Windsor Castle staff in favour of industrial action over pay

Windsor Castle employees have voted in favour of industrial action in a dispute over pay.

Windsor Castle-2015

Some 62 of the castle’s 76 wardens took part in the ballot, of which 84% voted for industrial action.

The dispute focuses on the role of wardens, who are often carry out duties alongside their role, which they are not paid for, including conducting tours, acting as interpreters, and first aid. 

The strike action will see these workers at Windsor Castle opting not to carry out such services.

The wardens, employed by a charitable part of the Royal Households called the Royal Collection Trust, work at the castle entrance, around the grounds and inside the palace, helping visitors and protecting artworks.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary at the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), 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.”

A spokesperson from the Royal Collection Trust 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. 

“The 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.”