No black or blue bin collections next week as Derry Council workers set to strike
No blue or black bins will be emptied across Derry City and Strabane District Council next week as UNITE union members are set to go on strike.
Play parks, swimming pools and recycling amenity centres may also be closed.
The Council confirmed it has received formal notification from UNITE the Union, in relation to strike action from Monday, 21 March to Sunday, 27 March inclusive.
A spokesperson for the Council said it fully respects the right of staff to take industrial action following an official ballet and confirmed that it expects there to be considerable disruption to a range number of services such as refuse collection, street cleansing, recycling centres and a number of other services.
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The spokesperson said that the level of impact will be variable across all services and could change as the week progresses.
Council envisages that Refuse collections across the Council will be severely impacted and that routine Blue bin and Brown bin collection services will not operate on the week of March 21.
“It is therefore advised that members of the public do not put their bins out for collection during this period. It is hoped Black Bin services will commence as normal on 28 March with the Blue and Brown bin collections recommencing the following week April 4.”
The Council also envisages that the strike action will also have an impact on Recycling Centres with many centres not being able to operate during this period and some being closed.
Street Cleansing services are also anticipated to be ‘severely impacted’.
A spokesperson said: “Litter bins are likely not to be emptied as per normal operation. Members of the public are asked to be aware of this.
“It is our understanding that some Council owned public parks and play areas may also be impacted and that some may need to remain closed during this period.
“In terms of leisure facilities, Council envisages that the strike action will have variable impact across all leisure centres and facilities in the Council area next week. It is anticipated that swimming pools at all leisure sites will be closed with no access to swimming lessons and school swimming sessions. Where possible, gym classes and main hall activities will continue however the level of services will vary and there is a possibility that there could be reduced opening hours at some centres. Pitch bookings will also be significantly impacted.
“It is hoped that planned essential maintenance works at the Foyle Arena will go ahead. This work will mean there will be no hot water for a number of days so dry changing facilities only, will be available. Leisure centre members and users are urged to contact their leisure centre directly for regular updates.”
The Council said it has engaged with the Union this week to successfully secure an exemption for essential services such as burials at the Cemeteries and for the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
“The public are advised that the civic offices at Strand Road Derry and Derry Road Strabane should remain open to the public and Council can be contacted directly at 028 71 253253. Council envisages that its Museums and Visitor Services at the Guildhall and Tower Museum, Derry and Alley Theatre, Strabane should also be able to operate as normal.”
Unite the union gave notice of pending strike action for a pay increase by its members across all eleven local Councils, as well as a host of other bodies.
Unite said the industrial action from next Monday will also include members who work within the Education Authority, the NI Housing Executive, and a number of schools and colleges.
Ballot results in Derry City & Strabane District Council among its members was 94 percent for, similar to other Councils across the north, while the Education Authority and NI Housing Executive was also 94 percent for, it said.
The strike action was announced after members rejected a pay offer from local government employers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland of 1.75 % for the year 2021-22, and Unite said it is seeking localised improvements through raising pay grades, reduced working hours, more paid holidays and other benefits.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Alderman Graham Warke urged the public to be understanding and patient at this time.
He advised that daily updates in relation to services will be communicated next week on the Council’s website at www.derrystrabane.com/Strike-Action