Union chiefs say the chances of Aberdeen bin workers striking due to a proposed shift change have been reduced following talks.
Unite, which represents most of the staff, had feared the cost-cutting proposal could spark a strike, which happened in Angus due to a similar row.
However, the local authority is working with Unite to reach common ground, and the union said the chances of strike action have decreased.
“We made it clear to the council that we would take it down the industrial action route – as we did in Angus – if it was necessary and unavoidable, as the council was asking people to give up the shift patterns they have always done, but thankfully we’ve moved away from that now,” said John Boland, Unite regional officer.
Since May the council has held a 12-week consultation with staff, asking them to say what changes they would be comfortable with.
It is understood local authority chiefs – who need to increase efficiency to plug a £41.2 million funding gap – have used those responses to come up with new suggestions, which may mean ditching the proposed shift patterns.
Any changes would be implemented in April.
Mr Boland said: “People were upset at the idea of working late into the evening.
“One proposal was a split shift – working four hours in the morning, then four in the evening.
“It was a proposal our staff are really not happy with.
“They have made suggestions for what could work and the council has now come back with revised options.”
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It is understood those options relate to winter bin collections and missed bin collections, but no detail has been made available.
Mr Boland added: “We’ll be meeting with members to discuss this and then go back to the council with our thoughts.
“We remain hopeful a positive outcome can be reached.”
One bin worker, who asked not to be named, was concerned that collecting bins close to 10pm would create noise problems for residents and make it hard for workers to see.
He added: “Doing bins in the winter months, it gets dark at the back of 4pm. It means you don’t have such a good view of what’s going on.
“We find it hard enough to get into some of the areas just now and can hardly get in because of parked cars.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokesperson said: “A meeting is being arranged to discuss the outcome of the consultation with staff.
“It would not be appropriate to comment ahead of this as it is important that this is discussed with staff first.”