Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is advising residents of significant disruption to some key services over the next fortnight as Unite the Union plans further industrial action by its members in an ongoing nationally negotiated pay dispute.
The planned strike action is expected to cause major disruption to essential public services across NI with a number of sectors including all 11 councils, education, and housing affected.
The period of industrial action across the borough will operate from Monday 25 April (00.01 hours) to Sunday 1 May (23.59 hours) and Tuesday 3 May (00.01 hours) to Sunday 8 May (23.59 hours).
The council wishes to apologise to residents in advance for the inconvenience that this forthcoming strike action will cause and are keen to reassure them that every effort is being made to minimise disruption.
Regrettably, the strike action is beyond our control as it relates to a dispute over 2021-2022 pay which is negotiated by the National Joint Council (NJC) on behalf of councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Individual councils do not enter into separate negotiations on pay.
A strike lasting two week is unusual and has not been experienced by this council to date.
The council is keen to make residents aware that the main council services most likely to be impacted are household recycling centres, bin collections, street cleansing as well as parks, pitches and greens.
Some household recycling centres will remain open but sites may be required to close at short notice if not enough staff are available.
Bin collections cannot be guaranteed during the period of industrial action. There will be significant disruption to bin collections during this strike period. Residents are advised to leave their bins out for collection on their normal day. They will be emptied where there are sufficient crews to deliver a service.
If bins are not emptied, residents are asked to take their bins back in from the kerbside and place them out again on their next scheduled collection day, for that waste stream/colour.
Collections missed week commencing 25 April will return to normal from Monday 9 May. Collections missed week commencing 2 May will return to normal collection from Monday 16 May.
It is recommended that householders make full use of their green and brown bins to recycle as much waste as possible to maximise bin capacity.
A limited street cleansing service will be available and this will impact street sweeping, litter picking and street bins. Some bookings for pitches within council parks may be affected. Clubs and individuals affected will be contacted directly and advised as soon as possible. Refunds will be offered for all cancellations.
The council recognises the continued adverse impact of Unite the Union’s actions and wants to reassure residents and customers that full service provision will resume as soon as possible.
The situation will be kept under review. Residents are encouraged to check council’s social media channels and website regularly for further updates.