WITH a third round of bin strikes looming Warrington Borough Council has strongly refuted Union claims blaming a complete “lack of urgency” to resolve the pay dispute.
As reported by Warrington Worldwide yesterday, Unite has served a third strike action notice to Warrington Council, blaming a complete lack of urgency on the part of council leaders. The strike action which was due to end on Monday 6 November will now resume on Wednesday 8 November ending on 20 November.
The Unite Union says the council is “incapable of organising a meeting” with their 50-plus workers saying the national pay offer of a flat rate increase of £1,925 is not good enough. The offer is below the rate of inflation and amounts to a real terms pay cut. But a complete lack of urgency shown by the council towards resolving this dispute is needlessly delaying a resolution.
Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Warrington council’s lack of urgency is needlessly dragging this strike out.
“Unite’s support for our members remains rock solid. We are not going anywhere so the quicker the council gets its act together the quicker we can end this strike.”
The national bargaining agreement for local government sets out minimum standards but local authorities can agree better terms and conditions for workers if they wish to do so.
Unite regional officer Brian Troake added: “Unite has served its third action notice as a direct result of the council’s complete lack of urgency. It’s preposterous that residents will now have to suffer further disruption because the council can’t convene a meeting in a timely manner, as was agreed.
“The officers at Warrington Council may wish to drag their heels and hope that this problem goes away, but I can guarantee you that Unite is standing firm until we deliver a negotiated settlement for our members.”
But a council spokesperson said: “We are disappointed to have received notification from UNITE concerning their intention to strike for a third time.
“We strongly refute the claims made by UNITE about a ‘lack of urgency’, particularly when UNITE have had the opportunity to routinely raise the types of local issues they are currently raising through existing, formal channels between the council and recognised trade unions, which up to now they have ignored.
“We have also been clear that our position like other councils is to implement national pay awards when they are agreed through the national process. We expect to find out the outcome of that process very soon.”