Glasgow council slammed over plans to spend millions on new bin lorry systems

Every Glasgow bin lorry is to be upgraded by April 2023 while the city council spends millions of pounds on its new digital recording system.
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Front line operatives will now have access to either in-cab or hand-held devices that will be used to manage their daily tasks such as waste collection rounds or bulk uplift jobs.

Staff will be able to record information digitally at the push of a button meaning there is quick and easy access to the information recorded on the alloy tablets, allowing the local authority to run its services more efficiently. The tablets will then be moved into the new vehicles.

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But the convenor of Glasgow’s GMB trade union, Chris Mitchell, says the council has its priorities all wrong when it comes to looking after their staff and warns the changes will mean more work for workers for the same amount of pay.

Bin lorries in Glasgow are being upgraded.Bin lorries in Glasgow are being upgraded.
Bin lorries in Glasgow are being upgraded.

Mr Mitchell said: “Most of the refuse collection vehicles are disintegrating in front of staff as they are the best part of 15 years old meaning they are struggling to provide a decent service within the city.

“Now management and NRS have come up with a solution to install an incab device known as alloy that they claim will make the service better and this will become the responsibility of the driver.

“It will also save the council money on bringing in new admin staff but there will be no responsibility payment for the driver even though it is classed as an extra duty/job.

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“This alloy system has cost millions of pounds, however this technology does not sweep the streets, empty bins or drive the vehicles. Again there is money being wasted at the expense of the workers and the citizens of Glasgow.”

But Glasgow City Council argues that the new devices will help them communicate with residents when issues to emerge and better recording of information will help staff in the long term.

A spokesman said: “Frontline staff using electronic devices to capture data to help improve services is increasingly commonplace across our operations.

“The Alloy system has been gradually introduced within our refuse collections teams and with training to support this, some staff are using the devices.

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“Rather than recording the information on pieces of paper as has been the case until recently, details will now be stored digitally at the push of a button.

“Having quick and easy access to the information recorded on the Alloy tablets will help us run our services more effectively and improve our communication with residents when issues do emerge.

“Better recording of information will also help to address some frustrations experienced by our staff, including access issues at certain addresses that can lead to missed bin collections.

“A driver’s job profile includes a requirement to operate equipment attached to their vehicle and so the introduction of Alloy tablets is in keeping with their current job.

“All of our refuse lorries are due to be upgraded by April 2023 and the alloy tablets will be moved on to the new vehicles without difficulty. “

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