Thanet bin strike suspended for meeting with ACAS

Waste operatives

Strike action by GMB union members working as refuse collectors, street cleaners, drivers and loaders within Thanet District Council has been postponed.

Staff were due to start industrial action on Monday (September 11) but this has been suspended so a meeting can take place with Thanet council which will be facilitated by ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service).

The members employed by the council directly are in dispute over pay.  GMB is asking for £15ph for drivers and £12ph for loaders. These pay scales have recently been accepted by Dover, Folkestone, Ashford and Swale councils.

Frank Macklin, GMB Regional Organiser said: “Thanet council has reached out to the GMB to request a meeting that will be facilitated by ACAS.

“The meeting will be on Monday 11 September. This was meant to be the first day of strike action, but because the council has asked the union to meet with them, the GMB have agreed to suspend the strike action planned so we can attend the meeting, listen to what the council has to say and then hopefully be presented with an improved offer that we can put to our members on 12 September to see if they wish to accept or reject.”

Thanet council Chief Executive, Colin Carmichael said: “The council will attend a meeting with GMB Union representatives, facilitated by ACAS on Monday 11 September.

“We welcome realistic discussions with the union in the hope that we can achieve an outcome that works for all parties.

“We understand from GMB that strike action which had been anticipated to begin on Monday (11 September) has been suspended to allow these discussions to take place.”

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33 Comments

  1. Well done to both sides avoiding a crippling strike that would have been a disaster for thanet. Acas has always been the way forward and was successful in ending the long running Canterbury strike

  2. I understand that these workers are asking for an extra 15p an hour.
    For goodness’ sake! They deserve every penny!

    • Only if they start carrying a shovel and a broom with them… and using it! Negotiators are missing a trick there.

      • Indeed – just give the guys what they are asking for – in return for an undertaking that they will be more proactive in clearing up any droppages or loose rubbish that gets left behind.

        Everyone’s a winner !

        • An old boyfriend of mine was a dustman in London in the early ’80s, and back then he was expected to carry bins on his back from alleyways. None of the bins on wheels put on the pavement like these days. Sure, give them a pay rise, but only if they do the job that was once expected of them before standards stopped.

          • I think they deserve a pay rise but I also agree with a previous comment.Please bring a broom and pick up the mess you drop.Nobody pays me when I sweep up after them.

          • Idiot, the money they are asking for is meagre by today’s standards. Would you want to do their job? You probably couldn’t handle it so why your stupid remarks?

          • No I wouldn’t, no more than a manual worker would want to be a typist. Silly argument.

            They serve US, the PUBLIC that pay for them. So if their work isn’t up to scratch, then surely we have every right to demand more of them if we think their work isn’t up to scratch?

  3. The three big unions that represent refuse workers – UNITE, UNISON & the GMB – are campaigning nationally for the figures of £15 an hour for drivers and £12 per hour for the rest of the crews. Even here in deepest Kent the majority of Councils are paying these figures. Let’s hope Thanet now joins the swelling throng.

    • Typical of the left – give them more pay for less work. No wonder we’re the laughing stock of Europe (visit Germany and see how clean their roads, pavements and gutters are).

      • Typical of the left? You laughable individual… The right to strike and the right to fair treatment and pay are basic fundamentals. What would your preference be? Are you saying that the right don’t want fairness and equality? It’s bold, I’ll grant you, but pleased to see someone admitting it.

        When did you last visit Germany? I love the country and have travelled there extensively, but if you think it is paved with gold and spotlessly clean, you are sorely mistaken. It has exactly the same problems we have. But, you’d need to leave Thanet to see that for yourself. Try it sometime.

        • As I pay council tax, I expect the right to have bins emptied without rubbish. Far more important to me than people getting a pay increase for doing a less efficient job than they used to.

          And Germany? Spent a fortnight touring various cities there in May, and was in France a fortnight ago. Both are considerably cleaner (and with considerably fewer fat people, though that’s another discussion!). How about you, Jim?

          • As for leaving Thanet, go and have a stroll around Faversham and Herne Bay, and compare it to Margate and Ramsgate. The difference is most startling.

          • Your council tax pays for many things, including the bins. However, the bulk goes to KCC, the Police and the Fire Service, not TDC, and certainly not all on ensuring Ms. Pink’s bin is emptied. When broken down, even accounting for a missed collection here or there, the waste service is reasonably good value for money. Why not try finding a private vendor to do a better job for the same price or less? Dare you…

            I’ve been travelling Germany extensively for the past 15 years and, like all places, there is good and bad. Some of it is immaculate, much like the UK, and some is filthy, again, much like the UK. It is easy to get a snapshot of something or somewhere else and think the grass is greener, but the reality is distinctly different.

            As for the ‘fewer fat people’ comment, were you aware that Germany is in the top three for heart disease and circulatory issues in the EU? Not that any of this is relevant to the discussion, but it does rather highlight your somewhat blinkered view.

  4. For crying out loud TDC, give them the requested pay increase.

    Ms.Pink volunteer your services for a month or two on the back end of a bin lorry and at at the end of that period I’ll have a sensible debate with you.

    • So it’s OK for them to break people’s bins (that WE get charged for), plus ok for them to leave rubbish they spilt on the floor is it??

      They wheel the bin, the machine picks it up.

      Compared to years ago they have it bloody easy and those binmen tidied up after themselves!

    • Give them the money if more. Like to see you on £12.00 an hour go on all these holidays and nails being done. At least they are working!!!

  5. Go on give them a payrise so all of our council tax bills go up , they get more money, then the rest of us lose out, great idea .

    • British tax payer

      I like your thinking if I cant get good pay why should anyone else. Abit smalld small minded if you dont mind me saying.

      Personally I dont think 12quid an hour to work in all weathers, deal with the gobby public and work for TDC. I would want alot more than 12quid an hour

  6. What happened way back has changed dramatically thanks to this and successive national and local government. Think for a moment, Health & Safety Executive for one.

    I refer you (Ms.Pink) back to my earlier comment – volunteer your services for a month or two on the back end of a bin lorry and at at the end of that period I’ll have a sensible debate with you.

    Remember also, the subject matter refers to Thanet not Faversham or indeed elsewhere.

    • If any of them thinks handling a shovel and broom is “unsafe”, then they should seriously consider a career change.

      • Ms Pink

        You are clearly our of touch with H&S, Risk assessment, Method statements, Safe working practices etc.

        You are making yourself look an uneducated fool.

        • Well, if it’s unsafe for THEM to clear things up with a shovel and broom, then it is clearly unsafe for US, the untrained PUBLIC to clear up after them. What say you, Ex?

          • Who said anything about it being unsafe ?

            I just mentioned you didnt understand Risk Assessment, method statements etc. With you reply you show again you dont understand modern employment law .

  7. Let’s just hope that they are forced to do the full shift that they are being paid for. Finishing early because you’ve rushed your round and left crap on the streets needs to end. They want fair pay, then it’s only fair that they work their full contractual hours.
    Over the last 4 years I have had to pay twice now because the binmen threw our seagull proof bag in the back of the lorry because they were too lazy to empty them. They also done the same with our food waste bin.

    • I thought task and finish had been scrapped due to the refuse operatives finishing really early, they were then dropping their fellow workers to their home addresses after their finished shifts. Giving Waite then insisted that all refused workers needed to go back to the Manston depot and then sent them back out to pick up extra work. They then took their time on shifts and did not return to the depot until their shifts ended, what a good way of turning your employees into jobs worths.

  8. They deserve more only if they carry out contracted obligations ie clearance of spillages and compliance with Heath and Safety.

  9. The public of Thanet should take more responsibility for the state of the place, look at the front gardens that don’t get looked after, why not do the weeding on both sides of the wall , it’s not hard to keep your property clean and tidy. As for the rubbish in the street and along the seafront areas who puts it there, it’s people who don’t care and outside the schools it’s the children of the same people who don’t care.

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