The Birmingham bins dispute over alleged ‘secret payments’ and ‘blacklisting’ of workers involved in the 2017 bin strike is over. Birmingham City Council cabinet today (Friday 15th March) approved a deal agreed by Unite union and council officials last week.

Unite have released details of part of the agreement reached:

  • All Unite members who were balloted for industrial action in 2017 will receive £3,500.
  • All workers who claimed they were blacklisted by having holiday request refused during the current dispute will receive £500
  • Unite’s high court case concerning the council’s breach of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) which ended the 2017 dispute, will be terminated
  • The council will cease utilising mop up crews without a qualified waste reduction collections officer on board
  • The council is committed to holding a recruitment day so that agency staff can apply for permanent positions
  • All other outstanding legal issues have been resolved.

Independent review on service delivery

In addition, Birmingham City Council have said that there will be an independent review on “the future options for delivery of the waste service […] as part of the joint commitment to providing the best standard of service possible for Birmingham’s citizens, businesses and visitors.”

‘End to injustice’

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “Unite is pleased that it has been able to reach agreement with the council to finally bring an end to this lengthy dispute.

“By standing together our members have secured an excellent settlement and ended the injustice that they had been subject to. Their success demonstrates what can be achieved when workers are united.

“Unite has been consistent from the beginning of the dispute that our members were simply seeking parity, with the payments that workers who did not take part in the 2017 dispute, subsequently received. Once that principle was understood the dispute could be resolved.

“Unite is firmly committed to developing strong industrial relations with Birmingham council in the future and hopes that the recent industrial disputes can be put behind us.”


Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Since the start of this dispute we’ve said that a negotiated settlement was what everyone needed.

“There’s been a determination this week on all sides to bring this dispute to an end and we now have a platform from which to collectively move forward.

“Everyone involved has always had the same aim – to deliver the best possible service for citizens, as clean streets have consistently been named as the number one priority for the people of Birmingham.”

‘Foundations for improvement’

Cllr Ward continued: “We all know the service needs to be better than it has been. This settlement will enable us to lay the foundations for improvement.

“The independent review will take a long, hard look at the service and come forward with recommendations that help us collectively achieve this.”

Return to normal service

Now that the industrial action is over, weekly household waste, and fortnightly recycling collections will recommence on Monday 18 March. Check your collection day

The council advises:

  • present your household waste and recycling before 5:30am on your collection day, or no earlier than 3:30pm the day before,
  • continue to separate your waste: household rubbish in the grey lid bin and recycling in the blue lid bin.  Check what waste can go in your bins
  • A reasonable amount of side waste (2-3 sacks) will be taken if presented alongside your bins.



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