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Four day bin strike to affect Surrey Heath

3 minute read
Four day bin strike to affect Surrey Heath

Published at 2:03pm 24th October 2019. (Updated at 7:37pm 28th October 2019)

Bin collectors in Surrey Heath and Elmbridge are to strike for four days next month in a row over pay.

The action will see a walkout by staff on both 5 and 6 November, as well as on 19 and 20 November.

It will affect recycling and street cleaning teams from both depots.

Members of the GMB union are unhappy with pay being offered by contractor Amey and claim staff are paid "on average 17 percent less than some nearby boroughs and also have considerably less sick pay and holiday entitlement".

GMB are asking the general public to support their local refuse workers in the dispute.

Paul Grafton from GMB said:

"They're very, very upset - this is the absolute last thing that they wanted to do, bearing in mind that they're actually not going to be paid for those strike days.

"So, yes it makes it even worse for themselves, but they've got to do something. We've been trying for the best part of a year to sort their pay out and we're still nowhere near it.

"Their pay has been eroded bit, by bit, by bit by a number of contractors over the years and unfortunately staff are almost at the point where by they're having to live through means of borrowing money from other people and some staff having to use food-banks - that's just not right."

In addition to the four days of action in November, GMB say that the strike committee will make a decision on how many days there will be after that if "there is no offer coming forward from Amey".

Mark Stammers, Account Director for the Amey Surrey contract, said:

“We are extremely disappointed by the vote to strike. As we have stated previously, we are committed to paying our employees fairly, and we are actively working towards a resolution of the GMB’s demands for a 17% pay rise and 38 days’ holiday. 

“Our approach has always been to address the salary discrepancies we inherited when we took on the contract, and migrate all pay rates to the highest level over a period of three years.

"This means that the lowest paid are being offered more, year on year, than the highest rates, to bring them up to the higher level.

“Ensuring we minimise disruption to the local community remains our priority."

Surrey Heath Borough Council, said:

"We are aware that Amey employees working on waste collection in Surrey Heath, who are members of the GMB union, have voted in favour of strike action. 

"We are working with our partners, Joint Waste Solutions to help Amey to mitigate the strike action and minimise any disruption to residents in Surrey Heath. 

"Joint Waste Solutions will be providing updates via their website. jointwastesolutions.org"

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