The dispute between Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) Council’s recycling contractor, Kier, and its collection crews, which resulted in tonnes recycling left uncollected, has been resolved, according to the Council.
BANES said that talks between Kier and the Unite union have been successful, meaning that industrial action has now ended.
The Council understands that the Kier crews are back to making their normal scheduled recycling and food waste collections from yesterday (19 January) and will continue to clear any backlog of uncollected materials by putting seven extra crews out on the road.
The Council said would like to thank all of its residents for their patience and support while it’s been striving to clear the backlog of recycling.
The Kier workers, operating out of the Keynsham depot, voted overwhelmingly for strike action, with 86% in favour and 100% in favour of action short of strike at the end of December 2015, over alleged pay inequality.
Unite says the workers were paid up to 25% less than employees at the nearby Bristol site.
The Unite members rejected the Kier’s 3% pay offer at a meeting held at the beginning of the year, following make- or- break talks at the conciliation service, Acas.
As a result, the backlog of uncollected recycling became so severe that BANES called for members of the public who would be willing to take on the work.
Front Loaded Offer
Julian Tranter, managing director of Kier Environmental, said that the company had “re-engineered” an offer to encourage talks, which resulted in a revised and accepted “front loaded” offer.
He said: “We appreciate how much disruption the strike, overtime refusal and work to rule has caused for residents, and understand their frustration that so little could be done to off-set the impact when strike laws prevent the use of additional agency workers to cover those undertaking industrial action.
“With the council’s support on our approach and offer, we have worked very hard through ACAS to try to prevent any strike taking place, and during the strike to try to re-engineer an offer that could be used to encourage union members to re-enter talks.
“We are naturally very pleased that the union chose to re-enter talks, and equally that the revised more front loaded offer was accepted by members today.
CIWM Journal Online has contacted Unite for a statement on the terms of the resolution.