Thursday, 30 July 2009

Refuse dispute update: 30th July

Here is the update from the council administration group about their actions and position in the refuse dispute. In summary
  • 20 private contract staff have begun working night shift to clear the backlog
  • a private contractor will assume responsibility for the city centre during the festival
  • 40 temporary refuse collectors are being recruited
  • there will be further talks with the unions tomorrow

The dispute has gone on long enough. The background can be summarised in the Bin dispute: 5 key points post a few days ago.

Here are a further 5 important points:

  1. Equal pay legislation has given the Council no option but to restructure pay. The Council has already paid out over £25m in compensation claims. This hemorrhage of public money must be stopped.
  2. The current 'work to rule' is described as unofficial. The Unite union is currently balloting its members: one of the options is a full strike.
  3. Many current working practices (in refuse collection) are inefficient and indefensible.
  4. The cost of refuse collection in Edinburgh is more expensive than the average in Scotland and much more expensive than the average in England.
  5. Successive administrations have avoided testing other options - such as tendering for other to companies collect our rubbish. The long term solution must be driven by getting a more efficient collection service. There is plenty of scope!

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