Striking Eastbourne bin men have been offered a seven per cent pay rise.

Here is Eastbourne Borough Council: “We met with the GMB Union yesterday (5/1/22) and offered a 7% increase in pay to drivers and 3% to all other SEESL staff. In line with the GMB Union’s request, we also confirmed that we are replacing the small tea hut with a larger welfare unit where staff will be able to meet up before shifts, make a drink and leave their belongings.

In 2019 when we took over the service, all staff transferred from Kier to South East Environmental Services Limited (SEESL). SEESL is the company set up by the council to deliver waste, recycling and street cleansing services in Eastbourne.

At the time of our takeover, all staff received a 4% increase in pay. In 2020 pay was increased again, this time by 2.75%. Additionally there is a national pay award negotiation underway and the current offer is 1.75%.

With the above in mind, we believe this latest offer of a 7% increase for drivers and 3% for all other SEESL staff is very generous and hope it will be accepted. It is worth noting that the government’s current pay rise offer for nurses is just 3%.

The council is extremely proud of the work done by all our staff during the pandemic, especially the SEESL team as they continued to collect the refuse and recycling and keep local streets clean.

The increases in pay are not the only benefits introduced since 2019.

Annual leave has been increased to 25 days for all staff. Previously, many staff only received 20 days holiday.

Provision for sick pay entitlements have also been enhanced since SEESL took over from Kier.

The council has also invested in the Courtlands Road depot, delivering improvements welcomed by the GMB Union.

We hope that the GMB Union will recognise that we have always acted in the best interests of all our staff.