Services firm Amey is seeking to avoid strike action by refuse collectors and street cleaners across a joint Surrey contract over pay and working conditions.
The potential industrial action will impact waste services on behalf of Elmbridge, Woking, Surrey Heath and Mole Valley, delivered by Amey as part of a joint contract signed in December 2016.
The GMB Union issued a statement on Friday, September 20, saying it will ballot its members on potential strike action “over their poor pay offer in Amey Elmbridge, Woking and Surrey Heath depots” and it is expecting to issue seven-day notice to the company. In response, Amey said it is continuing to work with the union and staff to come to a resolution.
According to the trade union the dispute centres on holiday pay to staff, as well as overall pay to the workforce.
Paul Grafton, GMB regional officer said: “I appreciate this means resident’s dustbins won’t be emptied or the streets cleaned but we hope the general public support our members knowing that the street cleaners and refuse collectors don’t even get paid properly when they are on leave.”
However, Amey claimed that in 2018 it “proposed a detailed and transparent three-year pay deal to the unions which would see employees awarded variable pay increases depending on their salary”.
It added that it has already reached agreement with the workforce in the refuse and street cleaning department in Mole Valley, the Elmbridge street cleaning team and the Woking refuse workers, “an agreement which is not recognised by the GMB”.
“Their aggregate request is for a 17% pay rise, an increase in annual holiday to 38 days,” Amey further added.
“Their aggregate request is for a 17% pay rise, an increase in annual holiday to 38 days.”
Mark Stammers, account director for the Amey Surrey contract said: “Amey is committed to paying its employees fairly and equally across the Surrey contract. We are continuing to work with the unions and our employees to find a solution and avert the proposed strike action. Delivering a good service to the local community remains our priority.”