Bin strike now on for tomorrow after talks break down

Posted On 02 Oct 2014 at 9:49 am

The planned bin strike for tomorrow is still on after drivers rejected the council’s latest proposals.

bin strikeMark Turner of the GMB union, which represents the drivers, said; “We have had a number of discussions with council officers which culminated in a proposal they put forward to attempt to avert current action.

“Unfortunately our members rejected this because the timeframes that were set by the council weren’t considered reasonable and they still have little confidence that management would meaningfully look at their job description and take into account the professional element of their driving licence.

“We have informed the council today of the position, but have clearly stated that we are willing to continue discussions to attempt to resolve the situation

“We can only apologise again for the effect this has on the public but this is not of our members making and we have been trying to resolve this for an considerable number of weeks before taking any industrial action.”

Leader of the council’s Labour group Warren Morgan said: “Residents will have run out of patience on this and we do not see that further action is justified in light of the offer from the council.

“We urge those taking action to think again and return to work, so that people across the city who have no part in this dispute can once again have their bins collected.”

A statement on Brighton and Hove City Council’s website says:  “We’re really sorry for the disruption the continuing industrial action is causing across the city.

“All crews are out on their scheduled rounds, including the communal refuse and recycling crews, There are also two spare crews out collecting refuse, who will be focussing on the Preston Park area (including Waldegrave Road) and Hanover.

“During the industrial action we are limited in our ability to provide additional resources to catch up any missed collections as the drivers continue to ‘work to rule’.

“If your collection has been missed please leave your containers out and we will catch up when we can. We are continuing discussions with the GMB union and looking at a full service redesign to ensure we meet the needs of the city and to resolve work to rule.”

The strikes are part of an ongoing row over pay and conditions which has been ongoing for almost five years.

It was sparked by a reorganisation of pay and conditions throughout the council to ensure that similarly skilled people doing roles traditionally carried out by either men or women are paid the same.

While most issues have now been resolved, the latest strikes centre on the question of how skilled the truck drivers are.

CityClean workers are also working to rule, which means a ban on overtime and no picking up rubbish not placed in bins or recycling boxes.

The strike follows months of unreliable collections, often due to trucks breaking down, which means rubbish was already piling up on the city’s streets.

  1. Baffled Reply

    I doubt anyone will notice, it is not like they have really been doing anything for over a month.

  2. feline1 Reply

    The GMB are striking cos they object to other female council employees being employed the same as their male binmen. If that’s socialism than I’m Pol Pot.

  3. feline1 Reply

    *being paid the same, I should’ve said.
    Clearly, I *AM* Pol Pot. Where’s my French pension??

  4. Sarah Lewis Reply

    We haven’t had our bins collected for three weeks now. I thought some strike action was called off so there’s no need for the rubbish to pile up the way it has in my area.

  5. feline1 Reply

    “While most issues have now been resolved, the latest strikes centre on the question of how skilled the truck drivers are.”

    This is not exactly the best way to explain it. The binmen are angered that other female employees in B&HCC now earn the same as them (having had their wages increased to make up for decades of sex discrimination).
    The binmen want to be paid more than women, but obviously this is illegal under equality legislation.
    So the binmen are demanding that their job roles be “upgraded” to a higher pay bracket, on the basis of them being “more skilled” (i.e. more skilled than WOMEN), since they have driving licenses.

    How any respectably trade union could support such blantant sexualist shenanigans is beyond me. But clearly isn’t beyond the GMB.

  6. feline1 Reply

    Sarah, they are working to rule, meaning that if rubbish has “piled up” beside a bin, they won’t pick it up, unless you go and put it in a bin. Apparently picking up litter that’s beside a bill is not within their extremely highly skilled male skill set of skills.

  7. George Coombs Reply

    I felt the strike would go ahead, I amsure I amnot alone in detecting any vestige of confidence in the way the local council does what it does-the bin men must fight all the way and never give upuntil they have all theier needs met

  8. Trev the Rev Reply

    Why can’t the blokes be sacked and ‘women drivers’ drive the refuse trucks. Managers (or is it ‘person’agers) should be allowed to manage! Lead for goodness sake.

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