Herts bin strike averted with a last-minute pay deal

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North and East Herts binmen due to commence strike on Monday 27th November, agreed a last-minute pay deal and called off the action which would have seen disruption to refuse services in North and East Herts.

GMB the union for refuse workers employed by Urbaser, the private contractor that provides refuse services for North and East Hertfordshire Councils have secured a pay deal which will prevent the proposed strike action that would have impacted resident's refuse collections in the run-up to the festive period.

GMB has been negotiating with Urbaser for a proper pay increase that reflects the cost-of-living crisis and the introduction of company sick pay for employees.

Following GMB members rejecting the Company’s final offer of an 8 per cent increase in pay as this was less than the rate of inflation earlier in the year when the pay rise should have been implemented. GMB members were balloted for strike action and voted to take a series of industrial actions unless the Company returned to the negotiating table.

Following further negotiations with the Company, GMB members voted to accept Urbaser’s offer of an 11 per cent pay increase backdated to 1st April this year, with 4 per cent promised in April 2024.

Michael Dooley, GMB London Region Officer said:

“Our members are doing jobs that require them to work in all weathers to provide this essential public service and were prepared to take strike action in their fight for a fair and decent pay rise.

“Whilst this last-minute pay deal is welcomed by our members, it was disappointing that Urbaser did not include any sick pay scheme as part of the pay deal as our members cannot afford to live on £109.40 pence per week statutory sick pay when they are unable to work because of illness.

“As part of our negotiations in April next year, GMB will continue to press Urbaser for the implementation of a company sick pay scheme. Our members must be able to afford to take the time out that they need to recover from illness and injuries, without the present concern that statutory sick pay means that they aren’t able to meet their living costs.”

For more information, please contact Michael Dooley on 077 7306 1798.