Council bosses have been accused of “caving in” to union demands after a peace deal was brokered in Birmingham’s bins strike .
The Unite union agreed to suspend strike action after almost seven weeks after more than 100 dustcart supervisors – who monitor safety at the back of each truck – were allowed to keep their jobs with no loss of pay.
Normal collections will resume and work to clear the massive backlog will begin.
The Unite union claimed victory after the redundancy threat was lifted. Assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “We are very pleased we have reached the stage where we can suspend the industrial action while we hold further talks about the future of the refuse service.
“I know this news will be greatly welcomed by the people of Birmingham as they look forward to their bins being collected again on a regular and seamless basis.
“I would like to thank them for their understanding over recent weeks.
“Unite will suspend the current round of industrial action that was due to run until September 21 to create a conducive climate for the talks to proceed smoothly.
“Our members will be working normally.”
Mr Beckett said council leader Coun John Clancy had been crucial in securing a deal “despite the reservations of some top council officials”.
A source close to the ruling Labour leadership claimed the negotiations were “going nowhere” until he became directly involved two weeks ago.
According to ACAS, the council has agreed to retain the supervisor jobs, which may be “developed” with extra responsibilities.
In return, Unite has agreed in principle to its members working a five-day week – binmen currently work four long days.
But the council was accused by opposition councillors of putting taxpayers through seven weeks of unnecessary misery.
Tory Coun Robert Alden said: “So the council has just caved in.
“This could have been done seven weeks ago and saved the people of this city a lot of hardship and disruption.
“And what impact will this have on a service which was overspending by £1 million a month last year.
“If the council and the union had got their act together and brought in ACAS sooner this could have all been solved.”
Liberal Democrat Coun Jon Hunt said: “It is welcome that the strike is suspended and that ACAS will continue to be involved.
“But this agreement shows every sign of being an abject climbdown by John Clancy.
“It means the last seven weeks of chaos on the streets have been utterly pointless.
“It was pretty clear from the start that the present leadership did not have the guts or any serious plan to sort out this longstanding issue.
“If they were never going to see it through why did they not involve ACAS and Unite at the outset?”
But Labour sources rejected claims of a cave-in, pointing out that key parts of the originally-planned shake-up, such as ending overtime and replacing agency staff with permanent staff, had all been achieved.
UPDATE: The city council has stated that the deal remains provisional until it is agreed by the cabinet at a special meeting to be convened next week.
A council spokeswoman said: “The Acas statement in connection with the Waste and Refuse dispute does not represent the council's position until these matters are considered at the council's Special Cabinet Meeting on 24th August 2017 . The decision on the waste reorganisation taken by Cabinet on 27th June is still the current position of the council.”