Review launched into differing pay rates for refuse collectors in Mid Ulster

Bin collection
Bin collection

Nearly a year after the new Mid Ulster District Council came into being, it has emerged that some of those employed as refuse collectors serving the Dungannon area, are being paid less than their counterparts in the neighbouring Cookstown and Magherafelt areas.

Officials from the new Mid Ulster ‘super council’ have said they are working with trade unions to rectify the matter and “arrive at a common structure”, in response to the Times.

It is understood that employees of the three separate and now defunct councils of Dungannon, Cookstown and Magherafelt transferred to the new Mid Ulster Council on their existing terms and conditions which, said a council spokesperson, means “there are differences in the rates of pay for broadly similar jobs”.

It is not known whether council staff in any of the other departments are affected by the situation.

The TIMES also understands work uniforms for the refuse collection staff in Dungannon have only recently been received by the employees.

In response to this paper, a Mid Ulster District Council spokeswoman confirmed the differing pay rates.

“Employees of the three former councils transferred to Mid Ulster on their existing terms and conditions, which means there are differences in the rates of pay for broadly similar jobs,” said the Mid Ulster council spokesperson.

“With the agreement of the Unions, we have begun a review of this issue in the Environment & Property Department, by the end of which we aim to have addressed the matter and arrive at a common structure.

The spokesperson added: “In terms of uniforms, after merging three separate organisations, it simply takes time to complete audits, compile specifications, tender, assess and award contracts and take delivery.”

Dungannon SDLP councillor, Denise Mullen, has been working on the issue with some of the affected staff, as well as officials from trade unions representing the employees.

Councillor Mullen said the matter may not be resolved until August.

“I hope these issues can be sorted out, and it is expected the review will conclude in August,” she said.

“It is disheartening for those staff who see that they are getting less in their pay packets compared with others doing the same job.”

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