Adur & Worthing Councils call for staff to reconsider strike threat on 14th March in wake of salary increases

Strike threat in Adur and Worthing

Council pay review in October concludes with pay rises for staff

Adur & Worthing Councils are calling for refuse, recycling and cleansing staff to reconsider plans to strike as a review concludes with sizeable pay rises for many.

A pay review begun by the Councils in October means that every person in the 109 posts looked at will get a rise of at least 6% on top of a national backdated pay award of 1.75%. The Councils’ HGV drivers will get a total pay rise of at least 12.7%.

An Adur & Worthing Councils’ spokesman said: “The result of the review is that our frontline teams are being given decent pay rises, when they were already on comparable pay to staff employed in similar roles at other councils. Our HGV drivers will get a pay rise of more than 12.7%.

“We would urge those staff who have voted to take strike action to rethink. In the context of the current economic situation, with all public sector organisations facing considerable restraints on budgets, this review has managed to fund salary rises considerably above what many others in the community will be getting.”

GMB union members to go on strike with unclear reasons to the Councils

Two weeks ago members of the GMB union announced its members would go on strike for two weeks, beginning Monday 14th March. In an overall depot staff of 155, 44 voted for strike action meaning it is likely collection of bins will be severely disrupted.

In October last year Adur & Worthing Councils commenced an internal review into the pay of 109 members of staff in its refuse, recycling and cleansing department. This was significantly ahead of the GMB contacting the Councils in December last year. UNISON is the recognised union at the Councils not the GMB and has been involved in the review process.

Although the Councils have approached the GMB for details of their demands, the union has refused to respond, leaving the authorities unclear of the reasons for strike action.

Dates of pay rises, staff members and percentage increased

As a result of the review, 65 members of staff have been moved up a grade and a further 40 who are required to drive HGVs regularly as part of their role will get a permanent annual £2,700 specialist skills supplement. Four more will get both the annual specialist skills supplement and be moved up a grade.

Each member of staff who has been regraded moved to their new band with a pay rise on March 2nd. They will get further pay rises on September 1st this year and then on April 1st, 2023 – worth a total of at least 6% – as well as the national pay rise of 1.75%.

HGV drivers will get an immediate pay rise of at least 11% in the form of the specialist skills supplement, as well as the national backdated 1.75% pay rise – an overall increase of at least 12.77%.

Adur & Worthing Councils’ review is continuing, including work to rebalance refuse and recycling rounds to deal with the demands of new housing. Staff are being offered the opportunity to gain an HGV driving qualification while there will also continue to be discussions about ways to improve the working environment.

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