Bin strikes averted as union strikes deal with waste firm

By Michael Upton | 22/08/2017

Bin strikes averted as union strikes deal with waste firm

PLANNED strikes by dustmen in Doncaster which were due to begin tomorrow have been called off after a last minute pay offer was agreed.
 
But officials from trade union Unite warned that further industrial action was likely if an agreement is not reached with the private contractor Suez over proposals to make over 100 of the 250 strong workforce redundant.
 
The workforce will receive a two per cent increase backdated to April 2017 and a further 2.7 per cent increase from September 2017. 

Workers will see their pay further boosted with an additional 2.7 per cent increase earmarked for March 2018 brought forward and paid from September 2017. 
 
The overall pay increase means that workers will be on average £1 an hour better off. 

It was further agreed that during the lifetime of the contract the workforce will receive an annual pay increase equal to RPIx.
 
The redundancies are linked to a new refuse and recycling contract tendered by Doncaster Council, which is due to begin in April 2018. 

Unite said it was determined to minimise job losses and an “absolute red line” for the union was that Suez removed the threat to make workers compulsorily redundant. 

Strike action had been scheduled to begin tomorrow and run until Sunday, with another walkout planned from September 2 to 6.
 
Talks will begin at arbitration service Acas on Friday to allow for detailed negotiations to take place to discuss the new Doncaster refuse contract which will include “different collection methodologies, frequencies and collection crews”. 
 
Unite regional officer, Shane Sweeting, said: “This deal has dramatically improved the wages of our members and means many of them are being paid above poverty pay rates for the first time.
 
“Residents of Doncaster will be relieved that their refuse collection will not be seriously disrupted by strike action this week. 
 
“However until Suez withdraws the threat to make over 100 refuse workers compulsorily redundant the possibility of industrial action this autumn remains very much on the table.”
 
Nick Browning, of Suez, said: “In addition to securing a pay award for 2017, the long-term deal also sets in place a sustainable pay mechanism for up to ten years — linked to the cost of living.

“We would like to thank the residents of Doncaster for their patience and understanding while these negotiations have been ongoing.”



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