Bins could be hit by industrial action

Bin services could be hit by industrial action.
Bin services could be hit by industrial action.

North Lanarkshire Council binmen are threatening industrial action in a dispute over pay and conditions.

GMB Scotland says its members are “undervalued and overworked” and has launched a consultative ballot.

Staff in cleansing, refuse, recycling and waste control will be asked to support an overtime ban and a work to rule. The union says it’s in response to moves by the council to impose changes to pay grades, job descriptions and working time arrangements.

It claims a job re-evaluation will affect some of the lowest paid in the council and follows years of cuts in real terms as a result of below inflation pay increases and pay freezes.

Ude Adigwe, GMB Scotland organiser, said: “We cannot tolerate a state of affairs where management are cutting our members’ terms and conditions without any consultation whatsoever.

“Our members are undervalued and overworked - it simply cannot go on like this.

“We are prepared to sit down with management and talk about securing more sustainable rates of pay and working time arrangements - but they must first step back from their imposition of this senseless cuts agenda.”

However, the council denied changes were being pushed through without consultation.

A spokesman said: “We are extremely disappointed at this development given the consultation process which has been conducted with Unison, Unite and GMB on proposals affecting some of our recycling employees. Both Unison and Unite have accepted the proposals.

“These proposals impact on 84 staff within a recycling team, 24 of whom would experience a loss with the removal of a contractual overtime payment. In recognition of this, the council offered a lump sum payment to mitigate the loss, projected over an 18-month period. There has been no reduction in pay grades.

“While there has been a recent re-evaluation of a small number of jobs, only one of which has some employees affected by the proposals, the re-evaluation process did not arise from these proposals. The relevant job grade remained unaffected and GMB conducted the re-evaluation jointly with the council.”