Adur and Worthing bin strike ends: Council reveals how much refuse collectors will now earn

A protracted bin strike in Adur and Worthing has finally come to an end after a pay rise was agreed for staff — but how much will they now earn?

The GMB Union announced this morning (Thursday, April 21) that members who work in refuse, recycling and street cleansing have voted to accept the Adur and Worthing Councils' latest pay offer and suspend their strike action.

A series of measures for new pay grades have established for some workers, whilst there will be improved weekend and bank holiday pay for cleansing crews and an increased specialist skills payment for HGV drivers.

The councils said the agreement came after 'intensive talks' with GMB and UNISON — now describing them as the 'two recognised unions' at the refuse, recycling and cleansing service

A series of measures for new pay grades have established for some workers, whilst there will be improved weekend and bank holiday pay for cleansing crews and an increased specialist skills payment for HGV drivers. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

A spokesman for Adur and Worthing Councils said: ‘We are pleased that all parties have found a way to end this strike and thank residents and businesses for their patience during this difficult time."

Bin collections resumed in Adur and Worthing last Tuesday, after four weeks of strike action, following an agreement between the councils and the union to pause the strike.

The councils have revealed how much staff will now earn after the pay rise.

Under the deal, the services bin crew loaders will be moved to the top of Grade 3 of the Local Authority Pay Scale which equates to £22,129.

The GMB strike started on March 14 but the councils said talks to end it could not begin under industrial relations practice until the union had been through an 'official recognition process', which would allow it to join the already recognised union UNISON in jointly representing staff at the service. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

Cleansing drivers will move to the top of Grade 4 or £24,920. In addition an already implemented skills payment for HGV drivers will be increased from £2,700 to £3,500.

The councils said it had already begun a review of the service post pandemic and 'this will continue', with full job evaluations being conducted within the service.

The spokesman added: "At all times we have sought to find a way to recognise the excellent work staff at this service undertake while being mindful that our budgets are tight and that we also have to protect other services. We think we can do that with this deal which gives extra remuneration for staff

"What we and our staff want to do now is continue the catch-up to remove the backlog from our streets as soon as possible.

"We will be reaching out shortly to our commercial customers who have had to seek alternative arrangements during the strike and we will be working on re-establishing green waste collections as soon as practicable after the backlog of residual and recyclable waste has been tackled."

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The councils added: "The GMB eventually accepted this and signed the joint deal on April 8 from which time councils have been working tirelessly to find an acceptable deal to end the strike.

"The councils initiated a review into the whole service in October last year which involved talking to staff and UNISON.

"The result of that review gave all staff a pay rise in the first year of more than 6 per cent on top of a national backdated pay award of 1.75 per cent.

"The councils' HGV drivers had been given pay rises of more than 12.7 per cent. The new deal of extra regrading and specialist skills builds on this."