Mar 14 2014

Bin Strike in Harrow? The Council’s View…

harrow_council_logoFollowing our earlier article on a potential strike by Refuse Workers in Harrow, the Council have confirmed to us that there was a ballot at 6.00am on Wednesday morning, where 25 out of 38 driver members were in favour of industrial action, however, this needs to be formalised with a postal ballot and advance notice to the Council – so the earliest we’d be likely to see a strike, if indeed, it did happen, would be around three weeks away.

The Union has a number of grievances, we’re told, around a lack of re-grading of the role, and are seeking a back-payment to 2004 of £18,000 per member, based on an alleged change of role of drivers.

Driver Team Leaders, we’re told, receive an annual salary of over £29,000 – one of the highest in London.

The Council note that the role has not changed over the last ten years, and it was last reviewed in 2013. It remains willing to meet with UNISON and says industrial action is “unwarranted” here, and that it is “not about job security.”

Investigations into emergency planning, should a strike go ahead, are apparently underway, which could include local drop off points, etc.

Cllr Susan Hall, leader of Harrow Council said: “The claim for an extra £18,000 per driver is baseless and this threatened strike is needless. The council has made every effort to meet union concerns and we remain open for talks. It is important to remember this is not about protecting jobs – our drivers are already among the best paid in London. This strike will mean nothing but grief to our residents, many of whom might be grateful for a job that pays as well as the rates our drivers receive.”

She continued: “We are working on emergency arrangements to try and avoid the prospect of rubbish bags piling up on the streets of Harrow. In the meantime my appeal to the moderate hard-working majority of staff at the central depot is: don’t be pushed into a manufactured dispute by people who don’t have your real interests at heart.”

UNISON Harrow were contacted earlier this morning, and have not responded with a statement.

Updated to include the full quote from Cllr Hall.

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