Sheffield bin men ‘work to rule’ over pay rise dispute

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Bins belonging to around 1,000 Sheffield households were left uncollected yesterday due to a pay dispute.

The GMB union, which represents staff at Sheffield Council contractor Veolia, has decided to ‘work to rule’ after members were offered a pay increase of between one and two per cent - against a demand of three per cent.

The union threatened to hold a three-day walkout last year in a dispute over pay, and the prospect of industrial action then led to Veolia offering a ‘substantial’ lump sum to staff and making changes to its pay structure.

Work to rule action, which started yesterday, could cost the company thousands in fines by Sheffield Council.

The dispute arose as the council started a three-day summit with Veolia to discuss cuts to the cost of its £28m a year contract. Sheffield Council wants to save an additional £3.9m a year, on top of £2.4m, by reducing black bin collections to fortnightly.

The council also wants a £900,000 rebate from Veolia for not emptying bins quickly enough after snow.

A Veolia spokesman said: “The service will continue with the minimum of disruption and collections not made yesterday will take place today. We apologise.”