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Bin men facing a bleak new year
5:00pm Thursday 19th December 2013 in Wiltshire
bin men will lose their jobs after Wiltshire Council agreed to reform their waste collection services on Tuesday.
The changes, being implemented in two phases, will begin in April with a reduction of four vehicles and 12 staff from the council’s roster. In September, the day of waste collection will change for some residents, with between 15 and 21 further staff being cut.
The council will stop using agency staff with up to 12 council workers also losing their jobs.
In 2014/15, the decision will save £400,000 with expected savings of £700,000 year-on-year.
Wiltshire councillor Toby Sturgis, cabinet member responsible for waste and recycling, said: “We couldn’t let some people go in the summer when the council ran a voluntary redundancy programme but now they’ll have an opportunity to apply again. The changes will allow waste collection to become much more efficient without compromising the service.”
Coun Sturgis said that a reform had been considered since April 2012, when Wiltshire Council turned waste collections into one central service after adopting four different operations from the region’s former district councils in 2009.
He said: “With the change to collection rounds the service will not be affected.”
A programme of Wiltshire Council voluntary redundancies among waste services staff, will take place in the middle of 2014 in preparation for the September changes.
In the second phase of the reforms, the council will also implement ‘fixed compressed hours’ for drivers and loaders. This will mean staff will continue to work 37 hours per week but they would work four days per week instead of five – resulting in a longer working day.
Coun Sturgis said: “This does not mean that overtime will necessarily come to an end as waste collection comes in peaks and troughs.”
Carole Vallelly, GMB union spokesman, said: “It is disturbing that people are going into Christmas not knowing if they’ll have jobs in the new year. I don’t understand how the work will get done in the same amount of time by less people.”
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