Waste Management

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 >

latest public sector news

Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

25/03/2019Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

Birmingham City Council has been accused of “unprecedented levels of financial incompetence” after it received its third auditor warn... more >
First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

25/03/2019First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

A six-year pay dispute between councillors at Caerphilly County Borough Council at a cost of £4m will mean the rules around senior council ... more >
RBS to wind down £1bn worth of controversial LOBO loans by end of the year

25/03/2019RBS to wind down £1bn worth of controversial LOBO loans by end of the year

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is attempting to wind down the remainder of around £1bn in controversial LOBO bank loans. Seven local... more >

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... read more >

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 o... more > more last word articles >
Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

25/03/2019Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

Birmingham City Council has been accused of “unprecedented levels of financial incompetence” after it received its third auditor warning in four years. Finance and governance dir... more >
First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

25/03/2019First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

A six-year pay dispute between councillors at Caerphilly County Borough Council at a cost of £4m will mean the rules around senior council officers’ pay in Wales will be changed, firs... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this year’s Spending Review. Our #CouncilsCan campaign to influence this year’s Spending Review is well underway and gathering momentum. The money local governm... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest concerns for local councils in recent years, leading to some innovative... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, describes the benefits of... more >
National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

11/03/2019National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

The National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) National Infrastructure Assessment was released in July 2018, making a variety of recommenda... more >
SARS II: Recovery made easy

11/03/2019SARS II: Recovery made easy

Paul Bentley, of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), introduces us to the Spend Analysis Recovery Framework: a no win no fee means of carrying ou... 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 welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
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 to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News