A TRADE union has been urged not to go on strike as Royal Borough bin men are set to walk out over pay.
Earlier today, the GMB announced said its members within the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) will walk out on Wednesday, August 31, until Serco makes an improved pay offer.
Serco collects black bins every fortnight and recycling and food waste weekly on behalf of the council.
The union said a six per cent offer has been rejected by members, adding that rates of pay in the borough are below those in neighbouring authorities.
It warned the strike will continue if improved pay is not forthcoming.
Katy Bassett, Regional Director for Serco Environmental Services said, “It is always our intention to work in partnership with trade unions and we would urge the GMB to suspend the planned strike action from 31 August while negotiations are ongoing, in line with our agreed dispute procedure.”
Meanwhile, a council spokesperson said it liaising with its contractor Serco and would like to see the dispute resolved without disruption to bin collections.
They added: “While we hope that industrial action can be avoided, we will keep our residents updated through our communication channels.”
According to the GMB, the present rate of pay for refuse workers in RBWM is £9.91 per hour. Workers at Biffa and Veolia in the local area are paid closer to £12 per hour, while those employed directly by Slough Borough Council earn £11.24 per hour and have a better package of terms and conditions.
Nikki Dancey, GMB regional officer, said: “This is one of the most expensive areas in the country to live and this pay offer neither reflects that, nor the current rate of inflation, or the attached cost-of-living crisis.
“Increasing numbers of Serco workers are being forced into claiming benefits and using food banks to survive, and this will only worsen as we head towards winter.
“If other local authorities and their contractors can afford to pay between £11 and £12 per hour for their refuse loaders, so can Serco in RBWM…
“There is still time though for Serco to avoid any inconvenience to local residents – which of course may include the Queen – by tabling a sensible pay offer and not one that leaves our members comparatively far worse off than they were last year.”
Serco added its collection services do not include Her Royal Majesty.