Binmen could lose £4.4k a year with 'rubbish' new pay deal
BINMEN claim they are set to lose thousands of pounds a year as Swansea Council streamlines its working terms and conditions.
They say they fear they will lose their homes and will have to take second jobs to make ends meet.
All the workers who contacted the Post said they wanted to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.
One man who works on the black bag collection round said: "We had a meeting and we are going to lose £4,400 a year — everybody across the board, except drivers because they (the council) call them skilled and us unskilled.
"They are saying we are the same as a dinner lady — but we work outside in all weathers.
"We work 37 hour weeks, starting at 5am. I do the rounds with black bags. The boys are frightened. They are worried they will lose their houses."
Swansea Council is obliged by law to bring its employees' terms and conditions in line. This is called Single Status.
It has taken into consideration matters including holidays, bonuses, who pays for membership to professional boards, and pay structures.
Those set to lose pay, will have their salary safeguarded for one year.
Another refuse worker, who collects commercial waste, claimed he would lose around half his pay, including a "charge hand rate" for being in charge of the lorry.
"I've got a mortgage and two small children. It's not realistic how much I'm going to lose. Nobody can lose that much.
"I work antisocial hours — I start at 5am. We're supposed to be all in this together but they are clobbering us."
A third refuse collector said he feared he would have to take a second job.
"I haven't had a pay rise in five years," he said. "Now we're losing money. I work 37 hours over four days a week. It's a stinking dirty job.
"I have two children — my youngest is six — and my wife works, so on that fifth day I can pick up my child from school and not put them in a club. I face to lose around £90 a week. I can't afford that.
"I will have to get a second job, but I doubt I'll find one that will pay me that for one day a week. We face having to sell our house."
A council spokesman said: "Like all local authorities Swansea Council is legally bound to implement a pay and reward system that gives equal pay for work of equal value. It's been a long process that has involved checking every job in the council. It has taken eight years and the trade unions have been involved every step of the way.
"We can't comment on individual cases because we are waiting for the unions' responses. Under Single Status 8 out of 10 council staff will benefit or stay the same. Those gaining the most will be those who have been working for years in low-paid roles which don't have bonus payments.
"Swansea Council is no different to any other local authority which has implemented single status in that refuse workers have seen reductions in pay because of the ending of bonus schemes.
"However, all staff who face reductions will see their pay protected for a year. In the meantime the council will work with employees to see if they can be re-skilled or whether their jobs can be made more responsible so that any loss is lessened or negated.
"Under the current proposal, refuse workers will be paid night rate at time and a third between 5am and 6 am. If they work after 7pm, they will get an unsocial hours payment of time and a third."