Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council agrees staff cost-of-living payments to end strike

The industrial action began in August in a dispute over pay. Credit: UTV

An agreement has been reached that could end the industrial action impacting waste collection services at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, councillors approved an agreement with trade union representatives, who will now ballot their members.

It's understood the action, which began in August following a dispute over pay, will be suspended during the ballot period.

Over recent weeks rubbish has piled high on the streets in the council area, with household bins unemptied and recycling centres closed.

A statement from ABC council explained: "Following a vote, elected members approved the proposal for a bespoke local pay offer to staff.

"The agreement reached will see staff on the bottom six pay scales of the organisation re-defined and scales adjusted so that the very lowest paid workers will benefit. 

"In addition, these staff will receive a one-off cost of living payment of £500.

"The introduction of these new salary scales will align with the Real Living Wage, therefore improving Council’s ability to attract and retain staff to benefit long-term service delivery.

"In addition, staff currently on S01 – PO6 will have their pay adjusted and staff above PO6 would not receive any adjustment.

"All staff receiving salaries ranging from SO1 – PO12 will receive a one-off cost of living payment of £1,100."

The statement added: "As a result of Council’s decision, JTUs and Management will meet in the morning to discuss suspension of strike action."