‘Surprise’ as refuse collectors balloted over industrial action

Kier at work collecting rubbish in north Norfolk

Kier at work collecting rubbish in north Norfolk - Credit: Archant

Bin collections across north Norfolk could be disrupted if union members vote to strike.

Refuse collections across north Norfolk could be disrupted if union members vote to strike.

Kier, which empties the bins on behalf of North Norfolk District Council, has confirmed that the GMB union has balloted for industrial action amid a dispute over pay.

The waste contractors said they were surprised by the announcement but that they continued to pursue a resolution before the vote on Thursday.

Julian Tranter, managing director, Kier Environmental Services, explaineds: 'The North Norfolk refuse collection team pay increases are set by the public sector pay standard known as the National Joint Council (NJC) agreement. The GMB, alongside UNITE, Unison and other public sector bodies agreed the 2016/17 NJC increase of 2.4% over two years (1.2% in 2016 and 1.2% in 2017), earlier this year. So we were understandably surprised when locally 26 GMB members out of our 106 employees, voted to strike and reject the pay increase already negotiated through their union.


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'We already pay all of our team at least the Living Wage, and over 80% of the team are paid above the Living Wage. In addition we have offered a higher increase of between 3.5-4.2%, as an alternative to the NJC offer if they want to leave the NJC system, to try to respond to local GMB concerns. But the GMB have also rejected this, instead demanding an increase of 20%.

'We have tried to keep a dialogue open but it seems that this minority group want to pursue strike action. We will continue to pursue resolution, and in the interim will do our upmost to offset any potential impact on service.'

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