A 7-day strike by bin men in Brighton has seen the city’s streets become clogged with uncollected rubbish and recyclables.
The strike, which came about following a pay dispute with Brighton & Hove Council, began last Friday (14 June). The GMB union claimed that staff could face pay cuts of up to £4,000 per annum, whilst there have also been proposals to modify allowances and overtime pay.
The council said that their decision to implement financial changes was to ensure that there was a “fair, consistent and transparent” pay and allowances system in place throughout all public services.
Charles Harrity, GMB – “GMB members at Cityclean have said enough is enough. They cannot and will not accept these vicious cuts to their take home pay”
Brighton & Hove Chief Executive Penny Thompson said: “We are jointly arranging further meetings with the GMB with the aim to have meaningful discussions to find an agreed settlement.
“The proposals we have put forward will mean allowances are paid consistently and fairly to everyone who works for the council, and deals with the varied practices currently in place. Many staff will gain from these proposals. Nevertheless, I’m sorry for the disruption that the strike will cause.”
Prior to the strike the GMB had commented on the strength of feeling from its members, saying that they had rejected the offer final of payment changes, and voted 95.6 percent in favour of strike action.
GMB Senior Organiser Charles Harrity said: “GMB members at Cityclean have said enough is enough. They cannot and will not accept these vicious cuts to their take home pay. Thousands of people across the country have signed a petition against the cuts, and Caroline Lucas MP says she will actively campaign against them.”
Many residents have voluntarily taken to cleaning up as much of the debris as possible, while fire chiefs have made of point of highlighting the dangers that can come from the piles of rubbish.