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Gedling Borough Council blames Government as strike threat leads to pay rise for grave diggers and street cleaning teams

Some Gedling Borough Council staff will now receive a pay boost after a campaign pushed workers up council pay scales.


The deputy leader of Gedling Borough Council has called on the Government for “fairer funding” after a pay rise for frontline staff was granted following a strike threat.

GMB union members at the Labour-run council announced an agreement had been made for a “significant pay boost” for some staff.

Staff across Environmental Services, including HGV waste drivers, tree surgeons, street cleaning teams and grave diggers will now receive a pay boost after a campaign pushed workers up council pay scales.

GMB says it comes on top of agreements made in 2022 to scrap “poverty pay bands”, which include the pay scales at the bottom end of the council’s payment structures.

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A local one-off cost of living payment for all contracted staff has also been delivered.

Before the agreement was reached the council’s lowest pay band had a salary of £18,333. The new rates have not yet been made public following the agreement.

Paul Genders, GMB representative at Gedling Borough Council, said: “It was a disgrace that council workers were struggling to keep their heads above water and pay the bills; I’m really pleased our campaign and strike ballot has been able to deliver this win for them.

“Our members do essential work in the borough, keeping communities safe and clean for local people. Luckily, we’ve been able to avoid strike action this time as it would no doubt have led to significant disruption across our area.”

Gedling Borough Council is the fifth-worst nationally in terms of core spending power, having seen an eight per cent cut since 2015/16, falling from £12.7m to £11.6m this year.

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The figures were published with the 2023/24 Local Government Settlement in December last year.

The settlement amount determines how much money councils have available to pay for key services like housing, waste collection and park maintenance.

Deputy Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor Michael Payne, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Our staff worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and are continuing to work hard to support families struggling during this cost of living crisis.

“The cost of living crisis is hitting our staff too and it’s right we do everything we can to support them financially in these tough times.

“We’re proud to have worked with our colleagues in the trade unions to boost pay for our lowest paid frontline staff.

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“Our frontline staff have also taken on more responsibilities and have adapted how they work as we deal with cut upon cut in our funding from central government.

“This review also brings their pay in line with neighbouring councils which will also help us retain our excellent staff.

“We will always support our hard working staff to ensure they are paid fairly but there is no escaping the fact we are the fifth-worst affected council in the country in terms of cuts to our funding by central government.

“This cannot continue and we are demanding a fairer funding model that allows us to provide quality frontline services for our residents and pay our staff a fair wage for the valuable work they do.”

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