Council hits back amid strike action threat

By William Eichler | 31 May 2017

Refuse workers in Birmingham have started voting on strike action amid accusations of financial mismanagement and an overspend by the city council of nearly £10m.

Trade union Unite has been involved in a consultation with managers of Birmingham City Council’s waste management and refuse service over job cuts.

Unite regional officer, Lynne Shakespeare, said: ‘We would urge management to begin listening to the workforce and start talking meaningfully with Unite to avoid the prospect of industrial action in the coming months.’

Corporate director for place at the council, Jacqui Kennedy, said: ‘Pressures and demands on the service continue and mean we have to find ways of saving in the region of £10m more on an annual basis. 

‘We need to offer our services in a more productive, effective and efficient way.

‘It is evident that there are more cost effective ways of working in refuse collection. 

‘Management is committed to working closely with union colleagues to help them produce alternative proposals. 

‘It is therefore disappointing this action is being encouraged while we continue to work so closely.’

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Finance Management Birmingham Unions