Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Birmingham bin strike put on hold

The Unite union has agreed to suspend industrial action by refuse collection workers in Birmingham after holding talks with the local authority at conciliation service Acas.

In June, the union voted to conduct a series of walkouts in a dispute over plans to change working patterns and job descriptions.

After meeting with Acas, Birmingham City Council appears to have made concessions over retaining a bin crew job grade. Unite has also “agreed in principle to recommend to their members work pattern changes, including consideration of a five-day working week”, according to Acas.

Residents will be relieved that collections are to be restarted as the increasingly fraught situation saw piles of rubbish grow around the city.

Both sides will now hold further talks at Acas to work out details of future collections services in the city.

A statement from Acas read: “These discussions will be with the intention of incorporating any agreement as an amendment to the [council’s] Waste Management Service Cabinet Report in September 2017.

“Both parties are pleased to be recommencing industrial relations and pleased that the bin collection can resume without disruption.”

Unite claimed victory in the dispute. It said the council would restore grade 3 jobs, which are responsible for the safety at the rear of refuse collection vehicles (RCVs).

Assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “I know this news will be greatly welcomed by the people of Birmingham as they look forward to their bins being collected again on a regular and seamless basis. I would like to thank them for their understanding over recent weeks.

”The council has addressed our members’ concerns, including the safeguarding of the grade 3 post that is vital to the safety at the rear of the RCVs.”

The current round of strikes was due to cease on 21 September, but on 11 August Unite warned the action could continue until Christmas.

Lisa Trickett, cabinet member for clean streets, recycling and environment, wrote an open letter to residents detailing an offer made to Unite to resolve the situation at Acas.

She also outlined a “dispute recover plan”, outlining efforts to get collections going at every ward in the city at least once during the next three weeks.

Readers' comments (1)

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.