STRIKING bin collectors will return to work tomorrow, after just voting to accept a pay offer from the company.

Household recycling collections in the county will now resume on Monday (March 21).

Members balloted today (Thursday, March 17) and almost unanimously accepted the offer - a version of which had been discussed with the union prior to the strike.

Many bin collectors from Hills Municipal Collections, who are members of the GMB Union, have been on a long-running strike affecting almost 250,000 Wiltshire homes.

The first round of industrial action, which began on March 7, was due to end tomorrow (March 18), but the union yesterday confirmed further action - to last until at least April 2.

However, today members voted to accept an offer that amounts to a 7 per cent pay rise, plus a bonus scheme to be offered to more staff and further uplifts for those on the lowest pay rates.

“There must be no retaliation and members return to work tomorrow," the union warned.

GMB Organiser Nicky Nixon said: “GMB is extremely proud of our members who have stood firm during almost two weeks of strike action.

“We were pleased to be able to negotiate an improved offer which has been almost unanimously accepted by the members.

“We will now be carefully observing what happens next to ensure the employer treats those workers who have taken lawful industrial action with respect. 

“There must be no retaliation and members return to work tomorrow.” 

Residents should put out their black box and blue-lidded bin on their scheduled day.

If for any reason they are not emptied as scheduled, they should be left out for collection as soon as possible.

Extra waste acculumated during the strike period will be accepted in non-black bags or containers (such as a plastic crate) next to recycling bins

Household and garden waste collections continue as normal and people are asked to put those bins out on their normal collection day.

There could still be slight delays so residents should leave their bins out until collected.

A spokesperson for Hills Municipal Collections said: “Although pleased that the action will now finish, we are frustrated that to all intents and purpose, we have gone full circle, that said, we are pleased that GMB Union members have agreed to accept the deal offered at 7.1 per cent which includes a minimum 2 per cent pay rise back dated to April 2021 and a 5 per cent pay rise from 1 April 2022 with the next annual review in April 2023.

“We look forward to welcoming our colleagues back to work.  This has been a stressful time for everyone involved, including ourselves as employers, striking employees, and employees who have not gone on strike, together with our client Wiltshire Council and all the residents of Wiltshire who have not received the level of service they have come to expect.

"We now have important work to catch up with the recycling services that were suspended.”

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Waste, said: “We are extremely pleased that this industrial action has now come to an end, and I’m sure residents across the county will echo that sentiment. Our focus now is to get all waste collection services back on track and I’m confident that will happen very quickly. However, there still may be some delays to collections, and any bin not emptied will be done so as soon as possible.

“Before the industrial action took place our new collection rounds were running so smoothly, so we’re looking forward to picking up where we left off and continuing to provide great services for our residents.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during the industrial action.”

If you are unsure on your collection day, visit:

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