Norfolk refuse strikes off after workers win huge pay deal

A large group of Serco workers on the pickets lines

Serco workers in North Norfolk and Breckland have accepted a double-digit pay rise, putting an end to the threat of more refuse strikes, UNISON announced today.

Refuse, street cleaning, grounds maintenance and cleansing workers approved the two-year deal that includes a 20% rise for the lowest-paid staff.

HGV drivers have won a new basic rate of £14.31 an hour from April 2023, rising from £10.56 in March 2022, though workers had been getting supplements and allowances that have now been rolled into the new rate.

After months of talks went nowhere, workers walked out for a week in March. They were due to strike again in April but called off action after receiving an improved offer. 55% of UNISON members approved the new offer, which will also apply to workers on Serco’s Kings Lynn contract.

UNISON Eastern regional organiser Cameron Matthews said: “Serco has spent the last few years raking in millions of profits while subjecting Norfolk workers to real-terms pay cuts and rock-bottom wages.

“But refuse, street cleansing, grounds maintenance and cleansing workers in North Norfolk and Breckland have stuck together to win a massive pay rise.

“These vital workers still deserve more — that’s why the vote to accept was so close — but they’ve won a huge victory by joining together in UNISON.”