Public sector workers picked up their placards in protest against planned pay changes.

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” and needs to be modernised.

They denied it was intended to reduce the overall pay bill, of which £3 million is made up of allowances.

But union representatives blasted the reform, claiming it was intended to slash costs at a time of Government cuts.

The protest took place before a key Town Hall meeting last night (January 25) where councillors handed over the negotiations to senior staff in a behind closed doors session.

A message sent around by union representatives yesterday before the protest said: “Allowances and expenses are not benefits or perks but basic refund of expenses we have incurred in order to carry out our duties of work for the council to service the population of Brighton and Hove. We have tried to ‘play the game’ and do our part.

We have consulted and negotiated and do our share. But we cannot keep letting them kick us while we’re down.”

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