Background to the current strike action by our Refuse and Recycling drivers

Richard Bradley, Head of Cityclean and Parks, has sent some information on the background to the current strike action being taken by our Refuse and Recycling Charge Hand Drivers as a letter to the editor of The Argus. You can also read the details below:

The GMB want an increase in grading and pay for Refuse and Recycling Charge Hand Drivers. However, increasing allowances for one group of staff would require us to increase it for many others and at great cost to the council’s overall pay bill.  The agreement we reached with our trade unions and staff last year was to better ensure we were equal pay compliant; we cannot favour one group of workers over another.

Raising the general pay line for Driver Charge Hands would have very significant pay bill implications not only for the Cityclean and Parks service but also the whole of the council at a time when our overall council budget is set to reduce by some £100 million over the next 4 years. 

More recently the GMB has suggested delegating more management responsibility to Driver Charge Hands as a way of increasing their pay. There isn’t a coherent business case for doing this and it’s unlikely that it would result in an increase in the job grade due to the very small teams that Driver Charge Hands currently supervise .

We are keeping communication open with the GMB and have offered to explore conciliation through ACAS, to try avert strike action, and to look more widely at redesigning the service. The GMB refused this offer. 

I really appreciate how much the industrial action is affecting the city and the frustration of residents and we will continue to work towards a resolution.

Richard Bradley
Head of Cityclean and Parks

Service updates

During the industrial action there will be disruption to the refuse and recycling collections service. We apologise for any delays. Get the latest information about collections and what to do if your collection has been missed at

The street cleansing team will be working as normal.

The Cityclean team post daily service updates Monday to Friday. You can also visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

The household waste and recycling centres will be open as normal and you can also take recycling to any of the recycling points in the city.