Laura Sharman 07 February 2019

Union seeks injunction against Birmingham in long-running bin dispute

Union seeks injunction against Birmingham in long-running bin dispute image

Unite is taking high court legal action against Birmingham City Council for operating refuse vehicles without safety critical role.

The union claims the council is sending out bin wagons without the safety critical grade three leading hands who operate at the rear of bin wagons.

The move comes after more than 300 refuse workers announced they will begin two days of strike action a week in an escalation of the ongoing industrial dispute.

Unite assistant general secretary, Howard Beckett, said: ‘At the heart of that dispute in 2017 was the safety critical role of the grade three leading hands at the back of bin wagons. They perform a crucial role ensuring the safety of the public and fellow workers alike around the rear of bin wagons.

‘This status was cemented in the legally binding agreement which brought that dispute to an end in 2017. That the council is now seeking to unpick it, while trying to defend the blacklisting of workers who took strike action to protect that role, is reprehensible and we believe unlawful.’

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: 'We once again entirely refute the latest misleading claims made by Unite.

'The Leading Hand role no longer exists. By agreement with Unite and with the backing of a Court Order in November 2017, it was replaced with the Waste Reduction Collection Officer role, which went operational in September 2018.

'Due to the industrial action instigated by Unite, we have had to introduce a contingency plan featuring the use of contractors (their own staff, fuel and vehicles) in order to continue to provide a waste service to the residents, visitors and businesses of Birmingham. This falls outside the remit of the agreement reached to end the 2017 dispute.

'Therefore the latest claims made by Unite are again simply without merit.

'We have made a reasonable offer to Unite to settle current litigation within a range between £2,000 to £3,000 for eligible claimants which has not been accepted by Unite’s leadership on behalf of its members and we would urge their leadership to get around the table with us at Acas as a matter of urgency so we can finally get back to providing the level of service that citizens expect and deserve.'

Vicarious liability image

Vicarious liability

Helen Snow, senior associate in the employment team at Geldards LLP, looks at how to mitigate against the rogue employee.
Highways jobs

Local Land Charges Information Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£37,717 - £44,373
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Planning and Transport Strategy service for a forward thinking and innovative... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Food Safety Senior Practitioner WCC10715

Westminster City Council
£46,293 - £64,656 per annum
As our professional and technical expert in this complex arena, this is a unique opportunity to make your mark on the capabilities of the team. City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Casual Lifeguard

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 3 - £9.29 per hour
It's exciting times at Riverside Leisure Centre with a brand new centre set to open in Spring 2019 and we need you to get on board and help us make... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Director of Operations (Assistant Director for Children’s Social Care)

Slough Children's Services Trust
circa £100k p.a.
As a qualified social worker, you will have significant experience of managing statutory social work delivery at a senior level. Slough, Berkshire
Recuriter: Slough Children's Services Trust

Deputy Director Children’s Social Care

City of Bradford MDC
£96,603 - £102,287
Our new Deputy Director will play a pivotal role in leading the department through a major improvement journey.  Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The March issue of Local Government News explores alternative funding channels that are available to councils beyond the Public Works Loan Board, what hurdles merging councils face in coming together, and how local government is handling GDPR.

This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

Register for your free magazine