GMB union members working for Thanet District Council’s Waste and Recycling collections services have voted to suspend strike action which was due to start on Tuesday (May 30).
At a meeting today (Friday 26th May) members voted to allow talks aimed at seeking a resolution to proposals for improved council pay rates and bandings to commence at the earliest opportunity.
Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser said: “The live strike action notices which currently run from the 30th May until June 25th will stay in place to protect our members position, but a suspension around taking action at this time is the right thing to do, as both parties have now with early assistance from ACAS agreed both the process and scope of any talks to allow them to take place.
“It means residents can look forward to a continuation of all current services while we look to tackle the substantive issue of low pay for those providing this vital service to council tax payers within the district and aimed at ending the dispute allowing our members and council staff access to an improved standard of living allowing them perhaps just a little breathing space between themselves and possible workplace poverty.”
A Thanet council statement says: “We have been notified today by the GMB Union that proposed strike action from Tuesday 30 May has been suspended. This is to allow talks to take place.
“It means that next week, waste and recycling collections in Thanet will continue as scheduled. This includes collections going ahead on the Bank Holiday (Monday 29 May).
“The council issued a statement last week following the announcement by GMB of their intention to strike. It outlines the steps already taken to address the concerns raised by cleansing staff regarding pay and the working environment. We recognise the need to support our staff and competitive pay is important for recruitment and retention.”