Councils call for staff to accept good pay deal and prevent bin strike misery for residents

Released: Friday, 11 March 2022

Adur & Worthing Councils is today (Friday 11th March 2022) urging members of its refuse, recycling and cleansing staff to abandon strike action being pushed by the GMB union that will cause misery for residents.

The GMB has persuaded its members to strike on Monday (14th March 2022) despite Adur & Worthing Councils having given staff at the depot pay rises of more than 6% on top of a national backdated pay award of 1.75%. The Councils' HGV drivers have been given pay rises of more than 12.7%.

The pay rises follow a review involving the recognised union, UNISON, which found that staff were already receiving base pay that was comparable to local authorities.

The GMB has said it wants larger pay rises than those announced, and continues to claim that the Councils will not speak to its representatives. In fact, it is the GMB that refuses to talk to the Councils about its concerns.

The Councils are currently working on contingency plans, but the extent of the disruption will not become clear until Monday morning. In the meantime the Councils have produced a section on their website which will attempt to answer all questions residents might have and give daily updates. Their social media platforms will also be updated daily.

An Adur & Worthing Councils spokesman said:

“From today, Adur and Worthing residents will suffer because of a decision by the GMB which we believe to be completely unjustified.

“The pay rises we have negotiated with staff and UNISON are a good deal for our workers but the GMB appears to want nothing to do with them because it wasn't involved in the negotiations. The GMB continues to claim that we are ignoring it, but this could not be further from the truth.

“The offer on the table, already accepted by most staff, is better than one negotiated and accepted by the GMB recently at another local authority. It might seem that the strike action is about the GMB trying to push UNISON out of the service - not about getting a good deal for its members - and we hope that common sense can still prevail.”

In October last year Adur & Worthing Councils commenced an internal review into the pay of 109 members of staff in its refuse, recycling and cleansing department. As a result of the review, 65 members of staff have been moved up a grade and a further 40 who are required to drive HGVs regularly as part of their role will get a permanent annual £2,700 specialist skills supplement. Four more will get both the annual specialist skills supplement and be moved up a grade.

Additionally, Adur & Worthing Councils' review is continuing, including work to rebalance refuse and recycling rounds to deal with the demands of new housing. Staff are being offered the opportunity to gain an HGV driving qualification while there will also continue to be discussions about ways to improve the working environment.

See also:

PR - Waste truck in Shoreham

(PR22-055)

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Page last updated: 25 November 2022

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