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Brighton and Hove bin battle is off after employees agree new terms
The bin dispute in Brighton and Hove is off – after workers voted in favour of accepting a revised pay offer.
Waste was left strewn across the streets after industrial action by Cityclean workers at Brighton and Hove City Council.
The dispute, which was over proposed changes in overtime and allowance payments, culminated in a week-long strike last month.
Union representatives have now announced that 60% of workers voted to accept a revised offer from council officials despite some having to work longer to keep the same salary.
The local authority claims it will benefit residents and “significantly reduce or eliminate the losses staff would have suffered under previous proposals”.
Mark Turner, GMB branch secretary, said he was pleased the union had managed to protect what 97% of his members have.
Mr Turner said: “The most important thing for the workers to understand is that they will have to do more to keep what they have.
“I fully understand the anxiety they have been are facing.
“The workforce has gone as far as it can go now.”
The issue stems back to the council’s proposal to create a new “fair, consistent and affordable” allowance system earlier this year.
Union leaders claimed the plans would see some workers lose up to £4,000 a year.
Industrial action was suspended for 28 days last month when the local authority presented a revised offer.
The result of a ballot to staff was due to be announced last week but was delayed a couple of days due to the “complex” nature of the vote.
The agreement is expected to be signed by August 12.
Brighton and Hove City Council executive director Denise D’Souza said: “The proposal which has been agreed by GMB members at Cityclean shows we have made some very significant progress.”
Conservative group leader Geoffrey Theobald said he was “very pleased”, adding: “As a top tourist destination, it is vitally important that the city is kept clean at all times.”
Labour group leader Warren Morgan thanked those involved in negotiations for coming to agreement.
He added: “I hope that we can all work together to keep improving and expanding this vital council service.
The local authority claims the new deal will lead to a better service while protecting workers’ pay.
The Argus understands the most any member of staff will lose out is £38 a year
Among the changes will be:
- Rubbish and recycling crews work bank holidays with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
- Street sweepers will have changes to their shift times so they work longer and start earlier. Unions say it will mean workers will start at 5am instead of 6am. This means the city centre will be covered every day of the year from 5am to 10pm.
- Changes to rubbish and recycling rounds will start in October as the council looks to make savings.
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