Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Bitter words over Brighton and Hove Council workers' pay dispute
4:10pm Tuesday 29th January 2013 in News
Unions have vowed to fight a pay dispute blaming council chiefs’ “hostile tone” for stepping away from the negotiation table.
Local authority bosses believe the current system is complex and not fit for purpose.
But union representatives claim it will leave some of the affected staff out of pocket.
It comes after a town hall meeting, some of which was held behind closed doors, where Green and Conservative councillors voted to hand over all negotiations to officers.
Labour voted against the move in the fierce debate, which saw council workers, who were forced to wait four hours as the issue was deferred before being discussed, heckle from the public gallery.
Alex Knutsen, of Unison, said: “When they put in that line our positioned changed.
“To be honest there is stuff there we can talk about but to have a gun pointed to our head is not the way forward.”
If no agreement is made by March the council will take “all necessary steps” to enforce new terms. This could include sacking staff and re-employing them on new terms and conditions.
Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “As the chief executive said it’s absolutely our intention that there are open and productive negotiations.”
Conservative councillor Geoffrey Theobald said: “The key issue is that we finish with a fair equitable system for everyone.”
Union representatives are due to meet this week to discuss the way forward.
Mark Turner, of GMB, said the union would attend the first meeting of negotiations but would not rule out the possibility of industrial action.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Updated: One killed in Hove shooting
- Council in racism row
- Tight collar causes cat horrific injuries
- Schools struggle to recruit new heads
- Police called to Lewes school after pupils' high jinks