With the strike by 150 South Gloucestershire Suez bin workers now scheduled to run until 3rd September, the council has today announced additional facilities to help residents deal with the impact on kerbside collections.
The Unite union says the decision to step up industrial action was taken after both the waste contractor and council ignored repeated requests to engage in talks to resolve the dispute.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Despite Suez’s claims about generous pay offers, its workers are on very low wages even though the work they do is heavy, difficult and dirty. It is a highly profitable company making tens of millions.”
Suez said: ‘We have offered our teams working on our South Gloucestershire Council contract an 8% pay increase for 2023 which, when combined with the similar pay increase agreed in 2022, delivers pay increases of 15 to 16.75% over two years. This was rejected by Unite, who are seeking a 15% increase for 2023 alone, which would deliver pay increases in excess of 22% over two years.”
The company added: “Our door is still open and we welcome further discussions with Unite.”
With more than half the workforce on strike, the council says staff available are concentrating on black bins so waste like nappies and dog waste is collected.
“We are aware of residents’ concerns around recycling and food waste not currently being collected and have made special arrangements for extra deposit points at a number of locations in addition to the Sort It centres in Yate, Mangotsfield and Thornbury.”
Recycling and food waste can be taken to four additional locations every weekday between 8am and 2pm. They are Lyde Green Park and Ride in Willowherb Road; Page Road long-stay car park in Staple Hill; Stoke Gifford Park & Ride; and the council site at North Way in Filton. There will be further bins for cardboard, paper, glass, cans and plastic, accessible 24/7, at locations being confirmed this week.
Council leader Claire Young said that until the dispute between Suez and Unite is resolved, the council would carry on doing all it could to help keep people informed and urged both parties to reach a “swift agreement”.