Drivers handling waste collections in south London will see their wages increase by more than 36% when the contract transfers from Serco to Countrystyle Recycling, according to union Unite.

It claimed that some drivers previously on £22,000 a year under Serco’s contract with Bexley council would see that increase to more than £30,000 in October.

The union also said bin strikes had officially ended after a pay deal was ratified with the current contractor, which included a one-off £750 payment for 19 staff, contract changes that will reduce pay disparities, and what it described as “steps to prevent the weaponisation of the drug and alcohol policy.”

Despite an announcement by the council that the contract was changing hands, strike action began in July, with Unite arguing that staff were owed thousands of pounds in back pay.

Tabusam Ahmed, Unite regional officer, said: “Our members refused to be cowed by the immense pressure put on them by Serco and Bexley council.

“Nobody wanted to take strike action but both Serco’s and Bexley council’s actions left them no other choice. 

“The agreement with Serco is a major win for our members, as is the agreement with Countrystyle, both of which were achieved due to strong union organisation.”

Bexley council said disruption caused by the strike action meant it would take time for collections to return to normal.

Teresa O’Neill, leader of the council, said: “Throughout the strike, we did all we could to encourage both parties to reach an agreement and resolve the issues that led to this dispute.

“We encouraged them to enter into talks with ACAS which led to several meetings and now finally a conclusion.”

Serco declined to comment.