07 January 2022

Refuse workers due ‘significant’ pay rises, union says

Refuse workers due ‘significant’ pay rises, union says image

Refuse workers are due ‘significant’ pay rises, the union GMB says as councils across the UK face bin strikes.

Andy Prendergast, GMB national secretary, has said that because of the pandemic and the HGV driver shortage, refuse workers are now ‘realising their worth’.

Refuse collection workers have taken industrial action in a number of local authority areas, including Brighton, Coventry, and Plymouth.

Plymouth Council recently agreed to give HGV drivers a pay increase by regrading their jobs.

Mr Prendergast warned that the pay of refuse workers has not been keeping up with inflation and that better pay and conditions ‘are long overdue’.

‘We saw during the pandemic the heightened importance of the sector, and we think that needs to be reflected in significantly better pay conditions,’ he said.

He continued: ‘This is being further highlighted by the HGV driver shortage. Refuse crew workers are now realising their worth, having seen some of the higher paid roles elsewhere.

‘From our point of view, refuse crews are underpaid and are an essential service. Councils and waste management companies have to realise this.’

Mr Prendergast said that GMB members had been hit by inflation, rising prices and a higher cost of living.

‘Frankly, we don't care who pays. We would rather it comes out of the profits of the companies involved in these collection contracts, but we have to look at the system of privatisation. If the margins aren't great on contracts, then it should be built into all future deals to have better pay and conditions for staff,’ he said.

‘We feel the public purse may have got these services on the cheap, and the privatisation system has simply moved money from better pay and conditions and into the hands of private companies.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

DLO Joiner/ Carpenter

Lambeth Council
£32,301 per annum
We offer a challenging, yet exciting opportunity to work within a brand new Direct Delivery service carrying... Lambeth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lambeth Council

Interim Change Project Officer

Lambeth Council
£35,067 inclusive LW
We are looking for a pro-active, dynamic and resilient individual with relevant skills and experiences to support management in... Lambeth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lambeth Council

Parking & Licensing Officer

Lambeth Council
£29,544 - £30,618 per annum
Are you a creative thinker who can deliver the best possible service to our citizens? Lambeth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lambeth Council

Covid Warden

Lambeth Council
£32,301 - £33,474 per annum
We have an exciting opportunity for  individuals who are passionate about their community. Lambeth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lambeth Council

Planner (Policy)

Lambeth Council
£34,689 – £37,491
This is an exciting opportunity to join Lambeth’s Policy and Place-shaping team and support the Council’s ambitious Planning service as... Lambeth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lambeth Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue