Binmen set for strike vote
BINMEN are set to ballot for strike action after claiming support for controversial new evening refuse collections was a "distortion of reality" by Fife Council.
Trade union members have twice voted against the proposals but received letters saying the changes would be introduced regardless of their opposition.
The new collections, set to run on shifts from 6am until 9pm, are set to be implemented in October and the local authority claimed that 73 per cent of staff have backed the changes.
However, trade union Unite dispute the figures and claim their members are ready to down tools in protest at the suggested shift changes.
Unite regional officer Richard Whyte told the Press, "The council's figures are a distortion of reality as has been pointed out to them by our workplace reps at a recent meeting to discuss the dispute.
"A formal dispute hearing will be held later this month.
"We are preparing to formally ballot our members who form the majority of the workforce to establish their support for industrial action.
"We have made proposals to management which we believe may resolve the stand-off but as yet they have not been accepted.
"The imposition of new contracts by mass dismissal and re-engagement would occur on 16th October. So the next month will be crucial in establishing how things proceed."
The council says it is extending bin collection hours to make the most of expensive lorries and reduce the number of vehicles it owns to save £800,000 a year.
Initially they wrote to all workers involved to explain that the service changes would be implemented in October and asked them to agree individually to the new terms and conditions.
Executive member for transportation and environmental services, Councillor Pat Callaghan, said, "The new collection regime is to be implemented from Monday 15th October.
"From then, the collections will be undertaken from 6am to 9pm on a two-shift system and over a five-day Monday-to-Friday working week.
"There are 232 members of staff who are involved in the delivery of the bin collection service. To date, 170 members of staff have accepted their new conditions of employment and that represents 73 per cent of the crews.
"I am encouraged by the high percentage who have signed up to this quite challenging restructure of the service and hope that we will have complete resolution as we go forward with the services.
"It is always our main priority to protect jobs and services."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Aug 24, 15:07
62 still remaining to accept their new conditions of employment. "mmmmm"
I think that they better get on with it and accept what is on the table or you lot will be shown the door.
and you won't get a cushier number anywhere else.
there are plenty of unskilled unemployed guys out there that will take your jobs off you.
Recommend? Yes 28 No 7
Aug 24, 16:48
Yeah jolly molly..fair points...fair points....but let us just look at the situation from the council tax payers point of view..bins out from what time?.....told at the moment all bins have to be out at 7 a.m..when are they emptied ?...today at 2.pm...so are they going to be emptied at midnight?...I am not being fescious..no can't spell..they do a great job!!!........feel for the guys...just another away of saving money...any chance we could save money by getting rid of those behind a desk who are out of touch with reality??? no enuf said.....argh
Recommend? Yes 12 No 14
Aug 24, 18:12
I do there job every time I see them there in the cab eating pies or crisps so please can I get job with council and 1 of there workers come and do mine .oh wait a hard days work for a council worker maybe not then.get a grip bin men you have easy job!!!
Recommend? Yes 15 No 10
Aug 25, 02:43
I wouldn't say these guys have an easy job but yeah lots of us would love to have 'A' job. Do their job and then come back with the same statements guys. Regardless of why the changes are being made, there will be complaints about noise pollution at such times..well they are heavy vehicles and lots of children and early risers may well be disturbed. I am in two minds here...obvioulsy do not want these guys to strike but again this is FC..ahhh i don't know...
Recommend? Yes 7 No 5
Aug 25, 15:25
i remember when the bin men came round to your back door to collect your rubbish, nowadays the public by having to put it out themselves for roadside collection are doing half the binmens work anyway for no payment at all.
Recommend? Yes 25 No 2
Aug 27, 21:12
I don't fancy having bin lorries roaring around late at night. They should do their job during the day, like everyone else, they are not shift workers. Lets see the buffoon of a council manager who came up with this idea trotting around doing his work at 9.00 pm.
Recommend? Yes 8 No 3
Aug 30, 20:11
Aug 31, 17:13
If this saves the council and us ratepayers money then it's a good thing. There's plenty of other traffic around at those times and 1 single lorry crawling slowly along isn't going to make the least bit of difference to anything.
If the bin men don't like it they know what they can do - there are dozens and dozens of applications for every vacancy and it's not as if it's a difficult or heavy job nowadays. As usual the union just wants to get it's snout deeper into the trough.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 2
Sep 4, 18:08
1. (@maclam) The binmen don't now come to your back door because of cutbacks by the Council.
2. (@hottie2) The binmen you see eating in the cabs don't have time to go back to a depot cafe for their breaks. It may not now be as heavy work, as when I did it in the 60s, as a student summer job, but it's still time-pressured and dirty work! However, can I ask how would you like to eat your meals in such unhygienic and uncomfortable conditions?
3. (@redrobin) You weren't being fascetious with your comments about Fife Council. When have we the people who elect the Councillors been consulted or asked for our reactions to these proposals? We still haven't been told how it will affect us; and it's only a month away!
In general, the union Unite and the binmen are only seeking proper consultation and negotiation about major changes to their work-life balance, and I for one, won't deny them their right for proper treatment in that regard!
Recommend? Yes 1 No 1