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Birmingham bin strike: Council offers new deal to end dispute

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    Bags piled high in Tarry Road, BirminghamImage copyright PA
    Image caption Workers started their strike on 30 June

    Bin workers in Birmingham who were involved in a three-month strike have accepted a deal, says the Unite union.

    The pay row started in June when Unite claimed the city council’s bid to “modernise” the service and save £5m a year threatened more than 100 jobs.

    The deal put forward by the council will see 106 staff remain on their current wages but in new roles helping with recycling.

    It means a High Court hearing on Monday will not go ahead, the union said.

    The strikes led to thousands of tonnes of rubbish left piled up on the city’s streets.

    Why did refuse workers strike in Birmingham?

    Unite was to take the Labour-run council to the High Court, claiming the authority’s plan to lose staff and change working patterns was unlawful.

    A judge granted an interim injunction against the council in September which halted the strikes and a trial was scheduled to determine if the authority acted against the law.

    Under the council’s new proposal, which the union agreed earlier, workers will still be on bin lorries, but will focus on recycling to “engage and educate” residents about how and what they throw away.

    If the workers help increase recycling rates in the city – which are relatively low – that will also save money, the council said.

    Sending less waste to landfill and increasing recycling by 10% will save £1.6m a year.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-42122915

    The authority also estimates £3m a year can be saved by changing workers’ hours from a four-day week to a shorter five-day week – meaning less reliance on overtime and agency staff.

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