Glasgow bin strike: when will city council workers end industrial action - and when will my bins next be collected?

Glasgow city council cleansing workers have entered their second week of striking today (8 November) as they demand better pay and working conditions.

The industrial action comes against the backdrop of COP26 with residents’ bins across the city overflowing.

Here’s everything you need to know about the strike by city council employees.

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Why are city council cleansing workers striking?

Almost 1000 council workers took to the picket line on November 1 due to a dispute over pay and working conditions.

Living Rent, Scotland’s tenants union, and GMB cleansing workers have been working together since December last year calling for an improvement to working conditions and greater investment in current infrastructure.

According to GMB Scotland: “Glasgow’s cleansing workers are on strike over the local government pay offer, and their campaign has called for Scottish Government intervention to start reversing more than a decade of cuts to the service, and for the Council to respect and value them as key workers.”

When will the strike run until?

Bin workers in Glasgow will return to work on 9 November following eight days of strike action as they consider new proposals from the council.

Hundreds of workers turned out to send a message of solidarity with a rally in George Square on the final day of action.

GMB rep Chris Mitchell said Glasgow City Council had put forward 14 points, signed by council leader Susan Aitken, which will be voted on by his members.

They are also consulting on the national pay offer from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), which was submitted before the strike began.

Mr Mitchell said he wanted “pay recognition” for the workers, who he believes should have got the £500 bonus given to care workers and NHS employees by the Scottish Government last year.

“I still want the money,” he told workers gathered in George Square. “That is a fact. I want the £500 you didn’t get that you should have got.”

If union members reject the latest offers then further strikes could follow.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joined the striking workers on the picket line this morning and at the rally in George Square.

COSLA has proposed a pay rise of 5.8% for the lowest paid workers, as part of a £1062 rise for all staff earning below £25,000. The GMB asked for a £2000 pay rise and previously turned down an £850-a year increase.

Unions then announced planned strikes by local government workers across the country had been suspended while consultation on the deal took place.

However, Glasgow’s cleansing department decided it wanted to continue with industrial action and workers walked out from November 1.

UNISON Glasgow branch shared a message of solidarity with Glasgow cleansing workers on social media, and said it was “proud of UNISON members who refused to cross picket lines”.

“We continue to campaign for rejection of the new COSLA Scottish local government pay offer,” they added.

A council spokesman confirmed talks are ongoing with the GMB.

He said: “Unions informed the council last week that Monday would be the last day of the strike.

“We have been able to provide a cleansing service that focuses on public safety using staff who are not on strike and, other than one instance where we used an existing contractor to transfer waste, we have not had to use contractors.”

The council previously said it had considered using contractors to collect rubbish due to fire risk on Bonfire Night, a move which Mr Mitchell said would be “deplorable”.

When will my bins next be collected?

Glasgow City Council has said that there might “be a delay in returning to normal collection schedules”.

The council have indicated that services will begin after November 8.

It said: “please only place it out on the pavement on the next scheduled uplift after November 8.”

You can find your next scheduled collection on the Collection Days page of the council website here.

What should I do with my rubbish now?

Residents affected by the strike have been asked by the council “to minimise the amount of waste that you produce wherever possible, or compact it as much as you can.”

If bins for general waste become full, Glaswegians should store their waste at home if they can, according to the council.

If rubbish can’t be stored at home, citizens should double or triple bag their waste before placing it next to the general bins you use, either in a communal bin area or by your own home.

Using recycling bins for general waste should be avoided as this may lead to further delays in those bins being collected.

Are any recycling centres open?

Shieldhall and Easter Queenslie Household Waste Recycling Centre are open today, according to the city council.

Opening times are 8 am to 6 pm, last entry at 5.45 pm, though this is subject to change.