Surrey bin strike action suspended

Strike action by GMB union members in Elmbridge and Surrey Heath has been suspended today (15 August), with bosses informing Amey, the council’s waste contractor, on Friday. As a result, refuse collections are set to resume ‘as usual’.

Bins on streetGMB first announced the Surrey strike in July, anticipating a duration of three weeks. Subsequent negotiations, facilitated by the National Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), were positive – resulting in the union proposing a revised offer to its members, which the majority have now accepted.

Surrey County Council advised that residents put all bins out as normal on usual collection days this week. Those who have waited ‘the longest’ for the collection of dry mixed recycling ‘and garden waste where relevant’ will receive collection first, the council says.

Paul Grafton, GMB Regional Officer said: “GMB members working as refuse collectors within Elmbridge and Surrey Heath Borough Councils have accepted an improved pay offer from their employer Amey.

“This has been a protracted dispute, and we are grateful to ACAS for facilitating yesterday’s pay talks. Our members have banked this improved offer and will return to providing the excellent service that their hard work delivers for residents.

“We are hopeful that this dispute sends a message to Amey – that our members are solid when they take collective action, and that perhaps they can make an offer next time that will avoid our members going out on strike at all.”

Cllr Colin Dougan, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Community, added: "I’m delighted a pay settlement has been reached between Amey and the GMB and as a result the excellent collection service Surrey Heath residents are used to, will resume as normal from Monday.

“My apologies again to residents for the disruption caused, but please put your bins out as normal from Monday. Also, my thanks to the crews that have worked through the last two weeks ensuring we could continue to collect medical, food and refuse waste bins during the strike."