Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 17:35 UK

Council bin offer 'falls short'

Rubbish in Edinburgh
Refuse collectors have been working to rule, which means some bins in Edinburgh have started to overflow

Union leaders have said they are continuing to ballot Edinburgh refuse collectors after a new council offer "fell short" of expectations.

Stephen MacGregor, Unite convenor within the Edinburgh City Council, said no solution was found at a five hour meeting on Thursday.

Workers fear a new pay system could see their wages cut from £18,000 to about £12,000. They are working to rule.

Edinburgh City Council said it had made a new offer, which was refused.

Negotiating table

Mark Turley, Edinburgh City Council's director of services for communities, said: "We presented proposals, including improved shift payment and modernisation of working practices, that would avoid refuse workers and street cleaners losing substantial amounts of money.

"This proposal was in return for the trade union to call off the strike ballot and return to normal working immediately.

"They have refused to do this after almost five hours of talks."

Mr MacGregor told the BBC Scotland news website: "At the meeting no improved offer was made with regards to shift payments.

"With regards to money being made up through job redesign it would still potentially result in members losing £4,000 per annum, which falls short of Unite and its members' expectations.

"Unite has offered a week-long set of negotiations before the ballot ends to try to resolve this issue but we have had no formal acceptance of this offer.

"Unite was also disappointed the council left the negotiating table on Thursday."

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