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Started by GyratingTrampoline on 12-Sep-2017 11:26:51
Birmingham bin strike

There was a thread on this back when it first started but I can't find it so here is another.

They're saying it might continue until 2018. I wasn't really bothered until my wheelie bins became full but now it's becoming rather a drag. I can't help feeling that as well as my own personal annoyance there is likely to be an actual cost in terms of some sort of nasty disease outbreak that ends up claiming lives.

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GyratingTrampoline - 12 Sep 2017 11:30:53 (#1 of 73)

The issue seems to be that the council want to put a relatively small number of binmen onto a lower pay grade (by making them redundant and then offering new lower paid roles).

There is a rumour that this is because some review or other has determined that lots of other (mostly female) council employees have a similar skill level but are paid less. This means that the council is liable to legal action unless they either pay this tier of binmen less, or somehow finds a load of money it doesn't have for these other low-paid workers.

I can see that it's not really the council's fault, since they are skint, have lots of statutory responsibilities and no way of increasing their budget - their hands are tied by tory austerity.

JessicaEccles6 - 12 Sep 2017 11:32:00 (#2 of 73)

I am really trying to be sympathetic to the binmen- but when the whole front of the house stinks and there are flies everywhere, maggots on the pavements and the rats rip open the binbags every nigh- the whole city is getting that Jabberwocky look.

GyratingTrampoline - 12 Sep 2017 11:33:19 (#3 of 73)

My left-leaning friends and neighbours are all sporting posters with slogans like "support the binmen - no to council wage cuts!". I instinctively support this position but I also feel that we residents can't just sit here waiting till we start dropping from cholera or whatever.

I was recently at a children's party where the garden was full of baby rats who were in the later stages of dying of rat poison. Their hearts were beating but they were unable to move.

RosyLovelady - 12 Sep 2017 11:33:22 (#4 of 73)

I always thought a tulgy wood sounded rather agreeable.

Agaliarept - 12 Sep 2017 11:34:31 (#5 of 73)

but when the whole front of the house stinks and there are flies everywhere, maggots on the pavements and the rats rip open the binbags every nigh- the whole city is getting that Jabberwocky look.

Doesn't that show how vital refuse collection is to a functioning town?

They shouldn't be underpaid.

GyratingTrampoline - 12 Sep 2017 11:35:45 (#6 of 73)

I feel like we ought to start depositing our refuse in front of the council house, or organising a council tax payment strike or something, except (as mentioned above) I can't really see how it's the council's fault either. If anything we should be dumping our refuse in the front gardens of everyone who voted tory during the cameron era.

RosyLovelady - 12 Sep 2017 11:36:57 (#7 of 73)

Now there's a plan we could all support.

Ginmonkey - 12 Sep 2017 11:37:39 (#8 of 73)

As far as i understand it wasn't so much that they were underpaid but their pay was boosted by a complex system of overtime and bonuses that wasn't applied to other workers on the same grade eg mainly female care workers.

Not sure of their pay but my local council is advertising for refuse truck drivers at a starting salary of £26k.

Agaliarept - 12 Sep 2017 11:41:58 (#9 of 73)

As far as i understand it wasn't so much that they were underpaid but their pay was boosted by a complex system of overtime and bonuses that wasn't applied to other workers on the same grade eg mainly female care workers.

No argument that care workers are also underpaid. I just mean the solution shouldn't be lowering pay.

SharkPatoo - 12 Sep 2017 11:44:25 (#10 of 73)

Here you go, knock £350K off of her wages and you have plenty of money:

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/boss-cash-strapped-council-earned-12877889

Ginmonkey - 12 Sep 2017 11:46:07 (#11 of 73)

I don't think it is lowering pay, that is the issue. It is more the fact that there were all sorts of overtime and bonus payments that boosted the pay of certain workers above others on the same grade.

This was changed and the council dealt with it by removing the payments rather than applying then across the board.

The binmen could argue to have the job regraded but I am not sure that would happen for what is essentially a low skilled job.

SharkPatoo - 12 Sep 2017 11:47:06 (#12 of 73)

You can trace it back to when the Town Clerk decided to call themselves the CEO and went from £25K to £LotteryWin in one go.

RosyLovelady - 12 Sep 2017 11:47:32 (#13 of 73)

Very true, is that.

SharkPatoo - 12 Sep 2017 11:48:47 (#14 of 73)

But, you know, you have to compete with the (imaginary) private sector to get the very best people.

JessicaEccles6 - 12 Sep 2017 11:49:43 (#15 of 73)

The private sector that Birmingham used last week , who took two rubbish bags from our street and left all the bins and rest of the crap?

Ginmonkey - 12 Sep 2017 11:50:49 (#16 of 73)

When was the last time the CEO of a large local authority was paid £25k? Don't talk shit Shark.

I am not a fan of huge executive pay but running a large local authority is a big and complex job. Incidentally there is one local authority that still calls their CEO "Town Clerk" you can bet your bottom dollar they get paid significantly more than £25k.

RosyLovelady - 12 Sep 2017 11:52:37 (#17 of 73)

£25K probably felt different in them days.

GyratingTrampoline - 12 Sep 2017 11:54:29 (#18 of 73)

#11 yep I realise it's more complex than just 'what pay they are on' and relates to perks etc. However, the council are trying to reduce their effective pay in order to save money.

As a comparison I once worked for parcelforce where they had a thing going on where the pay on paper was very low, but we were allowed to go home when we finished our route, and in practice the routes were often much quicker to complete that the contracted hours. So it was like having a part-time job on (low) full-time pay. I think these sort of opaque arrangements are quite common, as layers of convenient fudge get built on top of each other.

Ginmonkey - 12 Sep 2017 11:54:55 (#19 of 73)

Well yes it probably did in the 1900s when the remit of local councils was considerably smaller, as indeed were they.

There is a bit of cognitive dissonance in arguing that the public sector should do more but those in charge of that increased remit and workload should not be paid any more.

RosyLovelady - 12 Sep 2017 11:56:19 (#20 of 73)

They are being paid more, though. Now it would be nice to see how effective they are at doing more than just making other people redundant.

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