Brighton and Hove City Council ready to make a formal offer to end bin strike dispute

Brighton and Hove City Council has confirmed it will make a formal offer of a set of proposals which seek to resolve the dispute with Cityclean.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 7:52 pm
Workers outside the Hollingdean depot today on the first day of the planned two-week strike

Up to 54 HGV drivers at the council’s refuse and recycling service Cityclean started strike action today (Tuesday, October 5).

The GMB union said the strike was voted for due to an ongoing dispute with the council over 'enforced driver removals, changes of duties, crew variations and alterations in plans around the collection of dropped work'.

The council has issued advice to residents who will not have their rubbish collected during the strike

The union had said a 'proposed resolution agreement' was being considered by GMB representatives today (October 5) which aims to resolve the dispute and prevent any further strike action.

A council spokesperson said tonight (Tuesday): "Yesterday evening (Monday, October 4) we submitted a set of proposals for GMB to consider, which sought to resolve the dispute today.

“GMB have now requested that the proposals are made as a formal offer and we are happy to fulfil this.

There are up to 54 Cityclean drivers on strike

“We understand strike action will still take place tomorrow, but we are still hopeful that we can resolve the dispute.

“Contingency plans to cover this period have been prepared and advice for residents will be published and updated on the Cityclean service page on the council’s website."

The council has provided some questions and answers about the industrial action as follows:

What is the council doing to stop the strike from going ahead?

We have been and are holding talks with the GMB in a bid to avert any strike action. Even at this late stage we still hope to find a resolution that is agreeable to everyone involved. We are also committed to continue with talks during the strike in the hope of ending it as soon as possible.

If and when the strike starts, what Cityclean services will be affected?

All household and communal bin waste and recycling services will be affected, as will our garden and trade waste services. However, our street cleansing team will still be carrying out their work and won’t be on strike. We also have contingency plans in place to ensure we provide as good a service as possible under the circumstances.

What days will the workers be on strike?

The GMB has informed us the strike will take place between Tuesday 5 and Sunday 17 of this month. The union hasn’t informed the council if the strike will take place on all of these days or just some. This lack of information means it’s very hard for our Cityclean managers to plan as the situation could change from day to day, hour to hour.

How many staff are actually going on strike, and what work do they do?

There are up to 54 staff striking, all are refuse and recycling lorry drivers.

Why can’t you just get agency drivers to come in and do the work?

Government legislation forbids the use of agency workers to replace striking staff, and we cannot break the law. We do have contingency plans in place to ensure we provide as good a service as possible under the circumstances

What should I do with my waste and recycling when it’s not collected?

We’re very sorry, but due to the strike we won’t be able to return to missed collections until the next collection date. Both of our Household Waste Recycling Sites will be open throughout the strike and will be taking both waste and recycling. Our street cleansing staff are not on strike and will be working as normal.

What is happening to garden waste collections?

If your garden waste collection is missed due to the strike, your subscription will be extended for one collection, to account for the collection that was missed.

How long will it take for the service to get back to normal once the strike ends?

As we don’t know the extent of the strike action, and what days the drivers will strike, we cannot answer this specifically. It is however inevitable that there’ll be days and probably weeks of catching up to do before we get back on track.