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Brighton Strike Tomorrow And Rally Saturday

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Strike Action Starts Tomorrow Over Pay Cuts In Brighton Refuse And Street Cleaning Service With March And Rally On Saturday 15th June

Staff on 3 years of pay freezes as Council seeks to implement cuts to their take home pay of up to £4,000 a head says GMB

GMB members employed by Brighton and Hove City Council will begin a full week’s strike action tomorrow (14th June). Further dates of action will be announced in due course. For pictures of the picket line go to depot listed below.

These members, employed in refuse, recycling and street sweeping, voted by 95.6% in favour of taking industrial action in response to Green Party plans to reduce their take home pay.

The dispute began in January when the Council’s Green Party leader, Jason Kitcat, gave full authority to its £150,000 Chief Executive, Penny Thompson, to negotiate and implement a revised pay and allowances package without any recourse to Councillors. This led to a final offer being made in April, which included cuts of up to £4000 a head from some of the Council’s lowest paid employees.

There will be a march and rally in support of the strikers as follows:

Assemble 11:30am

Saturday 15 June 2013

at Cityclean Depot,

Upper Hollingdean Road,

Brighton, BN1 7GA

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary will lead the march which leaves at 12noon. It will go along the following route, from Upper Hollingdean Road into Lewes Road to St Peters Church, cross to Trafalgar Street and up Trafalgar Street, left onto Frederick Place, turn left and down Queens Road to the Clock Tower, right onto North Street, left onto Western Road, along Western Road, left onto Grand Avenue to the front of Kings House to Rally on green outside Kings House.

Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser for Brighton & Hove City Council said “GMB members employed by Brighton & Hove City Council are facing massive cuts to their take-home pay following Green Party & Conservative plans to alter their terms and conditions.

At a meeting of Brighton’s Policy and Resources Committee on 24th January 2013, Green and Conservative Councillors forced through a measure which authorised Council officers to implement a ‘modernised pay and conditions package’. Labour Councillors voted against the proposals.

Since then Council officers have been in negotiations over the proposals with the recognised trade unions. At a meeting that took place on 29 April 2013 the Council made what they described as a ‘final offer’ which still included pay cuts of up to £95 a week for some of the lowest paid staff.

GMB members rejected the offer and have since voted 95.6% voting in favour of strike action. The first strike starts tomorrow. There is a march and rally to support the strikers on Saturday.”

Ends

Contact: Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary on 07860 787973, Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser on 07552 164950, Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser for Brighton & Hove City Council on 07977 518042 or Rob Macey, GMB Senior Organiser for Legal Services on 07710 618908. GMB Press Office 07921 289 880

Notes to editors

Brighton & Hove City Council’s refuse collection service received an 89% satisfaction rating, in a 2012 survey of the public conducted by the Council. The survey can be found at http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/environment/recycling-and-rubbish/cityclean-performance

Over 1,500 people have signed GMB’s petition against the cuts. You can see some of the responses and pictures showing public support at www.gmb-southern.org.uk/bhccresponses

You can find out more about the dispute, sign our petition and make a donation to the strike fund at at http://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/bhcc

You can also follow the cityclean workers on twitter @gmbcityclean and the union @gmbsussexbranch and @gmbsouthern.

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