Update on Bin Collections due to Industrial Action

Posted by: Kaye Russell on 20 December 2023 11:54

Residents are advised there will be no bin collections across South Tyneside between Christmas and New Year as part of the ongoing industrial action by the Council's refuse collectors.

Earlier this month, the Council received formal notification from GMB and Unite Trade Unions of their members' intention to take full scale industrial action for a second time, from Wednesday 27 December to Saturday 30 December inclusive.

GMB and Unite union members in the Council's Waste Collection Service are taking industrial action

Action short of strike has been ongoing since November and continues to cause disruption.

All bin collections are affected.

Residents are advised not to put their bins out during the four days of action between Christmas and New Year.

The Council has explored every avenue to provide an alternative service, but due to the holiday period has been unable to acquire the resources to do so, while still working within the legal restrictions that protect industrial action.

A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: "We understand that any disruption to waste and recycling services is difficult for both residents and businesses and we appreciate how frustrating and inconvenient it is particularly at this time of year. It is unfair that residents continue to suffer.

"We have investigated all options to provide a service as union members enter a second round of full-scale industrial action. Unfortunately, we are bound by the strict parameters set out by industrial action legislation, and we will not be able to empty bins until service resumes from Tuesday 2 January.

"We are also doing all we can to minimise the impact of ongoing industrial action as operatives continue to work short of strike."

The Recycling Village remains open every day, except Christmas Day, with additional slots made available.

Engagement planned with ACAS for early December was abandoned by the GMB and Unite unions.

However, the Council remains committed to resolving matters through ongoing dialogue, mediation and conciliation with the lines of communication kept open in the spirit of constructive and positive industrial relations.

The Council continues to meet regularly with all three unions, but the critical element in bringing planned industrial action to an end is through formal ACAS conciliation, which GMB and Unite trade unions walked away from in early December and are yet to reinstate.

The Council spokesperson added: "Residents will continue to feel the impact of action short of strike well into the New Year. We appeal for patience during this time and politely ask that in preparation residents reduce their waste as much as they can and continue to recycle responsibly."

For further information visit the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk

Last modified: 01 March 2024 16:01