Mark Whitehead 18 March 2019

Birmingham council and union ‘welcome’ end to refuse dispute

Birmingham council and union ‘welcome’ end to refuse dispute image

Refuse collectors who took part in a series of strikes in Birmingham are to be given £3,500 each in a settlement which both sides say has ended the long-running dispute.

Unite the Union claimed its members had been discriminated against when it was discovered that workers in another union who did not take part in a strike last year had been given payments.

The council has now also agreed it will stop using crews that do not meet the union's demand for full staffing and will hold a recruitment day so that agency staff will be able to apply for full-time positions.

It will also commission a review of the 'future options for delivery of the waste service'.

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett welcomed the 'excellent' settlement: 'Unite has been consistent from the beginning of the dispute that our members were simply seeking parity, with the payments that workers who did not take part in the 2017 dispute, subsequently received.

'Once that principle was understood the dispute could be resolved.'

Council leader Ian Ward said: 'Everyone involved has always had the same aim – to deliver the best possible service for citizens, as clean streets have consistently been named as the number one priority for the people of Birmingham.

'We all know the service needs to be better than it has been. This settlement will enable us to lay the foundations for improvement.'

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