Council hits back at union in bin dispute

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Wigan Council has expressed disappointment after bin workers voted for industrial action.

The local authority hit back after Unison members in the waste collection service opted to take action over changes to working practices.

Karl Battersby, director for economy and environment, said: “We want to make sure residents have an efficient and effective waste collection service and to do this we’ve redesigned the way we deliver this service.

“We have worked closely with our staff and consulted with them on these changes which include a four-day working week and flexible working with no impact on their pay.

“We have listened to their feedback and believe we have offered a very fair package which suits them and meets the operational needs of the service.

“Although we originally thought there would be a number of redundancies as a result of these changes, we have amended our proposals and do not need to make any compulsory redundancies which is great news for our staff.

­“We are pleased that 80 per cent of our staff have accepted these new working arrangements. Unfortunately there are a small number of staff who, despite the concessions we have made, have chosen not to accept our offer.

“We are disappointed that some staff have voted in favour of industrial action.

“This is in opposition to the new working arrangements and not the new three-weekly collections.

“We want to thank our residents for their ongoing support as we implement the collection changes which will help us to save £2m a year as part of The Deal, increase recycling and protect essential frontline services.”