Work has begun to get refuse collection and street cleaning services in Leeds back to normal after workers voted to end a strike.
Members of the GMB and Unison unions are expected to return to work on Wednesday morning after 11 weeks on the picket line.
Since industrial action began in September, private contractors have been used to empty black bins across the city and most recently, new temporary workers have been assigned to green and brown bin collections.
The private crews will be kept on for the next few days while services are re-established.
But, there’s a warning that collections won’t return to normal overnight.
Councillor James Monaghan, executive board member with responsibility for refuse collection and street cleaning said:
“There has been a lot of disruption in the last eleven weeks, despite the fact we have been working as hard as possible to keep services running.
“While it is good news that our staff have decided to come back to work, it is going to take us sometime to re-establish the workforce, re-introduce services and move forward with the modernisation work.
“It can’t happen overnight.
“That’s why I am appealing for residents to bear with us while we work to restore a full service and clear any backlog.”
A more frequent service of black bin collections will resume as soon as possible, hopefully from Thursday. Green bins will be emptied at least monthly and a one-off collection of brown bins will continue until December 6.
Yesterday members of the Unison and GMB unions voted overwhelmingly in favour of return to work after accepting a revised council offer.
It means many workers will have pay losses eradicated altogether thanks to the council’s proposals for a system based on productivity.
In return the unions have agreed to work with the authority to modernise the service, tackle sickness and achieve efficiency targets that are required.