Home news Birmingham bin strike: Report warns deal 'unaffordable'

Birmingham bin strike: Report warns deal 'unaffordable'

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The deal that ended the bin strike which saw mountains of waste pile up on Birmingham’s streets is unaffordable, a report warns.The seven-week strike action was suspended last week amid negotiations between Unite and the city council.But the breakthrough could be unworkable as the council report says giving ground on workers’ demands is not financially viable.It cost the authority up to £300,000 a week to clear the backlog of rubbish.See more stories from across Birmingham and the Black Country here

The dispute centres on a restructuring plan that Unite says is threatening the jobs of more than 120 refuse collectors, while the council says it will modernise the service and save £5m a year.The strike was suspended on 16 August after the council agreed certain posts would not be made redundant and conciliatory service Acas said bin collections could resume.A statement said the authority had accepted the workers’ case and restored the jobs of grade three workers, who are responsible for safety at the back of refuse vehicles.BudgetHowever, a report due to be discussed by the council’s cabinet on Thursday said the proposed reorganisation – which prompted the industrial action – was needed to enable spending to be contained within the budget.Current working arrangements and crew structure had not delivered value-for-money savings targets and “will not meet the business need of the future”, the report said.

It said a decision to not proceed with the deletion of grade three roles would result in an increase in costs of £600,000 in a full year alone.”However, the more significant potential financial implications arising from a decision not to continue with the implementation of the new operating model arise from a significant increase in the risks in relation to further equal pay claims,” the report added.The meeting to discuss the report was deferred until 1 September.
Source: BBC Black Country