Latest Public Sector News

11.03.19

‘Breakthrough’ deal tabled between union and council in Birmingham bin strikes

Birmingham’s long-standing bin strike has been called off after unions said a new agreement had been tabled with the city council that for the first time meets their expectations.

Unite said it had cancelled its strike action, which first began back in 2017, to allow Birmingham City Council’s cabinet to discuss the proposed offer.

Unison and Unite union members went on strike late last year over payments given to refuse workers who were members of a different union, GMB, with claims of secret payments and black listing of workers.

The original GMB strikes in 2017 cost the city council an extra £300,000 a week in order to clear the backlog of rubbish and, after 222 days of strikes, cost the authority a total of £6m.

Birmingham City Council also approved a move to seek a court injunction against the Unite and Unison strikes, sparking one council cabinet member say it was a “declaration of war,” but a judge dismissed the case.

Now a new ‘heads of settlement agreement’ has been drawn up between Unite and the local authority, which will see the workers receive £3,500 payments and end the dispute.

The new offer will be subject to formal approval at another cabinet meeting on 15 March, with similar terms expected to be agreed with Unison before then.

The council said waste collection would go back to normal the week after next, and that the new deal will result in the withdrawal of all litigation and all industrial disputes with an additional independent review also being commissioned.

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “The heads of settlement is a real breakthrough in negotiations.

“For the first time, there is a deal on the table which meets Unite’s members’ expectations, it is now imperative that Birmingham council’s cabinet signs up to the deal.

“I am sure that Birmingham residents will be keeping their fingers crossed that the cabinet does the right thing and this long running dispute is finally brought to a close.”

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, 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.

“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.”

Image credit - Aaron Chown PA Archive 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

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welco... 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 >