Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Thanet district Council press release

Latest attempts by Thanet District Council to prevent two one day strikes have been rejected by a small number of GMB union members, who work in the waste and recycling team as HGV drivers.

The action is still set to go ahead, leaving residents without waste and recycling collections on both Friday 27 February and Monday 2 March. A meeting this morning (Wednesday 25 February) rejected the council’s latest moves to end the dispute, but the council remains willing to resolve the dispute.

The action is being taken over the HGV drivers’ pay, although research carried out by the council has shown that they are paid fairly, compared to other HGV drivers in Kent.

The council has been working hard to try and resolve the issue with the GMB and the conciliation service ACAS has been called in to try and solve this dispute without the need for strike action.

All roles within the council are evaluated using the nationally recognised Hay Job Evaluation scheme. This formed part of the council’s modernisation project for waste and recycling when they were brought back in house, which has significantly improved the terms and conditions of employment of many staff in the team.

A number of grading evaluations have been undertaken, but each time with the same result. The council has given a commitment to review the Hay grading scheme and has considered the issue of additional payments, but this could not be justified.

Cllr. Shirley Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Commercial and Environmental Services, said: “We’re exceptionally disappointed that strike action is still looming for our residents, despite our best attempts to avert it. The council has done everything it can to resolve this – and we’re still willing to talk. It’s very frustrating that this is still going ahead, particularly as our research has shown that our HGV drivers are fairly paid, compared to the rest of Kent. This is why we have been unable to justify additional payments.”

“Let’s remember we aim to treat all our staff fairly and equally and that’s why we introduced the job evaluation scheme in the first place. If we were to offer additional payments to one group, as in this case, that could leave the council open to claims from other members of staff. I’m sure if we did that, it wouldn’t be appreciated by the rest of our staff or our residents, many of whom are no doubt going through their own financial issues right now.”

Residents are being advised not to put anything out for collection on the strike days, Friday 27 February and Monday 2 March, as there is unlikely to be any collection of household waste or recycling on these days.

If you are on a black bag collection, residents are asked to keep their waste until the following week and then put it out as normal on their usual day of collection. Black sacks should not be left outside if they have not been collected. Those on a wheeled bin scheme are being asked to put both bins out for collection the following week on their usual day of collection. Priority will be given to emptying the black lidded waste bins during that collection.

Cllr. Tomlinson added: “I hope residents will bear with us during this time and will help us by not putting their rubbish out for collection on strike days. We apologise for any inconvenience and I’m sure they will understand the difficult position that the council finds itself in in this dispute.”

Ed picture is, Chatham House 1913 Coleman’s house winners of work and cricket cup champion house.

1 comment:

  1. Could it be that the GMB is trying to influence the County Elections in June? A thing that they may try to do considering their political links (and the fact they are an awful trade union).??


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