Members’ briefing: Strike action – Waste and Cleansing Service

The SNP/Green Government has not engaged positively with Council Staff in their campaign for fair pay, so the Council is now preparing for strike action from Thursday.

The NHS have been offered, and look set to reject, a 5% offer so it can be no surprise to the SNP/Green Government that Council staff would not accept 3.5%.

The striking staff are Key Workers, so the impact will be significant. It is going to be a difficult time, but I hope people will support these men and women in their fight for fair pay. Only the SNP/Green Government can end this strike.

The full briefing supplied to Councillors on the impact of the strike is below.


As you will be aware, Unite the Union and GMB members across the Waste and Cleansing Service intend to take part in strike action from 5am on 18 August until 4.59am on 30 August. We are expecting significant disruption to bin collections and street cleaning services during this time.  

It is also anticipated that other colleagues will not wish to cross a picket line and will not make themselves available for work.

Affected services

The following services are not anticipated to run during the strike:

  • Kerbside wheelie bin collections – general waste, mixed recycling, garden
  • Kerbside glass collections
  • Kerbside food waste collections
  • Communal collections – general waste, paper, mixed recycling and food
  • Street cleaning
  • Fly tipping and dumping collections
  • Litter bin collections
  • Special uplifts
  • Replacement bin deliveries and repairs
  • Recycling centres

Public toilets will remain open and communal glass collections will continue. Communal glass collections are undertaken by a third party.

If resources become available, the following services will be prioritised to minimise health and safety risks to the public:

  • Hypodermic needle collections
  • High rise flats using bin chutes
  • Blocks of flats with internal storage
  • Collections of waste from special schools, care homes and children’s homes

Advice for residents

Advice for householders, including details of how services will be affected and guidance on how to safely and responsibly store their waste, has been published online. The dedicated web pages and the Council’s Twitter account will be updated regularly as new information and updates become available, including information on when services will restart.

Residents who had an appointment booked at a recycling centre have received an email advising that this booking has been cancelled and to make a new one when the service restarts.

Recovery plan

We’re developing a detailed recovery plan so clean ups can begin and services can resume as quickly as possible after the strike.

The plan includes the following, but this may change as the situation develops:

  • Waste and recycling collections for kerbside service properties will resume as normal on 30 and 31 August. These residents will have had a collection of their waste and recycling on their last scheduled collection.
  • Communal collections will resume as scheduled on 30 August and extra resources will be focused on these areas.
  • Kerbside properties scheduled for 1 and 2 September will see extra waste presented as these residents will have missed a collection of their waste and recycling.
  • Additional resources will then be split between the kerbside and communal collection areas to recover extra waste.
  • Kerbside collections operating on a four-day week (Tuesday to Friday) will operate on the three down days (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) until the collections are returned to a normal schedule.
  • Collection crews will work through routes, clearing all waste as they go.
  • Additional resources will come from other areas within Waste and Cleansing, with additional crews and caged vehicles collecting any bulk waste left on the streets.
  • Street cleansing will be prioritised in the City Centre as this is expected to be the most affected area due to high footfall.  
  • Once this area is cleared, the focus will move to other areas of high footfall, such as town centres, shopping precincts and areas around schools.
  • Once this is complete the service will return to its normal street cleansing schedules. 

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