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Better conditions for entire workforce

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Front
Better conditions for entire workforce

A ROW between a small group of bin collection workers and Dumfries and Galloway Council chiefs has led to an unexpected victory where around 6500 council employees will receive improved work benefits.

Bins were not picked up across the region last Easter as waste workers took the public bank holidays that they were entitled to.

After heavy criticism from the public over the fiasco and not having any cover in place, senior management have been desperate to avoid a repeat of this situation.

After reviewing the terms and conditions for the workforce, it was discovered that employees at many other local authorities are getting a better deal than those locally.

An agreement has now been struck between the council and the Joint Trade Union to improve terms and conditions – for all council employees.

Instead of receiving double time wages for public holiday working, staff will now also be given an additional day-in-lieu.

It was rubber-stamped by councillors on Tuesday and will come into effect immediately, with an estimated annual cost of £167,000.

As part of the deal, public holiday working remains optional, but by offering these improved terms and conditions, it is hoped that adequate cover can still be provided for bin collections and other important public services during holiday periods.

There are seven fixed public holidays and four floating days recognised by the council for its employees: January 1, 2, Good Friday, Easter Monday, first Monday in May, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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