Ashford and Swale refuse collectors accept large pay offer

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Second pay rise in six months leaves Labour-run Canterbury as one of the last in Kent to lag behind pay rates

GMB, the union for waste and recycling services, can announce that its members working within Ashford and Swale Councils have accepted a pay rise worth over 10 per cent.

The workers are employed by Biffa and operate within Ashford Borough Council, plus the towns of Sittingbourne and Faversham and the Isle of Sheppey.

This constitutes the second pay rise this year for workers in Ashford, who six months ago won a pay rise to bring them on terms with those in Swale who were previously on a higher rate.

The new deal will see loaders and street cleaners set to earn £12.00 per hour and LGV drivers £15.02.

With this pay rise agreed, only Canterbury – currently in dispute with GMB – plus Dartford and Thanet, have failed to agree a pay rise across all local authorities in Kent.

Frank Macklin, GMB Regional Organiser said:

“We are very pleased to announce that Biffa have done the decent thing and recognised that our members need a proper pay rise to help them out with costs spiralling around them.

“It shows that even private contractors can find it in their deep pockets to pay a few crumbs from the table to our members who actually carry out the dangerous and back-breaking work.

“It does though highlight the fact that Canterbury are dragging their heels, even with the workers being out on strike and rubbish beginning to pile up.

“If Canenco can’t afford to pay their workers properly, they’ve obviously failed as a business.

“Canterbury City Council need to look at every other local authority in Kent and pay their workers what is obviously the going rate.”


Media enquiries: Frank Macklin on 07983 326743