Mark Whitehead 01 September 2017

Birmingham bin strike to resume after council issues redundancy notices

Birmingham bin strike to resume after council issues redundancy notices image

Bin workers in Birmingham are back on strike today after an agreement reached with the city council appeared to fall apart.

A seven-week stoppage that saw waste piling up on the streets was suspended two weeks ago while talks took place between the Unite union and the city council.

But the council now says the deal struck by the two sides was unaffordable and has issued redundancy notices to some grade three workers 'in order to protect its legal and financial position'.

Unite warned that the council's actions had 'made it a certainty that the people of Birmingham will suffer this chaos and disruption and rubbish on their streets for the rest of 2017'.

In a statement the council said it wanted to continue discussions with the unions through the conciliation service ACAS while seeking alternative jobs for the workers affected by redundancy.

It said the 'grade 3 leading hands' who were being made redundant were being offered alternative posts at the same level and at the same salary in other parts of the council.

Council leader Cllr John Clancy said: 'The new waste collection system we are introducing will provide a better, more efficient service for citizens and will enable the service to be run within budget.

'We will be creating more than 200 new refuse collection jobs for loaders. These will be full-time, offering a range of benefits, including pension entitlement and sick pay and will replace expensive agency contracts which do not include these benefits.'

In a private report to cabinet members, seen by The MJ, the officers highlighted eight areas in which they believed the authority would be vulnerable to legal action if it protected the predominantly-male Leading Hands posts.

One year on, councils will be central to recovery image

One year on, councils will be central to recovery

After an extraordinary year, council staff are exhausted, worn down and facing further cuts, says Heather Jameson. But she has no doubt they will continue to rise to the challenge 'whether it is in an office, at home or on a laptop anywhere'.
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