Deal staves off strike threat

Un-collected bins in Aspull as a result of missed rounds because of a public sector strike
Un-collected bins in Aspull as a result of missed rounds because of a public sector strike

THE threat of further strikes affecting bin collections and council services in Wigan has been lifted after unions accepted a pay offer.

Borough households were hit with missed collections and school closures in July and a further strike was tabled for last month.

That action was postponed while union officials considered an improved offer from the government.

Public sector workers and school support staff had been in dispute with Westminster over pay rises.

But unions Unison, GMB and Unite accepted a two year deal worth an average rise of 2.35 per cent.

Head of local government for Unison Heather Wakefield said: “Members covered by the National Joint Council (NJC) for Local Government have the lowest pay in the public sector and have suffered significant attacks on work conditions.

“We will continue to campaign for the living wage to become the minimum rate of pay in local government and for a commensurate increase for NJC employees.”

GMB national officer Brian Strutton said: “Around 1.5 million council workers and school staff have taken a pragmatic decision to accept.

“That puts the 2014 pay dispute to bed but there are still serious financial challenges ahead for local government services and our members.”

In the lead up to last month’s cancelled strike action, opposition councillors had called on Wigan Council to pay for replacement waste collections with financial reserves.

The council had sent out 30,000 leaflets to notify affected residents.