Brighton and Hove bin strikes: Union confirms it has agreed a deal to end bin strikes

The GMB union representing the striking HGV bin lorry drivers in Brighton and Hove has confirmed it has agreed a deal to end the dispute.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:12 pm
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:14 pm

After discussions were held yesterday (Sunday, October 17) the GMB said today (Monday) that it had approved a deal negotiated by its representatives and Brighton and Hove City Council.

The deal will now be put to a vote at a meeting of the council tomorrow (Tuesday). If approved, the GMB confirmed to The Indy that it would call off a further planned month-long strike, due to start on Thursday (October 21).

The agreed deal comes after several meetings since the first two-week strike started on October 5. Cityclean’s HGV drivers voted to strike due to 'round variations, crew changes, variations of duties and the impact on workers’ health and wellbeing'.

One of the piles of rubbish in Brighton city centre

The city council said a meeting on Friday (October 15) failed to reach an agreement but that the meeting yesterday (Sunday) would see both parties 'focus on agreeing a formal resolution proposal'.

The council said the latest proposal includes 'a significant and generous pay offer, benefiting some of the lowest paid staff across the whole council, as well as the Cityclean service'.

Following concerns about piles of rubbish mounting across the city and causing safety and hygiene risks, the council said yesterday (Sunday) waste removal contractors were appointed to start clearing side waste from the worst affected areas and from bin storerooms, the council said.

A spokesman said: "This is because of the council’s serious concerns around public health and safety and because of the fires which have been started in recent days at overflowing communal bins.

"The very high level of rubbish mounting around communal bins is also blocking pavements and spilling into the road and in the view of the council’s Health & Safety Team this now a significant risk for drivers and all pavement users, but especially disabled people, people with prams and pushchairs and the elderly. Rubbish bags are also splitting and attracting vermin.

The contractors will use specialist equipment to clear away the large volume of refuse and then will work alongside Cityclean staff to help get the city clean as quick as possible.

The council said it was lawfully able to hire a third-party contractor to deliver its services during industrial action.

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