Bin strike called off, say Council

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THE COUNCIL have said a strike by bin men in the capital has been averted following last-minute negotiations.

The discussions with council leader Jenny Dawe have resulted in Unite agreeing to recommend that members call off strike action.

This will also mean an end to the 'work-to-rule' protest by bin men which has led to rubbish piling up on the streets and forced the council to call in private contractors to clean-up some of the worst affected areas.

The protest had been launched over a proposed new pay system which they feared could see their earnings cut from 18,000 to 12,000.

In a statement released this evening, Council Leader Jenny Dawe said: "I am very pleased to report that today's negotiations have resulted in Unite agreeing to recommend to their members that the current action should be called off.

"Today's meeting was a follow-on to last week's constructive meeting between the Administration, Unite and Unison. Management repeated the offer that would prevent most staff from losing significant amounts of money in return for the modernisation of the service - including new flexible working arrangements and the end to the reliance on overtime."

The council said Unite had agreed to recommend to their members that the current unofficial action be called off and normal working resumed.

Unite also undertook to recommend to their members that the ballot result would not be acted upon, provided that the current constructive negotiations continue.

Unite will meet with its membership on Wednesday and Thursday this week and both sides expect normal working to be resumed from Friday.

Cllr Dawe added: "I am sure that residents and visitors alike have seen the visible difference that our contingency measures are making. We now look forward to our staff getting back to normal working and the city returning to its usual beauty."