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Date: Friday 23 January 2015

'Stop dumping on waste management staff' says UNISON Scotland

UNISON Scotland conducted surveys amongst staff working in waste management across Scotland’s local authorities. The results revealed a workforce under pressure facing increasing targets and declining budgets.  

In a report Dumped On – Working in Scotland’s Waste Management Services the union details the experience and expectations of a workforce trying do their job in an a constantly changing environment. 

Waste management has become a more demanding task in recent years as demands for more and more complex recycling have been put on staff at the same time as budgets have been put under pressure.  These burdens are set to increase as targets for more waste to be recycled or reused are going up and council budgets are being squeezed still further.

UNISON Scotland Head of Bargaining and Campaigns Dave Watson said:

“The job is treating rubbish – It shouldn’t mean getting rubbish treatment. Councils and the  Scottish Government should start realising that. They can’t expect staff to meet more stringent targets when they are being cut back.

“ Waste management staff are vital for both environmental Health and the health of the environment . Every political party claims they want to increase recycling rates and is signed up to the idea of a Zero Waste Scotland. They need to be prepared to put their money where litter is.

“The aim is that more waste is reused and recycled rather than put in landfill – well if Councils and Government want less waste – they are going to have to invest in more people to make that happen. They can’t expect to get ever more complex demands from a  reducing and overstretched workforce

ENDS

Notes for Editors

The report Dumped on: working in Scotland’s waste management services can be found at:
http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks/
DumpedOn_WasteManagementStaffSurvey_Jan2015.pdf

For further info contact
Dave Watson, UNISON Scotland,  Head of Bargaining and Campaigns, 0141 342 2840 or 07958122409
Stephen Low UNISON Scotland 0141 342 2811/ 0795 685 2822


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