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1st Jul, 2022

Bin strike to end after council and union reach agreement

THE BIN strike in the borough will end next week.

Rugby Borough Council (RBC) has reached an agreement with the Unite union which will see crews return to work on Tuesday (May 31) – when blue-lid recycling and green garden waste collections will resume – after the five week strike.

The council has offered additional payments for refuse drivers paid since December to be made permanent. Total pay available will rise to up to £30,940.

Also, changes to overtime payments and tasks allocated to refuse loaders have been agreed. Total pay available will rise to up to £24,018.

And an uplift in pay grade and additional payments for street cleaners and drivers, reflecting increased responsibilities since the last review, has also been settled. Total pay available will rise to up to £24,587.

RBC leader Seb Lowe said: “We welcome Unite’s agreement to the terms and conditions proposals which the council has put forward. Nevertheless we remain disappointed that Unite chose to recommend industrial action in a dispute relating to the nationally agreed pay increase that came into effect from April last year.

“The resolution that has been agreed reflects a process we began in December 2021 and had agreed with Unite should be completed by the end of May. This process considered a review of market pressures on affected roles, the accuracy of job descriptions and how those job descriptions are graded.

“Additionally, we are pleased to have agreed an increase in working hours for refuse and recycling staff and a clear definition of ‘task and finish’, meaning that we can all look forward to a cleaner borough moving forward.

“The work of the refuse, recycling and street cleansing teams is very much valued by the council and residents of the borough and we look forward to welcoming them back to work. We would also like to sincerely thank all of the refuse, recycling and street cleansing staff who chose to work through the period of strike action and also the council staff who were redeployed to support the continuation of refuse collections.

“We apologise to residents for the inconvenience caused by the strike action and thank them for their continued patience.”

RBC confirmed residents who subscribe to the green garden waste collection service would receive an extra collection at the end of the subscription year (March 31, 2023) for each collection missed.

The Observer is awaiting a comment from Unite.

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