DISGRUNTLED Poole refuse collectors are unhappy at proposals that could lose them £60 a week.

Loaders, who collect the wheelie bins, say they also face a five-hour reduction in their working week as well as an increased work load.

There are mutterings about an unofficial work to rule as the borough struggles to catch up with a backlog of bins, some of which have not been emptied since before Christmas due to the icy conditions.

Friends and relatives have contacted the Daily Echo on behalf of the unhappy loaders, whose routes were recently changed and who are among the 13 per cent of 3,700 Borough of Poole employees to face a pay cut in the fair pay review.

“I am disgusted at what is going on with the loaders in Poole who work so hard, in all weathers,” said the friend of one.

Morale is at rock bottom, said a relative of another man.

“It seems to me they undervalue these men and women doing important work,” he said.

Alan Martin, south-west regional organiser of Unison, said there was no official industrial action.

“We are doing what we can to make sure that everybody is treated fairly and equitably,” he said.

The ballot on the council’s fair pair review, which will see 26 per cent of staff enjoying a pay increase but also some losing thousands of pounds, was due to be counted on Friday.

Mr Martin said some members were concerned about contractual overtime, however, there would be future discussions with the council after the pay review.

Shaun Robson, head of environmental and consumer protection, said: “It is disappointing to see such claims and we believe it represents the view of a small minority of the workforce. We are not aware of a ‘work to rule’ and many operatives have been working additional hours, including evenings and weekends.”

He said while the majority of the new rounds were completed within the given hours they recognised that some needed fine-tuning.

“The equal pay review is recommending an increase in the hourly rate of pay for refuse crews,” he added.