An end to strike action was announced by The GMB Union for refuse workers in Wiltshire today, as Hills Municipal Collections agreed on a 7% pay rise and Wiltshire Council declared they are due to start recycling collections again from 21st March.
“There must be no retaliation and members return to work tomorrow,” says GMB Union. It’s good news for refuse workers in Wiltshire, and of course the public who have seen collections suspended.
Unison and Unite unions had previously accepted the proposal, as part of the tri-union recognition agreement, but the GMB union rejected it. In a ballot today GMB workers almost unanimously accepted the previous 7% offer, with a promised bonus scheme to be offered to more staff and further uplifts for those on the lowest pay rates.
Nicky Nixon, GMB organiser, said her union was “proud” of its members and would be “carefully observing” how they were treated when they return to work.
Wiltshire Council took to Twitter to inform residents to “put your blue lidded bins and black boxes out on your normal collection day from 21 March,” but also warned “There may still be slight delays with collections due to the recent disruption, so if your bins aren’t emptied on your normal collection day, please leave them out and they will be collected as soon as possible.” And continued to announce those with additional recycling that has mounted up during the disruption can be left in non-black bags and containers, such as plastic crates, next to the recycling bins and the crews will collect them.
Congratulations to everyone involved, common sense prevailed over greed today. Refuse staff thoroughly deserve this pay rise in the least; twitch your net curtain next time they come around, watch how hard these guys and girls work, and I’d suggest, give them a cheer.
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