Wirral bin dispute ends in victory

Unite secures pay rise for Wirral refuse workers

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The possibility of strikes involving refuse workers employed by waste company Biffa on the Wirral council contract has ended after members agreed to an improved pay offer.

The workers who are members of Unite voted overwhelmingly at the end of March in favour of strike action in the dispute over pay and moving from weekly to monthly pay. However, Unite announced that no industrial action would take place during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Further discussions took place between senior management and Unite representatives in an attempt to resolve this dispute, and Unite members have now voted to accept an improved pay offer of 3.5 per cent which will be back dated to April 2019. The company have said that they will now work with Unite shop stewards to agree how and when the back pay will be paid.

Monthly pay will be introduced towards the end of the year but the agreement states that Unite will be fully consulted in the implementation of monthly pay. Once it is introduced, the workforce will receive a 0.5 per cent one off non-consolidated payment of annual salary.

Unite regional officer Steve Gerrard said, “This was a strong pay offer which finally met our member’s expectations and ended what has been a tense industrial period.

“Residents on the Wirral will be relieved to learn that their bin collection service will not be disrupted,” he added.

“Unite has stressed from the outset that this dispute could be resolved through meaningful negotiations and that has proved to be the case.

“Unite is hopeful that this deal will pave the way for improved industrial relations with Biffa in the future.”

By Barckley Sumner

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