Council disappointed further strikes planned

Waste bins on kerbside

Blaby District Council is disappointed the GMB trade union is continuing with industrial action over a local pay claim which the authority cannot legally negotiate.

The Council has been informed that around 40 GMB members, responsible for waste collections and district cleansing, will be going on strike continuously from 1am on 1 August 2023 to 11.30pm on 18 August 2023.

The Council notes the union’s decision and remains committed to working closely with them to resolve the ongoing dispute.

However, the Council must make it clear that while national negotiations are continuing for a pay rise, it cannot enter into local negotiations.

At a national level an offer of £1,925 is on the table. The GMB is involved in this national negotiating process which is used by Blaby District Council as it provides better results for employees.

Despite the ongoing nature of the national negotiations the GMB are seeking a local uplift of 15% - which would equate to around an extra £4,000 for each employee.

Any uplift on GMB members pay would have to be reflected across all members of staff leading to a huge and unaffordable pay rise bill for the Council.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said: "I do not understand why the GMB have announced such draconian action. And I feel sorry for our residents who are feeling the brunt of this strike with disruption to their bin collection services which will get worse.

"We are doing our utmost to ensure the smooth operation of services and will continue to do so in the light of this announcement. We will make plans to minimise disruption for residents, however, clearly, given the scope of this announcement more disruption must be expected.

"What disappoints me most is the fact the GMB do not seem to be listening to us when we say we cannot negotiate at a local level and, even if we could, a pay rise of the magnitude they are asking for would simply not be affordable. We would have to uplift the pay of every single member of staff by around £4,000. Where would that money come from?

"The Council has compared the salaries of employees performing the same roles in other local authorities. It has determined that Blaby District Council offers competitive pay for HGV drivers, open space and district cleansing roles, with salaries higher than those offered by many other authorities. Additionally, the pay scale for loaders at Blaby District Council falls within the mid-range when compared to other authorities.

"We provide support to both our employees and residents in managing the cost of living, and we offer guidance on accessing assistance with finances and food supplies. It’s important to say that we have not singled out any employees or advised our staff to rely on foodbanks.

"I would urge the GMB officials to see sense, recognise what we are saying and call off this action which will only impact our residents further."

The Council appreciates the patience and understanding of residents during this challenging period.

While industrial action continues people are encouraged to visit the Council’s website at Blaby District Council and follow our social media channels for the latest updates.

Additionally, residents can choose to receive email updates by signing up at E-newsletter sign up

Cllr Terry Richardson

Councillor Terry Richardson
Leader of the Council

07 July 2023