12 Nov 2009

GMB and UNISON today expressed “frustration and disappointment” that talks on the ten-week refuse strike failed to come up with a settlement.
Hopes were high that a negotiated settlement could be agreed in the Leeds City refuse dispute at a meeting with senior officers. But the talks have been postponed until early next week because the Council says it needs to take further legal advice from leading Counsel about its position in relation to the strike.
GMB Regional Organiser Desiree Risebury said, “After all the progress we felt we made in the last round of talks it is very frustrating to have to delay the talks until the Council has prepared its own legal position.
However, we used the opportunity today to discuss the productivity element of the talks which we felt was positive. But the timing of the next meeting is out of our hands but we remain available at any time of day or night to negotiate with the Council.”
UNISON Regional Organiser Tony Pearson said, “We are bitterly disappointed that the Council did not have the legal advice they say they need in time for today’s talks.
It means that there is yet another delay to negotiating a fair and just settlement to this strike but they are adamant that they have to seek top-level legal advice before they can respond to the unions’ proposals on grading of posts in the service.
Our members and the people of Leeds will just have to wait even longer to get this service back into operation and cleaning up our streets.”
Contact: Desiree Risebury, GMB Organiser on 07958 156848 and Tony Pearson on 07944191692 GMB Press Office: Steve Pryle on 07921 289880 or Rose Conroy on 07974 251 823.