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6th Jul, 2022

Rugby council issues statement in response to union organising bin collection strikes

RUGBY Borough Council (RBC) has issued a further statement in response to the union organising the forthcoming bin collection strikes in the town.

Members of Unite the Union who work in Rugby Borough Council’s (RBC) refuse, recycling and street cleansing services will go on strike for two weeks, beginning on Tuesday (April 26).

The strike is in protest over a 1.75 per cent pay rise for local government workers, which was negotiated nationally by the National Joint Council (NJC) for Local Government Services and agreed by the Unison and GMB trade unions.

An RBC spokesman said: “The 1.75 per cent pay settlement was negotiated and agreed by the NJC for Local Government Services, which has 70 members – 12 representing employers and 58 representing trade unions.

“The NJC negotiates the pay settlement for more than 300 local councils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which covers more than 1.4million local government and school workers.

“Rugby Borough Council has a constructive relationship with Unite and in February completed a ‘benchmarking’ review of our refuse loader and street cleansing roles, comparing the council’s pay with the pay offered for similar roles by 19 other employers, both other local councils and companies in the private sector.

“The council’s pay for both roles was found to be above the median pay offered by the other companies and, in many cases, in the upper quartile.

“We have communicated this information to both Unite and our refuse, recycling and street cleansing workforce.

“The findings of the benchmarking review complement the favourable general terms and conditions the council offers in relation to employer pension contributions, annual leave and sickness entitlement. Our refuse and recycling teams also benefit from working to ‘task and finish’, which enables a better work/life balance.

“However, the council remains committed to working constructively with Unite and, following the benchmarking review, agreed in February to review all relevant job descriptions to ensure pay grades reflect the duties and responsibilities each role entails.

“We have committed to completing this review by the end of May 2022.”

Yesterday (Thursday April 22), when the strike was announced, Unite regional officer Zoe Mayou told The Observer: “The 1.75 per cent increase is a slap in the face for workers who were on the front line keeping the residents of Rugby safe during the pandemic. The pay offer does next to nothing to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis faced by these essential workers.

“It’s time to pay these essential workers a decent wage.”

RBC said it would keep residents informed of disruption to services when more information was available. Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/servicedisruption for updates.

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