Socialist Worker

Details of the Leeds bins agreement

In the run up to the vote that ended the Leeds refuse workers' strike, the union negotiating team produced the following document to explain to workers what they were voting on.

Issue No. 2179


STREETSCENE DISPUTE

Final Management Offer

Following extensive negotiations with management over the past fortnight, the employer has now tabled a final offer to resolve the dispute.

At the outset of the dispute, management proposals would have meant losses of thousands of pounds for hundreds of workers employed in refuse collection, street cleansing and waste disposal services.

At the same time Council Leader Richard Brett announced the Council’s intention to privatise refuse collection in the city.

The solidarity of striking Unison and GMB members has forced the Council to make a substantially improved offer and to abandon the privatisation plans.

Summary of Proposals:

  • De-litterer/Community caretaker – were set to lose £2,163 a year under the original proposals, now stand to gain an extra £378 per year. This to be achieved by providing a 7 day service city-wide.
  • Non-LGV drivers – these drivers will move to a job description which is directly similar to the streetscene offer “B” job and will see them achieve a “B1”. When this new grade is combined with the rate for providing a seven day service these drivers will see significant pay increases. For example, drivers of litter-bin vehicles were set to lose £3,535 a year and now stand to gain £2,221 a year.
  • Gully tank attendants – were set to lose £1,755. This has now been reduced to only £52 a year based on a new stand-by rota.
  • Refuse collector – were set to lose £4,491, now will receive a slight increase of £19 a year through a productivity scheme aided by improved routing which will substantially travelling time.
  • Refuse driver/loader – were set to lose £1,154, now will gain £1,618 a year through one hour contractual overtime a day.
  • Waste site sorting attendant – were set to lose £1,280. Their post is currently being reviewed and both sides are confident that the review will close any pay gap. That review is due to be completed by the end of December.
  • Streetscene attendant GNP – were set to lose £2,634 and they continue to lose but the gap has been cut to £543.
  • Gully tank driver, RSC driver and streetking driver (nights) are all winners as a result of pay and grading.

Performance pay

A new performance pay system will be introduced for refuse collectors by June 2010. New routes based on group/area working will be jointly devised by management and trade union representatives. These joint discussions will work out how to factor in variables such as vehicle breakdown, bad weather and staff shortages.

The performance pay will become a contractual entitlement which will be subject to annual review. Recently employed staff who are not on protected pay will receive a pay rise of £4,500 when the scheme is introduced in 2010.

Management and the unions are committed to discuss proposals for performance pay for de-litterers and other street-based staff in order to have such a scheme in place before May 2010.

Recommendation from negotiating team

Your trade union negotiating team, having discussed the detail of the offer with the shop stewards and considered the progress of the dispute, believe that the final offer is the best to be achieved and are recommending acceptance on that basis.

The negotiators are committed to continuing work to improve the position of the small number of staff who will face a small reduction in their incomes.

There will also be discussions on flexibility for de-litterers and other groups who, become of personal circumstances, find difficulty working 4x3 shift patterns.


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Article information

News
Tue 24 Nov 2009, 18:05 GMT
Issue No. 2179
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