Waste collection strikes OFF as bin workers accept pay rise

Recycling collections will continue in North Somerset - for now

GMB and NSEC have reached an agreement on improved pay for bin workers. - Credit: NSC

Bin and recycling workers in North Somerset will no longer take industrial action after finally agreeing to a pay rise.

Negotiations had been underway for months before North Somerset Environment Company's (NSEC) latest wage offer was accepted by union workers in a ballot.

The agreement also brings an end to the overtime ban imposed by the GMB which limited NSEC’s ability to complete rounds on normal collection days in some instances.

Mike Solomon.

Cllr Mike Solomon has thanked residents for their patience during negotiations. - Credit: NSC

“It is welcome news to learn that GMB members have voted in favour of the latest offer package," Cllr Mike Solomon stated.

“I am sure that the strike being called off will come as a relief to residents.

"I would like to repeat my thanks for their patience, understanding and cooperation during this very challenging time.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the team at NSEC for their efforts and the professional way in which they dealt with the industrial action process.

"Secondly to ACAS, the UK's industrial mediation service, for their support. Thanks must also go to our crews and those working in the recycling centres for their continued hard work during the negotiations.”

Green waste and recycling collections have been missed. Picture: Tony Gussin

All waste collections will resume their standard schedules. - Credit: Archant

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All household waste, recycling and garden waste collections will continue as usual as will recycling centres in Backwell, Portishead and Weston.

Brian Veale, Managing Director for NSEC, said: “We are pleased that a conclusion has been drawn to what has been a very challenging period.

"I would like to thank the GMB and ACAS for the way they have worked with us during the negotiations.

“We fully appreciate that not all our colleagues voted in favour and we aim to continue to strive to engage with all our workforce

"We also plan to use the period of stability over the next two years to develop our business, while remaining focussed on providing continued improvements to our service for residents.”

A spokesperson for GMB welcomed the end of negotiations but stated it would continue to meet with NSEC to ensure its members are valued.

They said: "We have significantly improved upon the initial offer from the company.

"The message from GMB members is that company need to approach all future negotiations with pay offers which values and reflect the hard work our members put in every day.

"GMB already intend to meet with NSEC again very soon to continue our efforts to make work better and enhance other elements of our members' take-home pay."

For more information on waste collection schedules visit www.forms.n-somerset.gov.uk/Waste/CollectionSchedule