Workers at citizens services, defence, transport, justice, and health firm, Serco based in North Norfolk and Breckland, have accepted a 20% pay rise, ending the threat of more strikes that have been ongoing for the past few months.
The staff, who are refuse, street cleaning, grounds maintenance and cleansing workers, approved the two-year pay deal, which is aimed at the lowest-paid. A total of 55% of employees voted in favour of the offer, which will also apply to those on Serco’s Kings Lynn contract.
Heavy goods vehicle drivers won a new basic rate of £14.31 an hour from April 2023, an increase from the £10.56 rate awarded in March 2022. They had been receiving supplements and allowances that have now been rolled into the new rate.
Serco was initially due to meet with Unison and GMB last October to discuss pay, but an organiser for trade union Unison in the East of England stated that staff had rejected its pay offer. After negotiations failed, workers went on strike 13-17 March and were due to walk out again on 11-14 April, but this was called off following an improved offer that was made.
Peter Aylward, regional director for Serco Environmental Services, said: “We are pleased that Unison have accepted our latest offer and further strike action has been averted.”
Cameron Matthews, Unison’s Eastern regional organiser, added: “Serco has spent the last few years raking in millions of profits while subjecting Norfolk workers to rock-bottom wages. But refuse, street cleansing, grounds maintenance and cleansing workers in North Norfolk and Breckland have stuck together to win a massive pay rise. These vital workers still deserve more, that’s why the vote to accept was so close, but they’ve won a huge victory by joining together in Unison.”