Edinburgh bin strikes: New offer made to cleansing staff in bid to halt strikes
A new offer has been made to Scottish council cleansing staff in a bid to end a pay dispute which has seen rubbish pile up on streets across Edinburgh, as well as other towns and cities across Scotland.
The GMB, Unison and Unite unions were in talks with local authority body Cosla on Sunday, but it is understood an offer has now been made to halt the actions.
The details of the new deal have not yet been made public, with union leaders expected to go discuss the offer before putting it to members for approval.
Cosla resources spokeswoman Katie Hagmann refused to confirm the offer had been made, but said: “We remain in intense active discussions with our trade union colleagues.”
The first wave of strikes saw cleansing staff in Edinburgh walk out on August 18, with the action in Edinburgh coinciding with the busy festivals period.
With no deal yet to end the dispute, action spread last week, with the majority of councils across Scotland now impacted by similar strikes.
If the new deal is accepted by the unions they will then put it to their members.
The current round of strikes is due to end in Edinburgh at 4.59am on Tuesday, and on Wednesday in many local authority areas across the country,
Hundreds of schools and nurseries are scheduled to close for three days next week as part of the industrial action.
The leader of Edinburgh Council has said on Sunday the mountains of rubbish on its streets has brought “into sharp focus” the value of its waste and cleaning workers.
Cammy Day, leader of City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The dispute has brought the value of our waste and cleansing teams, and their right to a fair wage, into sharp focus, and I’m delighted they’ll be back out from Tuesday, helping return our city to its best.”
The strike by workers in Edinburgh was timed to coincide with the busy Festival season, and rubbish has lined the streets ever since.
Bags of waste have piled up in the centre, with loose rubbish left on top of, and next to, bins, for it to be blown down the street, leaving usually picturesque tourist hotspots looking more like landfill sites.
Public Health Scotland has warned the build-up of waste could “become a risk to human health”, and told councils that “decontamination of public areas where bins have overflowed may be required”.