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Council’s waste collection privatisation to lead to 50 job losses, GMB claims

Councillors in Newtownabbey and Antrim have voted to outsource bin collections, something that unions argue will mean a number of workers being made unemployed.

The GMB has argued that this decision will mean 50 jobs being cut by the authority.

It has criticised the council for making “so called savings,” by privatising a public service and cutting local jobs.

A third of waste collection services in the borough is already outsourced, and has been for over five years.

GMB is already in the midst of a dispute with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, after it says that the council failed to provide the cost of the other options being considered, and was due to meet with senior management on Thursday to discuss re-engaging on the issue.

Alan Perry, GMB regional organiser, said: “We are concerned for our members’ jobs and the rest of the service both now and in the long term.

“While the council officers won't give any commitment that other services will not be affected it is clear that this council, along with its elected representatives, are putting savings before jobs.

“GMB will meet with reps in the coming days to decide what action to take.”

In its own statement, the council has stated that the proposal will lead to savings of over £400,000 a year, and has assured residents will continue to receive a quality service.

Responding to concerns around job cuts, the council claim that staff who have requested severance will be able to leave the organisation and remaining waste staff jobs will be secure, reiterating its commitment to no compulsory redundancies.

It says that it is necessary to make savings following the £1m rates refund which the council is liable to pay following a recent Lands Tribunal decision.


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