South Gloucestershire-based Suez staff vote to accept two-year pay deal

Waste collection

Around 230 refuse collection and recycling staff employed by waste and water organisation Suez in South Gloucestershire have voted to accept a two-year pay deal, avoiding four days of strike action.

The deal, negotiated with trade union Unite, offers Suez’s South Gloucestershire-based employees a 3% pay increase for 2019, followed by a further 3% pay rise in 2020; this includes increases to all overtime rates.

Unite estimates that the pay deal will gain its members an additional £1,300 over the two-year period.

The agreement is the result of an ongoing dispute, during which Unite’s members employed at Suez rejected numerous offers from the organisation’s management. This included a six-year pay deal, which would have prevented any further pay bargaining for the duration.

Suez staff in South Gloucestershire then balloted for industrial action and Unite consequently planned a four-day strike; this has been cancelled in light of the new pay agreement.

Suez employees based in South Gloucestershire are responsible for the waste collection and recycling for the region’s council.

Ken Fish, regional officer at Unite, said: “Suez [employees] stood together. They joined Unite in a big show of solidarity and secured a fair pay increase after years of poor pay offers, which in reality were pay cuts.

“The deal means drivers will receive an increase of £1,380 and loaders will get £1,248 over two years.”

Suez was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.