Large numbers at pickets as Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council staff start strike

A large number of workers attended picket lines across the Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council area this morning at the starte of a potential four week strike.

Workers from various council departments, from bins to leisure services, from planning to environmental health, started industrial action this morning over what unions have desribed as a ‘derisory pay offer’.

A picket line at South Lakes Leisure Centre which is close to Craigavon Civic Centre was well attended with a staff from the environmental health, leisure, and other council services.

According to union officials the strike could last up to four weeks and urged management to ‘put a decent offer on the table’.

Workers in the Unite and GMB unions who are on the picket line at South Lakes Leisure Centre in Craigavon. It is estimated around 1000 workers at Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council will be taking industrial action.

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It is estimated more than 1,000 council staff will take part in the strike in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Workers on the picket line at South Lakes Leisure Centre in Craigavon. It is estimated around 1000 workers at Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council will be taking industrial action.

A strike had originally been planned to start on Wednesday 10 August, but was postponed to facilitate the talks.

However talks with the Labour Relations Agency collapsed last week.

What services are impacted

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Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council said: “Today will see the most severe impact to services and facilities across the borough with all three Trade Unions (NIPSA, GMB, and Unite the Union) taking formal strike action.

Workers in Unite the Union who are on the picket line at South Lakes Leisure Centre in Craigavon. It is estimated around 1000 workers at Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council will be taking industrial action.

We apologise in advance to residents for the following anticipated disruption to refuse collection and household recycling centre services:

** Refuse Collections **

▶️ Brown, black and green bin collections will be impacted across the borough, but will take place where possible. Residents are advised to leave bins out for collection as normal.

▶️ If we have sufficient staff available for routes on any given day, we will work to collect bins where possible during this ongoing period of industrial action. Regrettably, we believe that the vast majority of bins will not be emptied.

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Workers in the GMB union who are on the picket line at South Lakes Leisure Centre in Craigavon. It is estimated around 1000 workers at Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council will be taking industrial action.

▶️ While we cannot guarantee collection, we are nonetheless asking residents to leave their bins out for collection by 7.00am on their normal collection days. This will allow us to empty bins where we have sufficient crews in place to do so.

▶️ If bins are not emptied on their normal collection day, we are asking residents to take their bins back in from the kerbside. This means we have not been able to operate the service in their area and we apologise for missing the week’s collection.

▶️ Bins should only be left out for collection again on your next scheduled collection day after the missed collection.

▶️ Bulky household waste collections and bin purchases are suspended until further notice.

Contacting council

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** Important Contact Information **

During this period of industrial action, telephone enquiries may not be responded to immediately therefore, we are advising residents to email the relevant department directly and staff will endeavour to respond as soon as possible.

Leisure Services

• Banbridge Leisure Centre is open for gym users only, subject to review.

• Dromore Leisure Centre and Tandragee Leisure Centre are open.

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• South Lake Leisure Centre, Orchard Leisure Centre, Gilford Community Centre, Richill Recreation Centre and Keady RC are all closed today, Monday 15 August.

Please Note: Where centres are open there will be significant disruption to sports programmes and timetables, including swimming. Customers are advised to check with your local centre before arrival.

A list of key email addresses can be found here ▶️ https://bit.ly/3PikIrH

We deeply regret the inconvenience this will cause and ask for your patience at this time, particularly with staff continuing to deliver services.