Mid Ulster Council arranges extra bin bag lifts to clear waste as strike ends

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Following confirmation that industrial action is to end at Mid Ulster District Council, the local authority has confirmed its waste management team will lift additional bags of household and recycling waste for the next fortnight.

On Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for Mid Ulster District Council confirmed it had successfully concluded discussions with the three trade unions, GMB, NIPSA and Unite.

The positive outcome will see the council’s services return to normal today (Friday, August 19).

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However, with industrial action ongoing for four weeks, residents and businesses across the borough have had to deal with disruption to services, including their waste collection.

In an effort to ensure the waste that has not been collected as anticipated, is lifted promptly, a council spokesperson has confirmed the local authority will lift two additional bags of black and blue bin waste until September 2.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, a spokesperson for the local authority said: “We are advising residents that we will collect up to two additional bags of black bin and blue bin waste up to Friday, September 2.”

A joint statement from the council and the three trade unions confirmed staff at the local authority will receive a one-off cost of living payment of £750 and see their salaries move up existing pay scales by two points over the next two years.

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“As a result of the collective discussions with all three unions, GMB and NIPSA will now recommend the offer to their members. Unite has a mandate to accept the offer and suspend the current industrial action by its members,” reads the statement.

“The local offer will see staff move up their existing pay scales by two points over two years, and also includes an improved one-off ‘cost of living’ payment of £750.

“Council and Trade Unions have welcomed the outcome of the constructive discussions, jointly acknowledging the importance of ongoing positive engagement.

“It is anticipated that all impacted services will return to normal on Friday (August 19).”

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Unite’s General Secretary, Sharon Graham said she was “really proud” of her union’s members in Northern Ireland and described the outcome as a “concrete example of Unite delivering on jobs, pay and conditions for its members”.

“This increase was only won because of a powerful strike at the council,” said Ms Graham.

“Indeed, only days ago council bosses were notified of members’ intent to move to an all-out strike after the conclusion of their latest four-week action. In the face of such determination, management have agreed a new pay offer.”

Unite’s lead regional officer for Northern Ireland, Gareth Scott said the agreement sets the bar for deals elsewhere.

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“This pay offer sets the bar for deals elsewhere and shows the way disputes at other councils can be settled,” said Mr Scott.

“We are calling on other councils to take heed and follow the lead of Mid Ulster and avoid any further unnecessary disruption.

Workers need a cost of living increase which protects them and their families from inflation.”