Surrey bin men vote to strike

Bin men and rubbish truck drivers in Reigate and Banstead have voted to take strike action. The members of the GMB union for refuse and recycling voted 97.7% in favour of […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Bin men and rubbish truck drivers in Reigate and Banstead have voted to take strike action.

The members of the GMB union for refuse and recycling voted 97.7% in favour of the decision after claiming the local council “wilfully breached” an agreed pay and progression freeze by changing staff contracts despite months of talks to find middle ground.

The official ballot was concluded on the 23rd of June 2017 and the council have been notified of the result.

GMB says it has asked the council on numerous occasions to abide by the original agreement without success.

Paul Grafton, GMB Regional Officer, said: “GMB have been in talks for over a year on services and pay and agreed to a rather unpalatable two-year pay freeze suggested by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) for its members.

“GMB members confirmed they would honour the agreement as did the council and in writing. The level of contempt the council has showed its workforce is appalling and shameful when they breached the agreement and implemented new terms and conditions of employment.”

The union intends to call out its members on a series of two, three and four day walkouts over the next few months.

A spokesperson from Reigate and Banstead Borough Council said: “The GMB believed this ACAS decision had been breached but today agreed to hold further discussions with its members over the next few days. We hope this will resolve the matter and await the outcome of those discussions.

“Our priority remains our residents and maintaining a full refuse and recycling collection service.”