The council has been made aware that the GMB union has issued a further notice of industrial action to be taken by some of its members working on the Urbaser waste and environmental services contract in the Eden area.
The new notice is for a continuous period commencing Monday, 13 November. Previous notices relating to this dispute have been for a two-week period, but this notice has no defined end date.
We are disappointed that the ongoing negotiations on a pay deal between Urbaser and the union have not been resolved, but we remain hopeful that a positive way forward can be found soon.
We recognise this action has resulted in some disruption to our contracted waste and environmental services and we appreciate that this has been frustrating for any affected residents in the Eden locality.
The advice to residents in the Eden locality remains to continue putting out your blue bags for collection on your scheduled collection day.
Urbaser have informed us that they are currently able to deploy a near normal collection service on most days and are continuing to prioritise services to ensure collections of residual waste (blue bag) during the industrial action.
In the event that your bag is not collected by the end of the day, if it's safe to do so, kindly leave it in its place, and the aim is to have it collected within 24 hours, or as soon as possible.
Where no replacement sacks have been left, residents can place out suitable alternatives during the period of the strike.
Please note that this industrial action does not impact recycling or green waste collections in the Eden area as these are provided under a different contract.
The action also does not impact waste, recycling or green waste collections in the Barrow or South Lakeland areas of Westmorland and Furness.
Council-operated recycling ‘Bring Sites’ and Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) will continue to open and operate as normal during the period of industrial action.
The council wishes to make it clear that the current negotiations over pay and conditions are between Urbaser and its directly employed staff. The current contract with Urbaser to deliver waste and recycling services in Eden runs until 31 March 2027. The council is not currently in a position to terminate or change the contract.
Under the terms of the existing contract, in periods of significant disruption - due to events such as severe weather, unusual levels of staff sickness or industrial action - Urbaser are required to take appropriate steps, in the reasonable opinion of the council, to protect and continue to deliver services.
The council is closely monitoring the service provision during the industrial action to ensure it is meeting its obligations under the terms of the existing contract in the current circumstances.