Latest on possible industrial action

The council has expressed its ‘disappointment’ that the GMB union, whose members make up the city’s waste and recycling service Cityclean, has called for strike action on a number of dates in August, including the busy Pride weekend.

Council leaders say they are still ‘fully committed’ to resolving outstanding issues with the union, and hope to avert any industrial action taking place.

Talks between the council, union and arbitration service ACAS are taking place this Thursday to see if the situation can be resolved.

Contingency plans being drawn up

Meetings are also taking place within the council to develop contingency plans to keep the city clean and tidy if industrial action goes ahead.

The council has also been in contact with the organisers of Pride to ensure they are kept fully up to speed with the developing situation.  

A council spokesperson said: “We’re very disappointed that the GMB has decided to issue dates for industrial action in two weeks’ time and running through August, including Pride weekend.

Council fully committed to resolving any issues

“We’re still fully committed to resolving any outstanding issues through the ACAS talks to ensure the service we provide for our residents and businesses is maintained and not disrupted.

“During talks between the council, the GMB and ACAS there has been clear agreement on most of the issues that the union has concerns about, and another round of talks are due to take place this Thursday.”

The spokesperson added: “We take seriously the allegations of anti-trade union behaviour and are investigating this. We’re also very disappointed that trust between the council and GMB has broken down, but we’re confident this trust can be rebuilt to the benefit of the service.

Important that all allegations are investigated

“The council has received a number of allegations and counter allegations which need to be investigated and we’ve agreed with the GMB to appoint an independent person from outside of the council to review this. 

“The council has clear standards of behaviour to ensuring everyone is treated with dignity and respect at work, and it is important that when there are allegations these are investigated appropriately and fairly through our procedures.

“The staff member involved can continue to undertake their role, but at different site to allow a fair investigation to take place. There is no loss of GMB representation for GMB members at the depot and union members have full choice about who represents them.

“We would therefore hope the union still meets on Thursday with ourselves and ACAS and seek to resolve the issue and avoid industrial action.”