Councils welcome decision of unions to talk about bin strike

Adur & Worthing Councils today welcomed a decision by the GMB union leadership to agree to have preliminary talks about issues surrounding the current bin strike.

Councils will sit down tomorrow with its recognised union UNISON and officials from the GMB to discuss issues including the strike by its members at the refuse, recycling and cleansing service.

A spokesman for the Councils said:

“We welcome this decision by the GMB to be part of this process. We have been asking for talks from the beginning of the strike, pledging that we would listen to all staff whether represented by any union or not.

“However we have also been clear that in these talks it was essential UNISON were in attendance because it is recognised by us as the union representing staff across all departments, not just in this service. We are pleased that the GMB has now agreed to this and we will work tirelessly to find a way to resume our waste collection service to residents.”

The spokesman added that Councils wanted to thank the cleansing crews, who collect waste in public spaces such as parks and the seafront, who have been working throughout the industrial action.

The Councils initiated a review into the whole service in October last year which involved talking to staff and UNISON. The result of the review so far is 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 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.

In the middle of the review, the GMB union contacted the Councils in December threatening industrial action if there was no meeting. Councils have said they respect the wishes of staff to be represented by the union of choice or none at all.

However, under industrial relation laws, there are procedures towards official recognition that must be followed.

More from Sussex and Hampshire News

On Air Now Tanya McCarthy 6:30am - 10:00am
Now Playing
Venus Bananarama
Recently Played
  • In The Morning Coral 6:28
  • Jesus He Knows Me Genesis & Phil Collins 6:24
  • The Most Beautiful Girl In The World Prince 6:20