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Brighton and Hove Greens leader Jason Kitcat hails ‘success’ over allowances
Only the Greens had the “moral fibre and courage” to revamp a town hall system of allowances, which resulted in a bin-strike, according to a council leader.
Brighton and Hove City Council has spent the last nine months carrying out the review of extra payments to its staff claiming it needs to modernise the local authority.
Despite the proposals culminating in a week-long bin strike and seeing some staff lose out, council leader Jason Kitcat claimed the end result had been a success.
Summing up, he told party activists that other political parties had ignored the issue and only the Greens could have settled the historic dispute.
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Coun Kitcat said: “Everyone knew this had to happen but only us, the Greens, had the moral fibre and courage to follow through on delivering fairer allowances for all council workers.
“Yes it was rough on the way, as it inevitably would be.
“But I’m delighted to say that come this October 1 we will have introduced a new simple and fair set of allowances for all our staff which meets our moral and legal obligations.
“As a result of this many workers, especially women, will be seeing increased take-home pay as a result of this. That’s the Green values.”
The issue stems back to the council’s proposal to create a new “fair, consistent and affordable” allowance system as it looks to meet equal pay requirements.
Union leaders claimed the plans would see some of their workers lose up to £4,000 a year.
Cityclean workers went on six days of official strike action in June over the issue and a number of other departments have also raised concerns claiming the proposals will hit them in the pocket.
However, town hall bosses said overall, 87% of the 6,000 workers affected would see no change to their take home pay with 3% losing out.
Mark Turner, of the GMB, said the comments were “way off the mark”.
He said: “The Greens didn’t do anything, they delegated and gave it to officers to do, so it’s a bit hypocritical.
“He’s obviously out of touch with reality when members of his own groups supported the trade unions on the same issue in 2009.”
During the speech Coun Kitcat also called for town halls to oppose the cuts made by central government.
He continued: “If we don’t fight for local power for local councils for our local people, then our communities will always be at the whim governments.”
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