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Brighton and Hove Green’s warning over pay change
Green Party activists have issued a warning to their councillors over planned changes to public sector pay.
As they look to simplify the system of allowances paid to thousands of workers, Brighton and Hove City Council’s politicians agreed to hand over control of negotiations to officers in January.
The move, which included an instruction to take “all necessary steps” to complete the reform by October, was fully supported by key members of the Green minority administration.
But, in an emergency meeting, Brighton and Hove Green Party has now passed a motion claiming “under no circumstances whatsoever” will it support staff being sacked and rehired on new pay and conditions.
It adds the threat is “completely unacceptable” and said, if activated, the party will “publicly dissociate itself from such an action and will actively campaign against it”.
Some opposition councillors have privately claimed it marks a split in the Greens.
But a Green insider dubbed it as a “friendly reminder”.
The motion was passed at an emergency meeting of the city’s Green Party members this week.
It is understood councillors spoke both in favour and against.
The party operates on a “bottom up” approach, which means party members can offer non-binding guidance on what its councillors do.
However, in addition to none of the members being whipped during votes, the link between councillors and the party has been complicated since it took minority control of the local authority in May 2011.
A spokeswoman for the Green group of councillors said: “While the Green group welcomes the views of party colleagues, council officers have already been instructed by the cross-party policy and resources committee to manage the process of pay modernisation negotiations.
“Nothing has changed in that respect.”
Mark Turner, of the GMB, said: “We welcome the Green Party position and hope the Green councillors on the council take up their wishes.
“We would like to reach a settlement but will not stand for people being dismissed.”
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