Adur and Worthing Councils working hard to find ways to have talks over bin strike with all concerned parties

Adur & Worthing Council were yesterday still seeking ways to bring all staff into talks and discussions aimed at halting the bin strike as it entered its third day.

The Councils were working hard to find ways that the current views of all staff at their refuse, recycle and cleansing service can he heard to find a solution to the dispute. They insist the views of all staff must be respected and heard fully.

While this dispute is ongoing Councils have thanked members of the cleansing team who are working for everything they are doing to keep our streets clean.

The Councils are also today seeking to correct misinformation circulating from various sources, about the pay deal already in place. This includes the misrepresentation of the HGV lorry drivers 12.7 per cent rise as not permanent when in fact it is proposed to add to ongoing salary.

Officers are striving to find ways to reconcile that fact that UNISON is the recognised union across all Councils' services and by law has to be consulted on pay and condition issues at the same time as respecting that many workers in the refuse service have sought alternative representation through the GMB union, which has called the strike.

It also emerged today that the first time the GMB contacted the Councils on 21st December, last year was to demand a meeting with an immediate threat of industrial action if none was held. This occured three months after a wholesale review of pay and conditions had been commenced involving all staff and UNISON. The GMB has refused nine requests for talks with Councils.

A spokesman for the Councils said:

“We were concerned from the very first communications that we received from the GMB that they were going to be difficult to deal with threats of strike before we had even understood who they were, how many they represented and even what they wanted. It ripped up the rulebook of how to conduct decent industrial relations and how to respect the fact that their sister union was already in negotiation

“Nevertheless we treat all staff the same and we value and respect all of them for the contribution they make to supplying first class services to our community. We have absolutely no interest in prolonging this dispute. Utmost in our minds also remains our residents and the need to remove this anxiety by returning their refuse collection service as soon as possible. We can only do that if all parties help to find a way through this that works for all staff and is fair to our residents.”

The spokesman added that it was important to emphasise that all staff had been given a pay rise in the first year of more than 6% on top of a national backdated pay award of 1.75%. The Councils' HGV drivers have been given pay rises of more than 12.7%. All of these proposed rises are permanent additions to salary scales and not one-offs

In total 65 members of staff have been moved up a pay grade grade and a further 40 who are required to drive HGVs regularly as part of their role will get a permanent annual £2,700 specialist skills supplement. Four more will get both the annual specialist skills supplement and be moved up a grade.


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