The ArgusStaff set to protest over changes to Brighton and Hove City Council pay (From The Argus)

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Staff set to protest over changes to Brighton and Hove City Council pay

The Argus: Mark Turner of the GMB union Mark Turner of the GMB union

Public sector staff are set to protest against an “attack” on their wages.

Brighton and Hove City Council wants to overhaul the special allowances paid to three-quarters of its 8,000-strong workforce.

Local authority bosses claim the current system of extra payments, which affects 6,000 staff, is “no longer fit for purpose”.

But union representatives blasted the reform, claiming it was intended to reduce the pay bill at a time of Government cuts.

They claim that low-paid workers, such as binmen, care workers, security guards and school staff, will be left worse off from the reforms.

Before politicians on the council’s influential policy and resources committee hand over responsibility for the issue to senior officers, staff will protest outside Hove Town Hall today about the changes.

A statement from union representatives to staff said: “We elect councillors on their promise to represent us in every decision that affects our welfare, our career and our city.

“These councillors cannot delegate their responsibilities to appointed council management, who are not elected by any of us, to decide and then manage a policy they have concocted.”

Simplify system

After months of behind-the-scenes discussions, the council will draw up exact plans to simplify its pay system in the coming weeks.

It has set itself a negotiating deadline of March.

If this is not met, council bosses will take “all necessary steps” to complete the reform by October.

This could include forcing through changes without the consent of workers or unions.

'Cloak and dagger'

Penny Thompson, the council’s chief executive, said: “We’re communicating with staff and entering into negotiations with the unions about how we work towards a clear and consistent pay structure across the whole organisation.”

The Argus understands only those officers not directly involved in the issue and councillors not serving on the committee will be asked to leave when the item is discussed behind closed doors today.

Mark Turner, of the GMB union, said he believed this breached the council’s constitution.

He added: “If this is correct, then it is cloak and dagger sort of stuff.”

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Comments (7)

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12:48pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Hoarder12345444 says...

Two sides to this, one is that the public sector workers still get a great deal compared to the private sector, good salaries and pensions, much better that you'd find in the private sector. They've had it too good for too long. Something has to give.

Having said that, these workers aren't on that much are they. People up the chain should make some sacrifices too, but they don't because they are in power and have big salaries and swat the people below them. It's the same in the private sector, but a little less brutal. They still have jobs I guess too.
Two sides to this, one is that the public sector workers still get a great deal compared to the private sector, good salaries and pensions, much better that you'd find in the private sector. They've had it too good for too long. Something has to give. Having said that, these workers aren't on that much are they. People up the chain should make some sacrifices too, but they don't because they are in power and have big salaries and swat the people below them. It's the same in the private sector, but a little less brutal. They still have jobs I guess too. Hoarder12345444
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Nick Brighton says...

“We elect councillors on their promise to represent us in every decision that affects our welfare, our career and our city. These councillors cannot delegate their responsibilities to appointed council management, who are not elected by any of us, to decide and then manage a policy they have concocted.”

Nonsense. They are not elected by council employees for that purpose. They are elected by all of us to deliver council services. Council employees are employed by the Council. They are answerable to the Council management, which pays their wages. The employers have every right to change the pay structure of their employees without reference to the elected councillors. The employer has a legal duty to ensure that employees receive equal pay for equal work. This may mean for example, incorporating allowances into 'normal' wages, for those employees who received special allowances when Brighton Borough and Hove Borough were amalgamated into the City Council.
“We elect councillors on their promise to represent us in every decision that affects our welfare, our career and our city. These councillors cannot delegate their responsibilities to appointed council management, who are not elected by any of us, to decide and then manage a policy they have concocted.” Nonsense. They are not elected by council employees for that purpose. They are elected by all of us to deliver council services. Council employees are employed by the Council. They are answerable to the Council management, which pays their wages. The employers have every right to change the pay structure of their employees without reference to the elected councillors. The employer has a legal duty to ensure that employees receive equal pay for equal work. This may mean for example, incorporating allowances into 'normal' wages, for those employees who received special allowances when Brighton Borough and Hove Borough were amalgamated into the City Council. Nick Brighton
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Andy R says...

Hoarder12345444 wrote:
Two sides to this, one is that the public sector workers still get a great deal compared to the private sector, good salaries and pensions, much better that you'd find in the private sector. They've had it too good for too long. Something has to give. Having said that, these workers aren't on that much are they. People up the chain should make some sacrifices too, but they don't because they are in power and have big salaries and swat the people below them. It's the same in the private sector, but a little less brutal. They still have jobs I guess too.
An Argus commenter, a banker and a public sector worker are sat in a room with a plate of 10 biscuits.

The banker grabs and scoffs 9 of the biscuits, and then leans over to the Argus commenter and says "Watch out for that public sector worker; he's going to try and steal your biscuit".
[quote][p][bold]Hoarder12345444[/bold] wrote: Two sides to this, one is that the public sector workers still get a great deal compared to the private sector, good salaries and pensions, much better that you'd find in the private sector. They've had it too good for too long. Something has to give. Having said that, these workers aren't on that much are they. People up the chain should make some sacrifices too, but they don't because they are in power and have big salaries and swat the people below them. It's the same in the private sector, but a little less brutal. They still have jobs I guess too.[/p][/quote]An Argus commenter, a banker and a public sector worker are sat in a room with a plate of 10 biscuits. The banker grabs and scoffs 9 of the biscuits, and then leans over to the Argus commenter and says "Watch out for that public sector worker; he's going to try and steal your biscuit". Andy R
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Thu 24 Jan 13

BrunswickSquare says...

A few years ago BHCC went through a job evaluation system called "Single Status. This was primarily to ensure that grading wasn't skewed in favour of jobs done by a particular gender. (eg dustmen v care assistants).

Surely this sort of thing should be dealt with in general pay, there should be an acknowledgement of the fact that some don't work 9-5 or have dirty or unsociable conditions.

Of course, if the council had put its services out to tender and were bothered about the quality of services provided to the public rather than the employment issues none of this would have happened as the question would be solely one of service and it's cost.
A few years ago BHCC went through a job evaluation system called "Single Status. This was primarily to ensure that grading wasn't skewed in favour of jobs done by a particular gender. (eg dustmen v care assistants). Surely this sort of thing should be dealt with in general pay, there should be an acknowledgement of the fact that some don't work 9-5 or have dirty or unsociable conditions. Of course, if the council had put its services out to tender and were bothered about the quality of services provided to the public rather than the employment issues none of this would have happened as the question would be solely one of service and it's cost. BrunswickSquare
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Thu 24 Jan 13

nocando says...

Any one of them who can truly and honestly justify their salary probably has very little to worry about. Dead wood should buck their ideas up, if you think you're worth it then you should be able to prove it without the union taking a chunk of the resources.
Welcome to the real world, what's the problem?
Any one of them who can truly and honestly justify their salary probably has very little to worry about. Dead wood should buck their ideas up, if you think you're worth it then you should be able to prove it without the union taking a chunk of the resources. Welcome to the real world, what's the problem? nocando
  • Score: 0

10:38pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

AndyR...you forgot to say that the banker spat on the remaining biscuit.
I find it unforgivable that The Greens spew out press releases about their fanciful money wasting ego projects and then in another breath rob the poorest of the city.
But I've always suspected the Greens of cleansing the poor and vulnerable from the city to make way for their champagne socialist London friends.
AndyR...you forgot to say that the banker spat on the remaining biscuit. I find it unforgivable that The Greens spew out press releases about their fanciful money wasting ego projects and then in another breath rob the poorest of the city. But I've always suspected the Greens of cleansing the poor and vulnerable from the city to make way for their champagne socialist London friends. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 0

3:14pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Tallywhacker says...

again with the comments about somebody else accepting a 25% pay cut. how about those in favour demonstrating solidarity by dropping their pay 25% first.
again with the comments about somebody else accepting a 25% pay cut. how about those in favour demonstrating solidarity by dropping their pay 25% first. Tallywhacker
  • Score: 0

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