Birmingham’s bin strike is over

Birmingham’s bin strike appears to be over at last – five months after the first industrial action.

The dispute, which centred around the jobs of 122 waste management workers, has been estimated to have cost the city £6m and did cost Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy his job in September.

The deal will see the grade three role retained, but with a change of job title and added responsibilities such as data collection for refuse compliance, Unite the Union said.

As part of the deal, a high court hearing scheduled for today will not go ahead as planned. Instead a court order is expected to legally cement the agreement.

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “It is a victory for common sense and a victory for the people of Birmingham who no longer need worry about the disruption of industrial action.”

Bin bags piled up across the city as reduced bin collection services struggled to keep up.

Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet endorsed the deal on Friday.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I made it clear that my top priority on becoming leader was to resolve this dispute – the disruption caused for the citizens of Birmingham has been completely unacceptable, and everyone recognises that.

“This has always been about providing an efficient and effective refuse collection service for Birmingham, as that is what citizens rightly expect and deserve from us.

“Neither the council or Unite wanted things to escalate in the way they did, so I am pleased that through quiet, open and honest dialogue we have been able to reach a legally-sound position, going through the correct governance processes that we must always follow.”