Wrexham council workers pay row over as deal struck to end strikes which hit refuse collections

Wrexham Council says staff will return to work Monday 30 October and householders can expect a black bin and recycling collection on their normal day. Credit: PA

Refuse collectors who are members of the Unite union will return to work next week after a pay deal was struck with Wrexham Council.

Residents in the area have faced weeks of disruption to their waste collections following a row over nationally-negotiated pay awards.

Unite says following a ballot of its members, it has "withdrawn industrial action" and "accepted the offer from Wrexham Council".

It said the deal "improves their terms and conditions in a number of areas".

Sharon Graham, Unite General Secretary says "it was only achieved by our members remaining united throughout the strike action".

She added: "If they had not taken a stand then nothing in this deal would have been achieved."   

The deal is complex but includes a new pay scale for the lowest-paid refuse workers alongside protection for bank holiday working.

The Council has also committed to reviewing a number of other pay-related issues in advance of next year's budget.

Paying tribute to all its members in Wrexham Council, Simon Ellis, Unite Regional Officer said the way in which members "had supported each other throughout this dispute has been inspirational".

He continued: "By remaining united they have forced Wrexham Council to reconsider its position and table this improved offer."

Staff will return to work on Monday 30 October and householders can expect a black bin and recycling collection on their normal day.

What does this mean for bin collections in Wrexham?

Over the last few weeks of the strike, not all waste and recycling has been collected.

Next week (October 30-November 3), the council has said it will do its best to give everyone a black bin AND recycling collection, on their normal collection day.

All these collections are anticipated to be heavier than normal, resulting in vehicles becoming full sooner.

The plan for the following week (the week starting November 6) is that there will be a return to normal (pre-strike) collection calendars (including garden waste). 

The aim is to get bin collections "back to normal quickly", according to Councillor Pritchard.

He said: “We’re going to spend next week trying to clear everyone’s black bins and recycling, to allow us to return to normal collections the following week.

“Please bear with us as we’ll be collecting significant volumes of waste whilst also getting employees back into work, catching up and re-organising our bin wagons and teams.

“We’ll issue further updates next week.

“We know this has been a really difficult time for everyone, and I’d like to thank households for their patience during the strike.”

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