Deal ends threat of bin strike over outsourcing
SIPTU agrees firm can collect household waste
Published 06/08/2010 | 05:00
THE threat of a bin strike in Dublin was lifted last night.
SIPTU accepted proposals to end a dispute over the total outsourcing of waste collection services in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
The local authority will now offer a private collection service to most householders from Monday, when new contractor Panda will begin operating.
But the council will continue to directly service a small number of customers after signing up to the agreement with SIPTU.
The union also said the four Dublin councils had accepted that direct labour would continue to be involved in the provision of waste collection services across the city and county.
Up to 40 binmen were involved in the dispute and, with the introduction of a private collection service, most of them will now be redeployed to other services within the local authority area such as street cleansing, water and waste services and parks.
Under the package an estimated 25 binmen will continue to provide direct labour in one of five waste collection services in the council area, using one lorry.
Welcoming the settlement proposals yesterday, the local authority said it would make a significant saving from the deal and the new service would remain free to all domestic households until January 2011.
From next February, fixed, lift and weight charges will apply but the new charges will be 20pc cheaper than those currently applied by the council and will remain fixed at this level until at least 2014.
The council said that while Panda would begin collections from the majority of households from Monday next, the local authority would also continue to provide a service to a "small number" of households who have a bagged household-waste service.
Binmen across the city claimed the ending of all direct labour services in favour of outsourcing would breach an agreement with the four authorities. They said this agreement meant they must maintain direct labour services.
SIPTU members yesterday voted by an overwhelming majority in favour of the proposals put forward by the Labour Relations Commission following talks last week.
The union said the compromise meant a redundancy and compensation package for the workers, and maintenance of direct labour.
It said the deal meant the authorities had agreed to comply with the Croke Park deal that contains a commitment to use direct labour to the greatest extent possible.
The agreement also means any savings made under the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown deal may be refunded to public servants next spring to make up for pay cuts.
The union said the deal also meant outsourcing of public services could only go ahead following talks with union representatives.
It urged Environment Minister John Gormley to introduce regulation into the household waste disposal market "as a matter of urgency".
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said: "The redeployment of staff who currently provide the 'grey' bin service will result in the delivery of improved council services in the areas of street cleansing, water and waste services, transportation and parks. Finally, the council's existing customers will benefit from an improved service at a significantly lower cost."