Bin Man wages

Binmen Stoppage; Perry Barr Depot; 21st July 2017;
Perry barr depot this morning – determined workers

The Birmingham Mail misled the public when it reported on bin man wages this week after Neil Elkes was provided with information by the Council rather than just asking a few lads on the picket lines, i.e., basic journalism. Perhaps Neil was following a legitimate line of enquiry, or maybe he’s pushing Council propaganda, perhaps the NUJ can find out. The result is that the public if not informed, might be mistaken for thinking that the bin men are on strike for more money – when they’re not. What they are opposing is a £4-6,000 pay cut, the loss of a rest day each week and the increase in workload of 1300 more households. Furthermore, constantly referring to the city council’s promise of jobs and claiming that there are therefore no redundancies hides the truth that a promise of a job isn’t a job. If Mr Elkes was told his career as a journalist was at an end but the Mail “promised” to give him the same money cleaning toilets would Mr Elkes not make a fuss and claim he was being made redundant?

Mr Elkes pens the local government stories for the Birmingham Mail and is at risk of going native. When you hang around with people who have power, even limited power like the local Councillors and bureaucrats you can end up thinking that you’re part of the club, one of the important people. A journeyman reporter on a local newspaper cannot merely regurgitate whatever is passed to them by these worthy Councillors who have a very tenous democratic mandate, it is incumbent upon a journalist to check the facts and report from the front line. After all, local journalists are themselves quite poorly paid and contrary to what they might think after attending a council bash and being given a few free sandwiches, the interests of journalists are one and the same with workers everywhere.

So, let’s ask Neil, the next time he reports on the wages of bin men, to put them into a little context and let us know who else gets what at the Council. Here’s a little list of starting salaries at Birmingham City Council to get the ball rolling:

Chief Executive £180,000

Assistant Chief Exec £80,000

Corporate Strategy Head of Service £65,000

Communications Director £75,000

Change and Support Services Strategic Director £135,000

Strategic Policy Head of Service £60,000

Performance Head of Service £50,000

Finance and Legal Strategic Director £135,000

Corporate Resource and Economy Director £85,000

Financial Services Ass Dir £85,000

Head of City Finance £65,000

Finance Manager £50,000

Legal and Democratic Services Director £100,000

Senior Solicitor £50,000

Human Resources Senior Practitioner £50,000

Customer Services Head of Service £55,000

Customer Services Asst Director £75,000 and £100,000

Corporate Strategy Asst Dir £90,000

Who do you think is value for money? Bin men or these over paid lackey’s?

If you want to support the bin men, help us distribute the Birmingham Worker and leaflets to the public. Get in touch ASAP and help win this dispute:






  1. I must love how to justify wages, they look at those at the top who are responsible and accountable when a bin man makes a mess after emptying a bin, or leaves the bin blocking the end of your drive, or blocks a road when there was an opportunity to leave a space, like they have a given right…

    Why don’t you list the wages of the admin staff that take the phone calls of angry residents when you haven’t done a collection or left a mess?
    Why don’t you list the wages of the cleaners that clean the staff room and toilets?
    Why don’t you list the wages of the people that earn less and also list the wages of those that you are fighting for??

    Then we will see injustice surely if who really is the underpaid?

    What is people’s problems with change, we have to continually change, adapt and evolve to be efficient and keep up with the changing world, yet everyone thinks they have a god given right, complains when a ‘foreigner’ comes and ‘steals’ their jobs! Man up and get on with the job, don’t like it, then go and find another one, isn’t that what everyone else does!


    • John you’re quite correct in pointing out that many others earn less than the bin men at the Council, but I’m afraid this blog post isn’t dealing with this issue. Let it be said in passing that in defending their terms and conditions, as well as the status of the Grade 3’s, the bin men are doing their bit for all Council workers in slowing the race to the bottom. Should the Grade3 jobs go, it will be a matter of time before the Grade 4’s suffer the same fate. Indeed, as we can see from the paltry wages many workers receive at the Council when compared with the list we’ve provided, a huge chunk of the wage bill is actually being absorbed by the relatively privileged layer of “professional” pen pushers whose annual salary would take many workers five or six years to earn. You may believe that it is harder to be sat at a desk “being accountable”, but as most people scramble to get these jobs we’re inclined to believe it must be worth all the crapping on those below.

      As for change, have you ever wondered what the world might be like if people stopped accepting things changing for the worse, and started believing in changing them for the better?


  2. How about editing this article to include bin man wages? My friend who is currently agency and is applying for full time reckons 15098 is the salary for a grade 2.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mike,

      Yeah, check out one of our earlier posts for details (excerpt below) and sign the petition at 38 degrees here:

      “When we had a black bag service each refuse wagon had 5 workers; when the new wheelie bins were introduced this went down to 3. One is the driver of the wagon; who has to hold a HGV licence and they manoeuvre those large vehicles in Birmingham’s tightest spaces. A driver depending on an appraisal system can earn between £25,000-£31,000 Grade 4. There is then a Leading Hand, their job is to make sure that they are all kept safe. They are the driver’s eyes at the back and side of the vehicle; they are in charge of talking to the public and making sure that people stay away from the back of the vehicle. They also collect the bins and empty them in the vehicle and are Grade 3 earning between £19,000 and £24,500. Then there is the loader whose job it is to collect bins and load them. Their pay is between £15,000 and £18,500. Since 2008 these workers have all had their pay cut twice.”


      • Cheers keep up the good work. As a binman myself I will happily come off strike should the council high earners be willing to take a 20% cut. Never going to happen.


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