Strike Action Halted Next Week

Posted by: Kaye Russell on 28 June 2024 15:23

South Tyneside Council and GMB Trade Union have announced steps to bring an end to industrial action that has disrupted waste collections for almost nine months.

The GMB has agreed that strike action proposed for next week (commencing 2 July 2024) will be stood down amid ongoing talks.

A spokesperson for South Tyneside Council said: "By working together, and through open dialogue, we have managed to halt the action planned for next week.

"Discussions will continue, with a view to step down all strike action proposed for July.

"We know that residents will feel that we have been here before, only a few months ago in fact, but they can be reassured that the Council is, and always has been, determined to provide this vital service to residents. We have never stepped away from dialogue and have done everything we can to reach the agreement we have in place today.

"Now that strike action has been stood down for next week, including any action short of strike, we will move to deliver on an agreed set of actions with the shared ambition to bring about an end to the dispute once and for all.

"Whilst this has been a lengthy and protracted process, it is important that the workforce came forward and have been heard. We have gone to great lengths to engage with and listen to their concerns and to address them.

"We've got an action plan that gives all parties a constructive way forward and we are already delivering on key areas like re-balancing the collections routes, improving PPE, increased engagement, and improved communication.

"We are confident that everyone is on board to implement the improvements to the service and the working conditions that the workforce has asked for.

"Of course, we acknowledge and understand the disruption the industrial action has caused, and we thank everyone for their patience during what has been a challenging period for the borough. It will take some weeks to work through the waste backlog and hope to have that period of stability to restore the service. We thank the workforce in advance for their efforts to get collection patterns back on track."

Although GMB has two 'dispute' ballots in place, one that runs to October 2024 and a second in place until December 2024, it is anticipated that no further strike dates or action short of strike will take place on those mandates. Furthermore, it is expected that the GMB will be engaging with its members with a view to any further industrial action.

There is no change to operational advice at this stage. Residents are advised to continue to put their grey household bin out every day until it is collected. Pending GMB's action over the coming week, the Council aims to move back to a normal collection pattern for both waste types as soon as possible. The Council will update residents in advance of this change. 

The Council has doubled the number of recycling sites for dry recyclable materials.

The Recycling Village at Middlefields Industrial Estate has 650 slots available every day. To book a slot at the Recycling Village visit Residents are asked to cancel their booking if not needed to free them up for someone else.

Residents with waste related queries are encouraged to visit the Council's website at in the first instance, where they will find further information including a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Last modified: 01 July 2024 14:22