Binmen in east Suffolk have called off planned strike action after they were offered a significant pay bump.

Staff had been set to strike this week after refusing a pay deal that union bosses blasted as falling "short of a decent wage". This action was then suspended while talks took place.

In the face of the action, Norse – which deals with bins and cleaning for East Suffolk Council – made an improved pay offer which staff voted to accept.

East Anglian Daily Times: East Suffolk Norse Refuse Workers. Photo: UNISONEast Suffolk Norse Refuse Workers. Photo: UNISON (Image: UNISON)

Bosses from UNISON, the union representing the workers, said this deal included a one-year rise worth 23% for its lowest-paid staff as well as a nationally agreed £1,925 increase – which has been backdated to April – and an additional £1.25 per hour from December.

On top of this, union chiefs say workers will get improved sick pay, an extra day’s annual leave, and Norse bosses have given a commitment that interested agency staff will get full-time jobs when vacancies come up.

Cameron Matthews, UNISON Eastern regional organiser, said: “This is a great victory for East Suffolk Norse workers. They’ve proved that by standing together in a trade union, workers can win a fair pay deal that treats them with the respect they deserve.

“With the cost of living still going through the roof and price rises hitting the lowest-paid hardest, this deal should allow Norse workers to finally keep their heads above water. This is a positive result for the workers, the employer and the community.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Councillor Stephen Burroughes. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILCouncillor Stephen Burroughes. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL (Image: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL)

Conservative councillor Stephen Burroughes, who has cabinet responsibility for commercial partnerships, said: “Throughout this process, the council’s priority has been to ensure that a solution is reached in the very best interests of all parties.

“Despite considerable noise around this issue and interventions which have not always been helpful, we have conducted negotiations diligently and respectfully throughout.

“I am personally very pleased that this matter is now approaching a satisfactory conclusion.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Southwold Liberal Democrat councillor David Beavan. Picture: DAVID BEAVANSouthwold Liberal Democrat councillor David Beavan. Picture: DAVID BEAVAN (Image: David Beavan)

David Beavan, leader of the Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group at the council, said: “I am really pleased that our binmen have been given a decent deal at last and that the strike is off.

“If only the council had listened when we called for £12 an hour minimum back at September’s council meeting, the bin men would not have had to work to rule and threaten strikes just so that they had enough money to live on."