East Suffolk strikes called off after workers accept improved pay deal

East Suffolk Norse workers vote to accept their pay deal

East Suffolk refuse workers have called off planned strikes after voting to accept a pay deal that “treats them with the respect they deserve,” UNISON says today.

Norse, which runs the refuse and cleansing contract for East Suffolk Council, agreed to a one-year rise worth 23% for its lowest-paid staff, bringing them up to the level of workers doing similar jobs at other councils.

Workers voted overwhelming to accept the deal in a ballot that closed yesterday (Wednesday). It means strikes, which had been planned for this week before they were suspended to consult on the new offer, have now been called off.

Staff will now receive the £1,925 paid to other local government workers under a national agreement, which is backdated to April, and an additional £1.25 an hour from December.

On top of this, workers have won improved sick pay and an extra day’s annual leave and a commitment that interested agency staff will get full-time jobs when vacancies arise.

UNISON Eastern regional organiser Cameron Matthews said: “This is a great victory for East Suffolk Norse workers. They’ve proved that by standing together in a trade union, workers can win a fair pay deal that treats them with the respect they deserve.

“With the cost of living still going through the roof and price rises hitting the lowest-paid hardest, this deal should allow Norse workers to finally keep their heads above water. This is a positive result for the workers, the employer and the community.”