Unions suspend Doncaster Council strike during St Leger week

editorial image

Unions have agreed to suspend a planned strike by Doncaster Council staff during the St Leger Festival.

Some 200 trade union members, including street cleaners and grave diggers, said they would walk out for 10 days from tomorrow, the opening day of one the festival which marks one of the town’s biggest events of the year, the St Leger horse race.

But following talks this afternoon, the three unions have agreed to suspend industrial action which was due to start on Friday September 4.

In a joint statement, Doncaster Council and the unions, Unison and the GMB, said: “Under the auspices of ACAS, an agreement was reached between the joint trade unions and Doncaster Council to suspend the proposed industrial action from 4th September to 14th September, this will enable further discussion to take place.”

The strike action would hit departments including highways, grounds maintenance and street scene.

But it is understood the council’s chief executive, Jo Miller, wrote to the GMB and Unison unions on Thursday night putting forward an alternative plan to proposals over changes to shift patterns and terms and conditions of employment, in a bid to avert the action.

These would have involved bringing in external contractors to carry out weekend work, but raised the possibility of job losses for the existing staff.