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Bin strike is over at last
THE BIN strike was called off last night after a new pay offer was presented to workers.
Nearly a week after Cityclean employees officially walked out, Brighton and Hove City Council and union representatives agreed a deal to present to striking staff.
The Argus can exclusively reveal all industrial action has been suspended for 28 days for workers to vote on the offer.
It means that from this morning, staff were back sweeping streets and picking up the mountains of waste which have piled up on the streets.
But the backlog created during the past month as a result of unofficial and official action means it will be days, possibly weeks, before the mess is cleared.
Mark Turner, of GMB, told The Argus: “We have had a formal offer put to us by the council and that will now be put to the workers.
“It was more positive meeting [with the council] yesterday than before, I think, because some people were beginning to realise the situation was getting bigger and bigger and generating national attention.
“The council will be presenting a full proposal to our members on an individual basis and then we will ballot on that offer.”
Mr Turner said: “If their offer wasn’t significant we would not have suspended our action.”
The offer marks an end to days of negotiations between the two sides.
The Argus understands a meeting was held at 6pm in the Brighton Hove and District Trade Meeting in Lewes Road, Brighton.
It lasted more than an hour but sources told this newspaper the announcement was greeted with a round of applause from staff.
The exact details of the offer were last night not known but sources told The Argus the majority of workers would accept it.
Speaking after the meeting, a member of the workforce told The Argus: “It has been decided that industrial action will be suspended while a postal ballot takes place.”
The issue revolves around planned changes to council worker’s allowances and expenses.
Refuse and recycling staff are among a small percentage of council workers who will be hit in the pocket.
Unions claim some will lose up to £4,000 of their annual take home pay.
After weeks of unofficial action, Cityclean staff from Brighton and Hove City Council began the official strike on Friday.
They were due to return to work today and over the weekend before a further wave of action beginning on Monday.
Penny Thompson, the council’s chief executive said: “We've put forward what we consider to be a good service redesign proposal.
“It is good for residents and good for the city.
“We are continuing to work with both our trade unions towards an allowances system for staff across the council which is fair, open and affordable.”
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