Earlier this year NIPSA, GMB and UNITE unions learned that Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council proposed the outsourcing of the black bin and dry recycling collections in the Newtownabbey area and the brown bin collection services in both the Antrim and Newtownabbey areas. NIPSA in conjunction with sister unions have opposed the further outsourcing of waste collection services from the outset.

NIPSA have sought meetings with senior representatives from the Council and led delegations with political representatives from across the political spectrum to press for waste collection services to remain in-house, under the direct control of the Council and within the remit of public ownership.

Disappointingly, political representatives have signalled their intention to extend the privatisation of waste collection services in the area.

Whilst the Council have given a commitment to no compulsory redundancies the concern for the service and the workers who deliver the service remains:

  1. ‘Cost-saving’ measures invariably delivered through a reduction on workers’ pay and conditions.
  2. Permanent public sector jobs replaced by low paid casual labour.
  3. A public service delivered solely for profit.
  4. Less public accountability.
  5. Potential for a ‘domino effect’ and plans to privatise further waste services across Northern Ireland.
  6. Potential future charging for waste collection services as has happened in other jurisdictions.

Waste collection services have seen vast improvements in recent years – all of which has been delivered in-house and under the direct control of local government.

Trade unions are voicing their opposition to the privatisation of waste services and we are asking members of the public to join us in opposing the move. Residents of the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council can do so by contacting their local political representatives to express their opposition to any further outsourcing of services and their continued support for Council run and publically controlled waste collection.

Councillor details can be found by accessing the link on the leaflet. Hard copy leaflets can also be provided by contacting NIPSA Headquarters on 028 9066 1831.

Alison Millar

General Secretary