Ipswich: £1,000 sweetener offered to bin collectors for controversial four-day shift

Bin collectors have been offered £1,000 to accept new working hours. Bin collectors have been offered £1,000 to accept new working hours.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
4:15 PM

Refuse collectors in Ipswich have been offered a £1,000 bonus if they accept a controversial new four-day shift pattern starting next spring.

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Negotiations between the Labour-controlled borough council and its bin collectors have been underway since it was first announced earlier this year that they would be changing the shift patterns from April.

However there has been no agreement with Unison, which represents the collectors, and now the borough has offered staff a £1,000 bonus – to be paid in April – if an agreement is signed soon.

The bonus would cost the council £42,400 which would come from its community and cultural services budget.

The changes will be introduced at the same time as the council brings in single status pay for all its staff – this is expected to mean refuse collectors earn less than they do at present, although council leader David Ellesmere has said that in the long term this should allow most members of staff to earn more.

The borough’s human resources committee is due to discuss the issue at its next meeting tomorrow evening, in a section of the committee from which members of the public and the press are excluded.

If the workers agree to the new shifts, they will work 37 hours a week – although the drivers of the lorries would work a further three hours overtime a week to complete a last trip to the disposal site.

They would work from 6am to 3.45pm Tuesday to Friday, with a 30-minute break for lunch to be taken before noon.

The borough’s Unison branch has written to the authority saying it still has many concerns about the proposed implementation of the four-day week proposal.

A key concern is the impact on health and safety of both staff and members of the public.

The letter from Unison branch secretary Suzanne Williams points out that during 2012/13 there were 15 fatalities nationally within the waste collection and recycling sector – three of them were members of the public.

It adds: “We struggle to see how the proposed compressed working our can have anything but a detrimental effect on the health and safety of employees.”

A reply from Gordon Mole, head of community and cultural services, says: “The health and safety of its workforce is IBC’s priority.

“The council accepts that it must continue work to minimise risk of harm to staff, as now, working in varied conditions.”

20 comments

  • IMP....what I'm saying is....The bin men earn a good wage for the job they do! It's not dangerous....it's not exactly exacting in anyway, not like in the old days. Do they not get provided with proper gear to wear? And... please do not spout on about shift work which I did for 29 years except when some clown broke my leg and I had 6 months "off" while trying to get back to fitness.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

  • I was really impressed during the august bank holiday at how quickly our bins here were emptied. The Bin Men were fired up and almost tripping over each other to empty our bins as quickly as possible. Even the driver was helping out. Team work at it's finest.

    Report this comment

    Ashley Barrett

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • Concerned of Suffolk - why don't you try to do a binman's work and see for how many hours a day and days per week you can keep it up? As far as I am concerned, binmen do a fantastic job, dirty hard work that most people out here would not want to do, but which is vital for our society to function. They deserve excellent remuneration for it.

    Report this comment

    blue&white

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • This is disgraceful yet again from Ellesmere. Who could vote for this man in the General Election after what he has done to the town?

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • A three day weekend. Sounds a great idea.

    Report this comment

    Steve Blake

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • Waspie, just because you don't see people in certain jobs out after lunch time does not mean the have not done a full day's work. These guys usually start work about 6.30am. I was a postman for 10 years and when I was on deliveries my working day started at 5.30am sorting the mail ready for delivery and after an 8 hour shift I would be finished at 12.30pm. again like the bin men out in all weather . Or are you saying that because we finished at 12.30 we had not done a full day's work?

    Report this comment

    IMP

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • Having spoken to many of the refuse drivers & collectors the vast majority, if not all do not want a four day working week, it is being forced upon them by IBC. Many will refuse the £1000 sweetener to stay on the five day week. Their concerns are & quite rightly so, their health & safety & that of the public. Increasing their working day by 25% will also put a 25% increase on the risks of more accidents, taking also into consideration fatigue, weather, dark morningsafternoonsevenings, personal fitness levels & everyday working hazards such as traffic. It will only be a matter of time before someone whether it be staff or the public gets seriously hurt or even killed, it is not if it happens it will be when! Their job involves being physically fit & IBC knows that the injuries sustained on a five day week includes sprains, twists, back problems on a regular basis with the occasional broken bones, so how can IBCGordon Mole state “the health & safety of its workforce is IBCs priority.” IBCGordon Mole ARE increasing the risk to their staff.

    Report this comment

    Murphychops

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • This is not just Bin Men affected by this stupid change in pay rates. Lots of people at IBC are loosing £1'000's of pounds out of their pay packet. The plus point Mr Ellesmere mentions is that everybody will not be up against the top of their pay bracket, so could in theory get a pay rise. But as the council is limited to 1% increase across all employees per year, if you promote somebody and they get a 10% pay rise, that means lots of other people get nothing. The quickest way to demoralize the staff you have is to say "oh although you've done 25 years work for us we are going to give you a pay cut from £22,000 to £18,000 or £330 per month and we want you to work just as hard if not harder and start working odd hours and weekends, because if you don't all the services everybody relies on will stop working" and you wonder why everybodies not happy at IBC. Not one person on this board would be happy taking that sort of paycut, the only differance is Binman are prepared to stick together and try and fight it, where office staff tend to struggle on not wanting to make people unhappy. If IBC had any honour they wouldn't cut one persons pay, but then eveverybody on here wants Council Staff to work for nothing making sure their Town is safe, clean and works. You're all happy to critisise the "Council" when something doesn't work, but you don't want to pay for it.

    Report this comment

    The Ginge

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • Fancy that , A Union objecting to change. Many Public Sector workers have lost their job totally , why can't these people take some of the Austerity measures too ? Having watched what they do nowadays it hardly hard work either . Don't give them the £1000 just tell them what they have got to do , don't let the Union bullies win . Anyone want to resign , i'll do their job for what they get paid

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • This is a backward step by those in power at IBC who I understand are exempt from these pay cuts! A classic example of how to totally demoralise and alienate virtually your entire workforce in one easy step.

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    england1770

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • it is true as part of these wider proposals that some staff will lose £000's in salary - some not earning huge salaries in the first place - I should know as my husband is one of them! It is also true that chief officers and the chief exec are not governed by these proposals - same old story one rule for those at the top and one rule for the rank and file

    Report this comment

    gwil

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • 3 on 4 off is not a bad pattern

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    zaax

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • 5.30am until 12.30pm is only a 7 hour day.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • Poppy's dad, you need to get real and get out of your ivory tower, my wife works for IBC and currently works a shift pattern where she works 12 hours but actually only gets paid a full hourly rate for 8. I also don't believe you would actually do their job for what they get paid. You are one of the many in this country who are quite happy to whinge and whine when things don't go your way and want better services but aren't prepared to pay for them. No doubt if all the bin men did resign as you say you would then be on this page complaining that your bins haven't been emptied. If you can't say anything constructive then please don't say anything at all. However I very much doubt you will oblige on that one!!

    Report this comment

    IMP

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • Does that mean the bin men will actually do a 8 hr day now?

    Report this comment

    Concerned of Suffolk

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • All this "trash" talk.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Man

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • I have spoken to a freind who works for the council . THey will not be earning more in the long run as Councilor Ellesmere states . Its is fictional book keeping that has produced these figures. Bin men currently get bonus and attendance for their working week which has not been taking into account . So there hourly rate will be higher next year but they will lose becaue they are not getting their bonus.Welldone for turning a bad idea into a silver linning .

    Report this comment

    confused.com

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • sweetener, bribe... whatever you want to call it...

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

  • IMP....I haven't got a clue as to how much Bin men earn....but I will say this. I am out and about to see what the refuse collectors do. They charge about pulling bins onto backs of their lorries where the bins are lifted and emptied the men then whip the empty bins back NEAR to where they collected them usually in the middle of the pavement etc. What intrigues me is...you never see bin men in the PM...why is that? It's working in all weathers I agree but they all get supplied with suitable gear to wear, come now it's not like going down a mine shaft for a shift is it? I wonder if any bin man would actually say in words what his monthly take home pay is bonuses included of course.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • Let's make this plain! The council offers £1000 a week before Christmas to say yes! They also say 'If you vote No'? You are unemployed come April 1st! I would say that was bully boy tactics? Well done Mr Ellesmere I though that labour was suppose to stand up for the low paid?

    Report this comment

    PAFC

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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