Angus Households To Get Month’s Free Garden Waste Collection Following Strike

Households in Angus that are signed up to the garden waste collection service will receive a free one month extension to their current subscription as a result of ongoing industrial action.

Unite the union announced scheduled days of industrial action at Angus council after Unite members voted for strike action.

The dispute centres on changes to the terms and conditions of 140 staff who work in Environmental Services for the council. 

From April 2019, household waste will be collected from 06:00 until 22:00 which will mean that workers will be required to move to a day shift/back shift work pattern.

“All of the approximate 20,000 households signed up to the garden waste collection service will receive an additional month to their existing subscription.”

Unite members have raised concerns about the dangers of operating the service safely and effectively, and the negative impact that these changes will have on work-life balance.

The strike action, which will include a ban on overtime and work to rule, will take place from April until late June 2019.

The new shift arrangements, introduced on 8 April, will achieve annual savings of £160,000 and remove £2 million worth of vehicles from the fleet, the council says. Staff working the new shift pattern qualify for an additional payment for working unsocial hours.

The strike action by Unite members of the council’s refuse collection staff, has significantly impacted on bin collections, including the garden waste service, the council says.

The start of the new shift pattern was postponed for 12 months to give staff more time to prepare for the change, it says.

Communities convener, Cllr Mark Salmond said: “I am acutely aware that many people who have paid for their garden waste to be collected are not currently receiving those collections. 

“While they were advised on subscription that there will be no refunds for missed collections, these are exceptional circumstances – a union strike that coincides exactly with changes to shift patterns and a time of year when demand for garden waste collections increases.

“All of the approximate 20,000 households signed up to the garden waste collection service will receive an additional month to their existing subscription.

“We cannot be certain how long this strike action will last – that is a matter for Unite and its members. But we will continue to monitor the impact on the service and ensure that those who have paid for the service are not financially disadvantaged, while seeking solutions to minimise disruption to the overall refuse collection service.”

Angus Council’s seven recycling centres continue to operate as normal, with the addition of general waste skips at Brechin, Carnoustie, Kirriemuir and Monifieth. Garden waste is also accepted at all recycling centres.

Cllr Salmond said: “We know that the current situation is far from ideal and we fully appreciate the public’s concern. We’re grateful for their pragmatism and support during these challenging times. All our staff are working extremely hard to minimise the inconvenience to our communities and to provide reliable information and accurate advice where possible.”

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