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Kier North Somerset Pay Dispute

Friday, January 16, 2015

GMB Ballot For Strike Action At Keir May Gurney Refuse And Recycling Contract In North Somerset In Pay Dispute

We do not accept them holding our members responsible for the fact that they took on a contract that they are now claiming is losing money says GMB.

70 GMB members employed by Keir May Gurney on the refuse and recycling contract for North Somerset Council are being balloted for strike action in the unresolved dispute on pay from April 2014. The ballot being conducted by EBRS started on 14th January and is due to close on 28th January.

The members are employed on the refuse contract for kerbside collection across North Somerset and in the household waste recycling centres in Weston Super Mare, Backwell and Portishead. Keir May Gurney has had the contract with North Somerset Council since 2010 and the current contract runs until 2017, with an option to extend for a further seven years.

Negotiation on the review, due from 1st April 2014, were protracted for several reason. When the outcome was put to GMB members earlier this year they rejected the final offer by a 90% majority. When this rejection was conveyed to the employer the response was that it was a final offer and that no improvement would be made.

The company has refused a GMB request for information on the cost of the paybill and other information relevant to the negotiations that it has a legal duty to supply to assist negotiations. GMB has begun proceedings at the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) to secure this information.

GMB is already in dispute with Kier over blacklisting at least 155 construction workers. Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists.

GMB held a protest demonstration at the company offices in Sandy, Bedfordshire in October to shame Paul McCreath, Human Resources Director and Kathy Almansoor, Group Employee Relations Manager for their part in blacklisting.

Paul McCreath was Human Resources Operations Manager for HBG Construction / BAM from 1998 until 2009 and Kathy Almansoor has been Group Employee Relations Manager at Kier since 2002. Paul McCreath is now Human Resources Director at Kier Group having been with them since 2009. They have yet to come clean and apologise for their part in the hurt and damage caused by their current and former employers who were involved in blacklisting at least 155 workers.

Adie Baker, GMB Regional Officer, said “GMB is disappointed that Kier May Gurney has failed to listen to the overwhelming rejection of the pay offer by GMB members. We do not accept them holding our members responsible for the fact that they took on a contract that they are now claiming is losing money.

The company has also failed to address the substantial differences in pay rates between the staff at the recycling centres and that of the refuse and green waste collection staff.

We will know the outcome of the ballot at the end of the month.”


Contact: Adie Baker 07980 753 128 or 0117 9554470 or GMB press office 07921289880


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