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Bin Strike Planned for Neighbouring Waverley

Published on: 25 Oct, 2022
Updated on: 27 Oct, 2022

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

Three weeks of bin strikes could hit Waverley as collection staff have voted for strike action.

The walkout is planned from Thursday, November 3, and will affect Godalming, Farnham, Haslemere and Cranleigh among others.

Members of the GMB union, employed by the council’s waste contractor Biffa, are calling for a pay rise, with a union spokesperson saying the current offer will leave staff “worse off than this time last year”.

Bins won’t be collected for three weeks in the Waverley Borough Council area if the strike goes ahead.

Street cleaning services will also be affected by the strike, due to last until November 23.

GMB’s regional officer Paul Grafton said the union agreed to brokered talks continuing with the employer, but that the only way to avoid actions was a “substantially” raised pay offer that members would be happy to accept.

He said strike action “served no one”, with striking workers losing pay for the days they weren’t working, possible fines for Biffa if it did not meet contractual duties and rubbish from residents and businesses was left uncollected.

He said: “Once again, our members are being forced to take action in order to secure a pay rise that won’t leave them worse off than this time last year.

“If employers continue to offer below inflation pay rises, then our members will be forced to take action to protect their position.”

A Waverley Borough Council spokesperson said: We are aware of the dispute between the GMB and our waste contractor.

“Discussions between them are continuing and we hope they can come to agreement and avert the proposed strike.

“We are working with Biffa to understand the likely scale and impact of the strike and what actions we can take with them to minimise the impact on residents.

“As soon as we have more clarity, we will release further information and would ask residents to be patient in the event that strike action does take place.”

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