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3 More Strike Days In Brighton

Sunday, September 21, 2014

GMB Announce Three Further Days Of Strike Action At Brighton And Hove Cityclean

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 ongoing 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. ”

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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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