Evening bin collections to start in October

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BIN collections will be extended into the evening as of October.

Fife Council has confirmed the move, which will see collectors work in shifts from 6am-9pm, in a bid to save £800,000 by reducing the number of vehicles it owns.

The local authority claims the majority of bins will be collected by 8pm.

The plan was agreed as part of the budget set in February 2011. Since April of last year discussions have been taking place with staff and unions about the changes.

It’s understood that when balloted, the majority of collectors who are GMB and UNISON members accepted the proposals but 65 per cent of Unite members voted against it.

As there is no collective agreement Fife Council has written to all employees involved asking them to agree individually to new terms and conditions.

Fife Council leader Alex Rowley said: “The changes to bin collection arrangements are about making our operations as efficient as possible, keeping people in jobs and maintaining a high level of service for Fifers.

“We recognise that refuse collectors make a huge contribution to public services, playing a part in everyone’s life. And, while new working hours may have a big impact on some people’s personal arrangements, we believe it is better to reorganise our services so that they can all continue their valued role, rather than outsourcing refuse collection as some councils have done.”

Part of the new terms and conditions, which will see employees work more unsociable hours than they currently do, include those on the lowest pay scales being offered the living wage of £7.20 per hour and a wage increase from £18,114 to £19,019 for a collector and from £20,142 to £21,149 for a driver.

Fife Council has also given a commitment to look at ways to introduce an early finish on Friday evenings as was requested by employees.