Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

What happens now Birmingham's bin dispute is over?

Birmingham's long-running bin dispute has officially ended.

Unite the union and Birmingham City Council have come to an agreement which ends the dispute, which began in June.

The city council made the cuts in order to save £5 million but have ended up spending at least £6.5 million in the dispute.

Residents were left without their bins being collected for months with bin bags lying on the city streets.

Refuse workers have agreed to accept a deal offered by Birmingham City Council.

Under the deal the issue at the centre of the row - the grade three job role - is retained, but the job title has changed and workers will have added responsibilities.

The changes will take place next February.

As part of the agreement reached on Saturday (25 November), the High Court hearing due to start today will not go ahead and the city council has agreed to pay Unite’s legal costs.

This angry resident tweeted a picture of their bins that were left on the street for 50 days Credit: @outinbrum

Unite assistant general secretary, Howard Beckett, welcomed the outcome.

He said:

This deal secures the grade three role and protects the pay of workers who faced losing thousands of pounds.

It is a victory for common sense and a victory for the people of Birmingham who no longer need worry about the disruption of industrial action.

This deal, which protects the livelihoods of hard working refuse workers, would not have been possible without the determination and solidarity of Unite members.

Rather than rolling over, they stood firm through thick and thin to defend their jobs and the service they provide to the city of Birmingham.

The stand that Birmingham’s refuse workers took and the victory they have secured should be an inspiration to others right across the trade union movement.

– Unite, Howard Beckett

Birmingham City Council has welcomed the end to the dispute.

The Leader, Ian Ward, said:

I made it clear that my top priority on becoming leader was to resolve this dispute – the disruption caused for the citizens of Birmingham has been completely unacceptable, and everyone recognises that.

This has always been about providing an efficient and effective refuse collection service for Birmingham, as that is what citizens rightly expect and deserve from us.

Neither the council or Unite wanted things to escalate in the way they did, so I am pleased that through quiet, open and honest dialogue we have been able to reach a legally-sound position, going through the correct governance processes that we must always follow.

– Birmingham City Council leader, Ian Ward

More on this story