No deal yet

Big clean-up to begin as talks on pay continue

A tourist attempts to put litter in an overflowing bin outside Waverley station (pic: Terry Murden)

A big clean-up will begin in Edinburgh on Tuesday morning when the bin workers strike ends, but a resolution on the pay dispute continues into fifth day on Monday.

Two thirds of Scotland’s local authorities have been hit by strikes, with the capital suffering particularly as it remains packed with visitors for the Bank Holiday weekend.

Rubbish is building up in many town and city centres and in Edinburgh some streets, such as Waverley Bridge, resemble the aftermath of the litter-strewn fields of a music festival.

Discussions between the unions and the council’s umbrella body, Cosla, took place on Sunday without agreement.

Edinburgh City Council is preparing to resume waste and cleansing services following the industrial action.

Piles of litter have sent a negative image of Edinburgh around the world (pic: Terry Murden)

With the scheduled strike due to end at 4.59am on Tuesday, additional resources are being deployed to support street cleansing and communal bin collections, particularly in the city centre and other areas most affected by the strike.

Meanwhile, the dispute has been mired in a party political blame game, with the Labour-run council joining others in saying only the Scottish government can provide the resources necessary, while the SNP-led government says it is up to the employers – the councils – to find a resolution.

Edinburgh council leader Cammy Day said: “I regret the impact this national crisis has had on our Capital city and am continuing to press the Scottish Government to fund an acceptable settlement. Talks are continuing over the weekend and I’m hopeful we can reach agreement and prevent any further disruption.


“As I’ve said throughout, I fully respect the right of our colleagues to take this action and have their voices heard. As a trade union member myself, I’ve joined the picket lines in support of fair pay for our workforce and will do so again.

“This dispute has brought the value of our waste and cleansing teams – and their right to fair wage – into sharp focus and I’m delighted they’ll be back out from Tuesday, helping to return our city to its best.

“While they’ll be working hard to catch up on collections and making every effort to collect litter across the city, it’ll take time for things to return to normal. Please bear with them as they do so and, if you can store your extra waste safely for a little longer or are able to book an appointment at a recycling centre, please do so.

“I appreciate that this has been an extremely challenging period for us all and I would like to thank our residents, businesses and visitors for their continued patience and understanding.”

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