Senior members of Brighton & Hove Green Party have issued statements in response to the GMB’s stated intention for their members in cityclean to go on strike for a week starting this Friday 14th June.
Leader of the council and convenor of the Green administration,Jason Kitcat, said:
“I am disappointed by the GMB decision to begin industrial action this Friday. I understand the strong feelings involved and am committed to ensuring there is a negotiated solution to resolving the difficult historical equal pay issues for the council’s pay and allowances. The council’s negotiating team is engaging openly and regularly with both recognised trade unions.
“During the forthcoming strike week, which starts on Friday, the environmental health of the city and its residents is clearly essential and council officers will continue to meet their public health legal obligations but this administration will not sanction the use of agency or contract workers to do the regular work of legitimately striking council staff whilst those staff are out on strike.
“Accordingly, I am able to announce that all agency workers currently engaged in refuse collection and street cleaning will be withdrawn from service by 10pm on Thursday night, the day before the strike is due to begin, and agency workers will not be deployed in these areas during the strike week.
“The Council continues to invite both recognised unions to negotiating meetings. That offer is being made daily. I urge the GMB to return to the table.”
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:
“I know from my postbag that residents in the city are worried about health issues and also about the fair and proper treatment of striking cityclean workers, so I welcome Jason’s announcement. This is good news and I hope that now the position on this has been made clear, GMB negotiators will be prepared to return to negotiations before Friday.”
On behalf of Brighton & Hove Green Party, chair Rob Shepherd said:
“It is with a heavy heart that I realise industrial action is imminent. But the Greens in Brighton & Hove have been saying all along that agency staff will not be used for strike breaking during next week’s strike and Jason has confirmed this unambiguously. With this said, and with the agency workers being withdrawn well before the strike begins, I join Caroline and Jason in encouraging the GMB negotiators back to the table before Friday.”
For more information please contact the Brighton and Hove Green Party office: [email protected].