Latest Public Sector News

18.03.19

Birmingham bin dispute declared ‘over’ but strike action costs city council another £6m

The long-running Birmingham bin dispute appears to be over after the city council approved settlements worth £3,500 for each striking worker as it was revealed that the latest strikes have cost the council more than £5.8m.

Unite has said it considers the dispute to be over and weekly bin collections will resume from today after the terms were approved. The council’s leader stated there was now a “platform from which to collectively more forward.”

The dispute over ‘secret payments’ started in 2017 when 222 days of strike action by refuse workers from the GMB union cost the council a total of £6m.

Unite and Unison union members then went on strike at the end of December over ‘secret payments’ given to those GMB workers with the new industrial strikes demanding similar payments and complaining that some workers were being blacklisted.

Birmingham City Council approved a move in January to seek a court injunction again the union workers, which one council cabinet members called a “declaration of war.”

A judge dismissed the case, but earlier this month a new “heads of settlement agreement” was tabled and Unite’s assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said it was the first time a deal had met their expectations.

Now fully approved by the council, the deal will see the unions’ members each receive £3,500 payments although the cabinet decision could still be challenged via a ‘call-in’ application.

But a report has revealed that the latest industrial action cost the council more than £5.8m in legal costs and private contractors and opposition councillor Jon Hunt said the waste of money was “scandalous.”

The authority has said it will also commission a review on the future options for the delivery of its waste services which its leader Ian Ward said will “take a long, hard look at the service and come forward with recommendations.”

He said: “Since the start of this dispute we’ve said that a negotiated settlement was what everyone needed.

“There's been a determination this week on all sides to bring this dispute to an end and we now have a platform from which to collectively move forward.”

Image credit -  Aaron Chown/PA Wire/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >