Queen's Windsor Castle staff vote for industrial action

Windsor Castle Image copyright david stanley
Image caption Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world

Staff at Windsor Castle have voted in favour of industrial action over unpaid "extra duties".

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union voted 84% in favour of action short of a strike.

The union said the 76 wardens involved in the dispute carried out extra duties such as giving tours of the castle to fee-paying visitors, without pay.

The Royal Collection Trust said the additional activities had never been compulsory.

'Living wage'

A trust spokesman said: "Following the union ballot, we have been informed that some PCS-affiliated wardens at Windsor Castle will no longer participate in various activities undertaken during their working day, including using their language and first-aid skills, and conducting tours of specific areas of the castle during August and September.

"These activities have never been compulsory. It has always been the choice of the individual as to whether they take part. While the outcome of the ballot is disappointing, it will have no effect on services to visitors to the castle.

"Royal Collection Trust has, since last year, been exploring ways to achieve an agreed level of pay for all warden staff.

"Conversations that are part of the annual pay review process are still ongoing and an offer to expand the salary scale for a warden, starting at the regional living wage of £14,695 for new joiners - based upon an average 36-hour working week, has been put to PCS and other unions."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The industrial action could start from the end of April, the union said

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "These loyal workers are the public face of Windsor Castle and with this vote their message to their employer is loud and clear.

"Staff should be properly rewarded for their commitment to ensuring visitors from around the world can fully enjoy their time at the castle."

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