Mark Conrad 14 August 2017

Birmingham bin strike could last until Christmas, union warns

Birmingham City Council has publicly apologised to residents affected by an ongoing bin strike which could last until December.

The trade union at the centre of the long-running dispute over proposed new working practises, Unite, is poised to seek fresh approval for further strikes by its members, which could mean a continuation of industrial action until Christmas.

Birmingham has offered to take the dispute to the arbitration service, ACAS, in a bid to resolve the issue.

The city has been disrupted by Unite’s strike action for weeks and in some areas rubbish has been piling up on the streets, although the council has implemented an emergency three-week collection plan to tackle mounting problems.

In an open letter to Birmingham’s residents, Cllr Lisa Trickett, Birmingham’s cabinet member for clean streets, recycling and environment, said: ‘We apologise to the people of Birmingham for this situation and we will continue to talk with our trade union colleagues in a bid to try to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.’

‘Despite the huge challenge posed by the industrial action, we have made great progress in tackling the backlog of missed collections.

‘Lessons have been learnt through this contingency process that will be put into place if the dispute continues.

‘It hasn’t been easy and I know your patience has been tested.

‘We are fully aware this is one of the few genuinely universal services we provide so one missed collection is one missed collection too many.’

But Unite’s assistant general secretary, Howard Beckett, warned the dispute could continue for months unless the two sides reach an agreement.

‘We continue to hold talks with the council, but progress has been slow and we would call on the council to now step up and conclude this urgently,’ he said.

‘In the absence of a settlement, we will be balloting our members from August 17 on whether they wish to take strike action and/or industrial action short of a strike after the current industrial action comes to an end in September.

‘The current round of industrial action is due to end on September 21 and a renewed industrial action mandate could see this dispute continuing up to Christmas.’

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Travel Information Data Technician

Essex County Council
Up to £25581 per annum
This is an exciting opportunity to work across all aspects of the Integrated Passenger Transport Unit (IPTU). Working with a passionate and dedicated England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Planning Strategy & Implementation Manager

Essex County Council
£57621 - £61410 per annum
Planning Strategy & Implementation Manager Permanent, Full Time £57,621 to £61,410 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Accountant

Telford & Wrekin Council
£39,571 - £42,614
Are you a qualified Accountant looking to take the next step in your career? Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Family Assessment Worker

Telford & Wrekin Council
£25,419 to £27,514
We have a great opportunity for a full time Family Assessment Worker in the Parenting Assessment Team. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Neighbourhood Enforcement Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£23,023 - £24,920
The post holder will tackle environmental crimes and unlawful parking. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.