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Council refuses to join collection pay dispute

A council has refused to join discussions between its waste contractor and a union over a pay dispute involving collection teams.

Members of the GMB union employed by Kier Environmental in North Norfolk plan to strike from 24 October after rejecting the company’s latest pay offer.

The union said the offer made on 6 October was an improvement but still fell short of its expectation.

Regional officer Ivan Mercer said the union’s members wanted pay parity with refuse workers employed by Kier in nearby Kings Lynn.

He said: “Members do the same difficult job as their colleagues in Kings Lynn, working long hours in all weather, but they receive a significantly lower rate of pay.

“I urge North Norfolk District Council to become involved in discussions now with the GMB and Kier to bring this dispute to a conclusion.”

But council leader Tom FitzPatrick (pictured) said industrial relations were Kier’s responsibility.

He said: “We will work closely with the contractor to minimise disruption to services. Our job is to ensure the service provided to our communities remains as unaffected as possible.

“We haven’t yet had the programme of action, and will endeavour to inform the public of any impact on the service as and when we understand what that will be.”

Commenting before the latest offer, Kier managing director Julian Tranter said he was surprised by the strike call because pay was set by the public sector standard known as the National Joint Council Agreement.

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