Ealing Council’s failure to properly fund contract could lead to a breakdown in industrial relations

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Ealing Council’s failure to properly fund contract could lead to a breakdown in industrial relations between management of the council’s refuse service and GMB Union

GMB members employed by Ealing Council’s Trading Company, Greener Ealing Ltd who provide refuse, street cleaning, recycling and grounds maintenance services should have received a pay increase in April, but instead have had to make ends meet with no pay rise, despite the cost-of-living crisis getting worse month by month.

GMB believes that one of the reasons for the delay in an offer being made is that any increase in inflation was not factored into the cost of the contract when Ealing Council set up GEL as a Trading Company. GEL was set up to operate on a shoestring budget - chronically underfunded and impossible to maintain without proper budgets and forecasts.

A GMB member working for GEL said:

“Times are really hard, I need the money now and also need to know how much more I will be getting so I can plan how I will cover all the rising costs.”

Keith Williams, GMB London Region Senior Organiser said:

“Ealing Council has offered GEL an additional 2% uplift in the contract price to fund pay increases for 2022, but this is nowhere near enough especially in the current economic climate. Members and their families should not be the collateral damage in the failure of Ealing Council and GEL to come to a satisfactory arrangement.”

“GMB wrote to GEL on 5th August and requested a meeting with senior figures in GEL and the Leader of Ealing Council to try and resolve the current impasse but has yet to receive a response. Meanwhile GMB members are becoming understandably more and more impatient. The impact on the delay of a formal pay offer has meant some of these workers, including HGV drivers have left GEL for alternative and better paid work. If this impasse continues GEL may have a problem with understaffing and recruitment that ultimately affects the service provision for residents and local businesses.”

“Local councils up and down the country face dilemmas trying to save money, cutting back on services and reducing pay and conditions. GMB is aware that the National Employer for Local Government and Schools wrote to the Government on 25th July asking for an urgent commitment to fund the pay increase for local government workers, but to date there has been no response and government continues to bury its head in the sand.”

GMB London calls on both Ealing Borough Council and GEL representatives to invite GMB to the negotiating table with a decent pay offer acceptable to our members in these extremely difficult and challenging times.


Contact: Keith Williams, Senior Officer, GMB London Region 077 1063 1339

Editors Notes

Copy of LGA letter to Dept. Of levelling Up, Housing and Communities