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Refuse workers start new roles after strikes

Refuse workers in Birmingham have started on new shift patterns as part of a deal with unions to end a lengthy industrial dispute between the council and employees.

A series of strikes was called by unions after Birmingham City Council issued more than 100 redundancy notices last year.

A deal was then reached between Unite and the council to save the jobs and start workers in new recycling officer roles under a different working pattern.

The workers will be on bin lorries and help to educate the public about recycling, and will receive the same level of pay.

All workers will revert to a five-day week, swapping nine-hour shifts spread over four days to seven-and-a-half hour shifts over five days. 

The change should save £3m a year because the council will rely less on agency staff and paying overtime.

Majid Mahmood, cabinet member for clean streets, waste and recycling, said the changes will still see the council collect 99.98% of bins from 360,000 addresses each week.

He added: “Throughout the summer, we have been working in close partnership with our trades union colleagues to implement the agreement made in 2017.

“This agreement will lead to a more modern, effective and efficient waste collection service in Birmingham, and ensure that we will collectively deliver on the number one priority for Birmingham’s residents and businesses: clean streets.”

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