Union officials say they are ‘extremely disappointed’ that an un-named council source is raising the spectre of privatisation for Edinburgh City Council’s refuse services.
Unite the union was responding to reports that council officials are to look at ending the agreed ‘task and finish’ method of working employed by council refuse staff.
In the media today, an un-named council source is quoted as saying that ‘if the bin crews continue to work like this, then the argument for privatisation will become overwhelming’.
Unite depute Scottish secretary Mary Alexander said: “The ‘task and finish’ method of working was brought in by the council in 1989 as an incentive to crews to get the job done. If the council wants to re-negotiate that, then we will be ready to listen to whatever proposals they have.
“But we strongly dispute that our members are not doing the tasks assigned to them by managers. And we are extremely disappointed that un-named council sources are raising the spectre of privatisation in this way. If it is designed as some kind of negotiating tactic, then it is unfair and underhanded.
“If there are members of the council who want to push a privatisation agenda, then they should do it in an open, transparent way in front of Edinburgh’s citizens, not hide behind anonymous quotes in the media.
“Our members have repeatedly told the council that there are problems of resourcing in the refuse service, with outdated equipment that makes it difficult for our members to do the job. Privatisation would make that worse – with money being diverted out of the public service and into private profits.”