Michelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)
Bin collections in Ballymena and Larne will take place - MEA Council
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has said that bin collections in Larne and Ballymena will take place as strike action continues.
The council has stated that it is “endeavouring to prioritise” black bin collections, assisted lifts and larger capacity collections although “significant disruption to the service is anticipated”.
Unite the Union says that that this week’s strike is “likely to result in significant disruption” to council services across Northern Ireland, Housing Executive maintenance and school transport”.
The action follows “an overwhelming” vote to reject a pay offer of 1.75 percent for the year 2021-22.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council says:
“Household waste collections are taking place in Larne and Ballymena, however, Carrickfergus collections will be disrupted. Unfortunately, this is likely to be the case all week.”
“Commercial waste is being lifted across all three areas and Bryson are operating their service for kerbside boxes.
“We would respectfully suggest that any resident who is willing and able, take excess household waste to their local recycling centre for processing.
“Those who require assisted lifts or the disposal of medical waste are asked to contact Council and we will endeavour to assist.
Leisure services in the borough are also affected.
The pool in Larne is closed and school swimming sessions are suspended in Ballymena. The Amphitheatre in Carrickfergus is currently unaffected.
All public toilets are currently open as normal except for the harbour toilets in Carrickfergus.
Sunnylands Community Centre in Carrickfergus is closed.
Meanwhile, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council says that its bin collection service has not been impacted by the ongoing industrial action.
However, it has indicated that this week’s industrial action is expected to affect a number of leisure centre opening times.
At Antrim Forum, Sixmile and Valley Leisure Centres, swimming pools will be closed and there will be no swimming lessons. Spas will also be closed.
Special School Education Authority bus services operating in Antrim and Newtownabbey and Mid and East Antrim are continuing to experience disruption.
Unite says: “The pay of council workers, education workers and Housing Executive workers in Northern Ireland has stagnated over the last decade meaning real terms falls in their standards of living of 11 percent over the period.”
The union is seeking locally-agreed improvements through raising pay grades, reduced working hours, more paid holidays and other benefits.