Birmingham bin dispute 'over' as council approves payments

  • Published
Picket line
Image caption,
Unite said the dispute was over as far as its members were concerned

The long-running Birmingham bin dispute appears to have been resolved after the city council approved settlements for striking workers.

Workers began a series of walkouts over "secret payments" made to non-striking GMB staff after a dispute in 2017.

The council said it had now agreed to pay £3,500 to each worker.

Although the cabinet decision can be challenged via a "call-in" application, Unite said it considered the dispute over. Unison is yet to comment.

It is thought weekly bin collections will resume from Monday.

Councillor Brett O'Reilly, in charge of waste and recycling, said: "I'm absolutely delighted we've been able to come to an agreement on this and settle the dispute not least for the long-suffering residents of Birmingham that can now look forward to normal service resuming and improving as we move forward."

On Thursday, a report revealed the strikes and industrial action had cost the council more than £5.8m.

A work-to-rule and an overtime ban began on 29 December and strike action started on 19 February, with legal proceedings also taking place this year.

Image caption,
Residents are likely to see weekly collections from Monday

Planned strikes by the two unions this week were called off, after Unite said last week a new deal had been tabled.

Councillor Ian Ward, city council leader, said: "There's been a determination this week on all sides to bring this dispute to an end and we now have a platform from which to collectively move forward."

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: "Unite is pleased that it has been able to reach agreement with the council to finally bring an end to this lengthy dispute.

"By standing together, our members have secured an excellent settlement and ended the injustice that they had been subject to."

An independent review on the future of the waste service is to be commissioned by the council.

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