THE COVENTRY City Council bin lorry driver strikes look set to continue through the summer despite independent body ACAS ruling the employees’ Grade 5 salaries for the job they do is correct.
ACAS looked at the process that came to the original decision and found that it had been ‘undertaken in a fair and open manner’.
Both the council and Unite had agreed – regardless of the findings – to be bound by the decision and the authority last week requested the strikes be called off.
The council said it showed ‘what it had said all along that it paid its bin lorry drivers a good wage and one of the highest in the West Midlands’.
Unite had balloted their bin lorry driver members on two issues – a grade increase and Christmas working.
ACAS has ruled on the grade increase and an offer remains on the table for a £4,000, tax-free payment to buy-out a 1999 agreement that includes a number of issues such as Christmas week working and collecting side waste.
The council said it remained open to dialogue with Unite and was willing to once again offer a previously rejected proposal to increase the pay of drivers at the bottom-end of the grade, so that no driver starts on less than £12.45 per hour. This is an increase from the original bottom of the scale of £11.50.
But Unite said, following 94 per cent of its workers voting to renew the mandate for industrial action, the all-out bin strike would restart next Monday, March 28, and ‘continue throughout May during the local elections and into the summer’.
‘Recycling set to restart’ – Council
Fortnightly green-lidded bin collections have been carried out by teams from Tom White Waste – a company owned by Coventry City Council and now fortnighly collections for recycling waste are also due to restart.
The Council has already been working with Tom White Waste to extend the service to include blue-lidded bin collections.
The blue-lidded recycling bin collections are set to begin from Tuesday, March 22. Recycling will be collected on the alternate week to household green-lidded bin collections. Residents can go to www.coventry.gov.uk/bindays to check when their green-lidded and blue-lidded bin will be collected.
Garden waste collections remain suspended for the time being and following the reintroduction of the recycling collections the Council will consider how these can be reinstated – more detail to follow on that.
Drop sites will remain open, but the council will review the sites over the coming weeks as households will be receiving an alternate week household and recycling collection.
For the most up to date information on collections, drop sites and the strike action, go to www.coventry.gov.uk