective agreement for all members.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Jon Ball, says the Council must pay up now, "It is not good enough for Cllr Stacey to blame the Union. The Council should unilaterally pay the Rangers the back-pay they are entitled to as a result of the re-evaluation process. Our Park Rangers do great work for the community and are on relatively low wages. They deserve to be treated fairly by the Council."

November 17, 2009