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Mid Sussex Serco Strike Oct 14th

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

GMB Members In Serco, Refuse, Recycling And Street Cleansing In Mid Sussex Vote For Strike Action In Pay Dispute

Members are not taking strike action on October 14th  action lightly but 80% in favour of strike action shows the strength of feeling and anger brought about by poor pay rises year after year says GMB.

GMB members employed by Serco on the Mid-Sussex District Council contract for refuse, recycling and street cleansing have voted to take strike action in a dispute over pay. See notes to editors for a copy the GMB press release of 3rd September with the background to the dispute.

GMB has notified the employer that members will to take strike action on October 14th. They are seeking a better pay offer having rejected another below inflation 1% pay award from the company through the National Employers NJC pay negotiating body.

Members will be setting up pickets outside the Serco depot in Haywards Heath throughout the day.

Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser, said “GMB members are not taking strike action on October 14th action lightly, but 80% in favour of strike action shows the strength of feeling and anger brought about by poor pay rises year after year.

The action will see services across Haywards Heath and Mid Sussex affected as staff walk out to highlight their anger at a pay offer which sees them fall even further behind having a decent living wage as rises to the cost of living and inflation have out stripped by a long way their own past pay increases.

They are at the point of no return where they will do everything they can to protect their family life and standard of living by fighting to improve what they see as yet another very poor pay offer, whilst having to see the cost of living rise and inflation outstrip these types of continuing low pay awards across the sector yet again.

This means that more and more of them are falling into the working poverty trap every year, so strike action will hurt them in their pocket, but they have simply had enough and they want equality with the employer in a share of the profits of their labour.

GMB members and other staff at Serco delivery an excellent high quality service for the people of Mid Sussex and the contract is an extremely profitable one for the company. All they are asking for is recognition of the part they play in the delivery of that service quality by it being reflected through a decent increase in their take home pay above the current offer.”

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Contact: Gary Palmer on 01273 570 126  or 07552165950, Mark Turner GMB Branch Secretary 07860 787973 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977 518042 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to editors

Copy of GMB press release Wednesday 3 September 2014

Ballot For Industrial Action At Serco Refuse, Recycling And Street Cleansing Services In Mid Sussex In Pay Dispute

We assure residents that GMB remains committed to further talks with the company to settle this matter to avoid any disruption to the service members provide says GMB

GMB, the union for staff employed by contractors working for the public sector, is to ballot 40 members employed by SERCO on a Mid-Sussex District Council contract for refuse, recycling and street cleansing in a pay dispute.

The ballot for industrial action opens on 12th in September. Members have rejected another below inflation 1% pay award from the company through the National NJC pay review. If the members vote for action then strike action on October 14th is likely.

Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser, said  “The ballot for action is because the offer of a 1% rise in the light of recent cost of living increase and low pay awards over the past few years have resulted in our members seeing their standard of living drop at an alarming rate.  Disappointingly this has left them with no other option but to take this type of action to protect the well being of their families.

Regrettably for residents in and around Haywards Heath and Mid Sussex if SERCO do not seek to increase their current offer they will see services withdrawn on October 14th should the members ultimately vote to take strike action.

Serco need to be mindful of the possible ramifications for residents themselves and look to do the right thing.

Serco should to put an additional offer on the table above the current national 1% award in recognition of the continuous good work and high service delivery standard carried out by staff. Due to our members hard work Mid Sussex has become a very a profitable and successful contract for them.

I can assure residents that GMB remain committed to further talks with the company to settle this matter to everyone’s satisfaction and to avoid any disruption to the good service our members provide on a regular basis. But that ultimately only Serco can look to take up and positively instigate developments for further discussion in the hope that our members can step back from what could be a winter of industrial unrest and disruption, if no agreement can be found. “

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