Bristol Waste employees vote to accept two-year pay deal

street cleaning

Employees at refuse collection, street cleaning and recycling organisation Bristol Waste, who are members of the trade union Unite, have voted to accept a two-year pay deal.

The agreed package, which will be backdated to November 2018, equates to a 6.2% pay increase over a two-year period. This means that the average Bristol Waste employee will receive a pay rise of around £1,400.

The pay deal is the result of a campaign maintained by union activists between August 2018 and January 2019; the action sought to improve Bristol Waste’s original offer of a 3.5% pay increase over two years. Unite states that this original deal was rejected by its members because it fell below the rate of inflation.

According to Unite, the original pay proposal was accompanied by employer-funded theatre tickets for staff to see Cinderella at the Bristol Hippodrome. The trade union believes this was to encourage employees to accept the initial deal.

Bristol Waste, which employs 600 staff, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bristol City Council. Unite has the largest trade union representation at the organisation.

Ken Fish, regional officer at Unite, said: “A sustained campaign by [employees] turned a pantomime drama into a pay victory. The organising campaign at Bristol Waste helped [employees] secure an inflation beating pay increase worth around £1,400, almost double the [organisation’s] original pay offer.

“The deal shows that when [employees] get organised, they can win in the workplace.”

Bristol Waste was unavailable for comment at time of publication.