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Friday, 31 July 2009

Update from Councillor Jenny Dawe - Leader The City of Edinburgh Council


I am pleased to report that that talks yesterday (30 July 2009) with the trade unions, regarding the waste dispute, were very comprehensive and amicable. The Trade Unions have agreed to further talks with senior officials on Monday.

esidents, businesses and visitors should not have to put up with unacceptable cleanliness standards. That is why we have put in place a range of contingency arrangements to tackle the backlog in refuse collection and street cleaning.

Summary of contingency measures
  • On Wednesday 29th July, more than 20 private contract staff began night shift working - emptying bins, collecting refuse and sweeping and hosing down streets in the city centre area and will be providing these services for the duration of the festivals. Council staff will be carrying out their normal daytime street cleaning and litter picking duties. We will therefore have a 24/7 service over this period;
  • An additional private refuse collection crew has started this week to deal with particular problem areas across the city. This team will operate two shifts a day and, from Monday 3 August, will concentrate on communal bins that have not been emptied ;
  • Also this week 5 extra crews will start carrying out household waste collections and will be joined by a further 5 new crews next week; and
  • 40 temporary refuse collectors are being recruited to help get the city back to normal.

Unfortunately, Unite has not called off the unofficial action at this time and is continuing to ballot its members on official industrial action. However, I am very hopeful about impending negotiations. We will continue to work with private contractors in the meantime to limit the damage the Union's action is causing.

Councillor Jenny Dawe

Leader City of Edinburgh Council

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