Kris says

Kris Says: The Birmingham Bin Strikes

Hey everyone, welcome back to the University of Birmingham for what is going to be an incredible year!

You may have noticed that some of your bins have not been collected recently. In case you didn’t know, all areas of Birmingham have experienced a disrupted bin collection service this summer due to strike action called by the refuse workers’ union.

This issue arose following a dispute between Birmingham City Council and the refuse worker’s union, Unite, over proposed job losses and changes to working conditions. This led to strike action which began on 30th June this year. Unfortunately this has left a back-log of bin collections and caused Selly Oak, and the rest of Birmingham, to not look their best during this time.

As of the 20th September the Birmingham's bin strike has been suspended and the City Council has now begun the process and clearing the backlog of rubbish that has piled up.

Earlier this week I spoke with Councillor Karen McCarthy who advised that while the bin strike is suspended, it’s going to take a while to get things back to normal. However, collections for Selly Oak are scheduled for Thursday 28th and Friday 29th September. If you do have any excess rubbish, please make sure it’s well wrapped in black refuse sacks and left alongside your wheelie bin for collection.

If you need to report a missed collection or would like to find the latest information about the daily collections check out the Birmingham City Council Website.

I am also focussing on a long-term waste management plan in Selly Oak which will allow us to have a greater sense of pride in our cleaner, greener community. If you have any thoughts you would like to share with me on these issues or anything else then please email me at


The Bin Strikes – Timeline of Events

  • The bin service went £11.9 million over budget in 2016-17. The council increased the budget by £5.7m for the 2017-18 financial year, but says that even with this extra cash it has to make changes in order to stay within the revised budget.
  • 27th January 2017:  Birmingham City Council's talks with trade union Unite begins. The council proposes a number of changes, including the loss of 113 jobs for refuse workers.
  • 23rd May 2017: UNITE announces that it is not satisfied with the council’s plans and is calling a vote for refuse workers to decide on industrial action (a strike).
  • 30th June 2017: Industrial action begins, with refuse workers organising 2-hour stoppages to bin collections.
  • 16th August 2017: Strike action is temporarily suspended amid negotiations between Unite and the city council.
  • 31st August 2017:  The council announced in a press release that it had delivered redundancy notices to all the grade 3 workers previously identified.
  • 1st September 2017:  UNITE announces that the strike will be resumed, with 3 hour stoppages each day.
  • 11th September: John Clancy resigns as city council leader following criticism of his handling of industrial action by refuse workers.
  • 20th September: Birmingham's bin strike has been suspended after the High Court granted an interim injunction against the council's bid to make workers redundant.




Walter Mugedo
3:04pm on 29 Sep 17 Hi Kris, Good initiative, thanks for the follow up and update, hopeful the garbage will be cleared and save us from the present situation. I was disappointed on my arrival to Birmingham and on my way through Tiverton road, Bournbrook the quantity of mounted garbage therein scenic pollution. Hopeful this wont recur again. Walter
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