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Brighton Cityclean Dispute Back On

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Brighton Cityclean Dispute Over Drivers Pay And Allowances Drivers Breaks Out Again

Brighton council has not only managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but increase the differences between both sides to a point where it’s now difficult to do anything other than clash head on again says GMB.

GMB, the union of refuse and recycling workers, has announced that the dispute by GMB members working as drivers in the refuse and recycling service in Brighton & Hove City Council will give raise to further strike action over pay and grading. See notes to editors for copy previous press releases on the dispute.

The drivers will take strike action on February 11th from midnight 12.01 a.m. until 11.00 a.m. in the on-going dispute over driver supervisory and responsibility allowances. This action runs in conjunction with a continuing work to rule.

Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary, said “Once again Brighton council officers lack of both commitment and ability to finding a resolution has meant GMB members are left again with no alternative other than to take further direct action. GMB members will lose money and the people of this city potentially will see rubbish remaining uncollected, something that we and they deeply regret.

GMB members completely refute council claims that an independent job evaluation has been carried out on their role. The make-up of that panel, on behalf of the council, has and would prohibit it from being so. Therefore, simply challenging a process and outcome from a panel GMB members have no faith or trust in through potentially another biased panel for an appeals process is both a waste of time and would only seek to widen the mistrust further between drivers and management.

GMB members request for a return to the initial evaluation process and a panel which are open, transparent and fair has been refused. Therefore the council has not only managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but increase the differences between both sides to a point where it’s now difficult to do anything other than clash head on again.

If the council spent less time trying to trick, cajole and intimidate their way to a solution and instead accept they had not handled the job evaluation in a correct manner, then we perhaps we can finally get around a table with some belief that an equitable solution was not far away, and that the job evaluation and any result it throws up could be trusted.”


Contact: Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser on  01273 570 126 or 07552 165950 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977 518042 or GMB press office: 07974 251823.

Notes to Editors:

GMB press releases

24th September

GMB to suspend two days of Strike action to allow time for talks

The GMB have agreed to suspend strike action on 25th and 30th September to allow Brighton & Hove Council time to table proposals and information covering the on-going dispute over Drivers supervisory and responsibility allowances.

The GMB and Council officers met today in a last attempt to avert 3 days of further strike action around the on-going dispute over driver allowances and responsibilities.

As a result of that meeting the GMB can announce as a consequence of both an undertaking and commitment by council officers to produce both a clear Timetable and remit of negotiations and discussions in time for a meeting of our members by next Thursday morning. In response to that commitment GMB LGV Driver/Chargehands have immediately agreed to suspend strike action for the first two dates 25th and 30th September whilst the council does so.

At this time the 3rd day of strike action for Friday 3rd October and the on-going work to rule will remain both live and in place until our members meet later next week to discuss any resulting council proposals.

Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary, said:

Finally the first steps to our hopefully seeking a resolution to this long standing issue has happened, even though it’s only a commitment from council officers to our repeated requests for a clear timetable and scope for discussions it will if adhered to provide the basis for all sides sitting down and meaningfully seeking to resolve the issues once and for all.

As a result of this step by the council our members have immediately responded by scaling back industrial action as a gesture of good faith, whilst the council go about producing those documents and proposals. So strike action for both the 25th and 30th is suspended.

The onus is very much on the council to come back by next week, with clear proposals, focus and commitment to working with unions and staff to resolve the issues, until they do the 3rd day of action on Friday 3rd October will and has to remain in place along with the continuation of the Drivers working to rule.

A positive approach by the council to talks will always be met equally with the same response by GMB members going forward and will enable us to lift the continuing threat of industrial action of any form going forward.


Sunday 21 September 2014


Managers are refusing to discuss or acknowledge our proposal so members left with no other option than more industrial action says GMB

GMB has announced a further three strike action dates for the refuse and recycling drivers at Brighton & Hove Cityclean for Thursday 25th, Tuesday 30th September and Friday 3rd October in the on-going dispute over driver supervisory and responsibility allowances. See notes to editors for copy previous press release. The action will be from 12.01am until 10.59am on each of the three days. The action runs in conjunction with the continuing work to rule.

This follows the meeting between GMB and Brighton and Hove City Council officers on Friday 19th September which failed to resolve the on-going dispute.

Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary, said “The talks ended without the council being able to present any proposal or time frame which would allow the GMB to go back to members to seek a suspension of action whilst talks continued.

We are very disappointed that once again the council has been unable to show any willingness to meaningfully seek a resolution of this dispute.

We have once again re-iterated that we don’t simply seek more money for the position or grade that drivers currently hold. If managers can incorporate the additional personal and operational responsibilities into the driver’s role they would see an improved, more efficient and cost effective service as a result.

Unfortunately to date management are refusing to discuss, consult on or even acknowledge our proposal, so our members have been left with no other option but to issue further notice of industrial action.

We of course remain open to any continuation of dialogue with the council on this matter, but as they are remaining intransigent in not discussing the matter, it is not going to see this dispute end unfortunately any time soon.

Whilst we understand the inevitable effect an additional three days of strike action will have upon the people and businesses of the city, we hope residents will continue with the generally high level of positive support and comments, which members have reported to us they have been receiving on a daily basis. We want to assure them that we are doing everything we can to resolve the issue quickly, but that ultimately we need willingness from the council for that to happen. “


Contact Mark Turner GMB Branch Secretary 07860 787973 Gary Palmer GMB Organiser 07552165950, or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977 518042 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to Editors

Copy of GMB press release Wednesday, September 10, 2014

GMB Members In Brighton And Hove Cityclean Vote For Strike Action In Dispute Over Pay And Allowances With Action Starting On 12th September

The council should come back to us quickly and to this time look seriously at settling this long on-going outstanding dispute for good says GMB.

GMB members employed by Brighton & Hove Cityclean as refuse and recycling drivers have voted to take industrial action over employer’s failure to adhere to agreements on pay and allowances.

Action will consist of both continuous action short of strike action commencing from Fri 12th Sept and will involve for example a ban on overtime, and non-collection of side waste, together with an initial one day of strike action on Monday Sept 15th.

The dispute has come about through the Council’s failure to honour agreements over pay and allowances, the failure to consult meaningfully over new working practices and long standing issues over round allocation and distribution. This is compounded by further issues around over similar work not attracting equal pay within the Council and drivers being unfairly harassed and removed from rounds outside of Council policy and procedures.

It had been agreed that to allow the then on-going talks to progress, both sides would agree to a pause in public statements whilst a mutually agreed settlement was sort. Unfortunately talks now have broken down. GMB notified the council on 5th Sept that there was a 89.7% vote in favour of strike action and 96.4% in favour of action short of a strike action, will be commencing industrial action.

Mark Turner, GMB Branch secretary, said “The council’s continuing filibustering on issues which could have been settled if management really wanted to, has resulted in our members having no other option than to vote as they have.

We’ve tried everything possible to come to an agreement and of course the GMB are always happy for the Council to come back to us, even at this late stage, with something to put on the table. The problem we have now is that members are so aggrieved with the situation and time wasting that they feel that they have no option but to take industrial action to be listened to and to get what’s fair and right.

Unfortunately the people of Brighton and Hove will see the service affected potentially for weeks or even months to come as both the continuous part of action short of strike begins to have a long term accumulative effect on the service in the city, on top of the consequence, which I’m sure residents are well aware, of any initial day of industrial action and the further potentially damage to collections following any further added dates.

The council should come back to us quickly and to this time look seriously at settling this long ongoing outstanding dispute for good.”



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