"We will do everything we can to avoid strike action by refuse collectors on the Isle of Wight," a spokesperson for Amey has told the County Press.

However, Isle of Wight Council's contractor for waste has called a requested rise in wages, by GMB Union, 'fundamentally unsustainable.'

A ballot on a possible walkout will take place from tomorrow (Friday, May 13) until May 27 and could result in action, if enough union members support it.

As previously reported by the Isle of Wight County Press, GMB Union claims experienced Isle of Wight workers are being offered the same rate as mainland trainees and says some workers have been told if they want better pay, they should travel across the Solent. 

Read more: 

It says its members want a pay rise that reflects the cost of living and has asked leading councillors if they condone the suggested new rates of pay. 

A spokesperson for Amey, Isle of Wight Council's contractor dealing with bin lorries, and tips and recycling centres, as well as for delivering the much-delayed energy from waste plant on Forest Road, said: "We put a high value on the work carried out by our employees on the Isle of Wight, and we have offered a pay increase of 4.21 per cent, in line with the Real Living Wage increase that came into effect on April 1.

"The salary package our staff receive is enhanced with pay on bank holidays and available overtime.

"Our base salary package is in the mid-pay range for staff in this sector.

"This comes with an extensive benefits package, recently been enhanced including increased paid leave and life insurance.

"Since Amey took on the contract, in November of 2015, wages for our drivers have increased 27 per cent and we continue to ensure our rates are competitive, but the request of an additional increase in wages of more than 30 per cent in 2022 is fundamentally unsustainable.

"Amey is committed to our employees and the local communities we serve.

"We will do everything we can to avoid strike action and will continue to talk to our employees to ensure they are supported and kept informed."

Read more:

Meanwhile, the new energy from waste facility on Forest Road in Newport has still not been signed over, three years it was supposed to have started operating,

The latest delay involved the replacement of parts after testing at the site, according to a letter from the councillor in charge of waste to his predecessor.

In June, 30 days of continual testing will be carried out in a bid to get an Acceptance Test Certificate. If things stay on track, the handover date from Amey to the Isle of Wight Council, will be July.