The Brighton & Hove Labour Group is concerned about the current dispute between housing maintenance workers and the City Council over the TUPE transfer from Mears. We support the basic right to trade union recognition and the principle of no detriment when applied to TUPE transfer of workers.

We are calling on the administration to meet with the union and urgently resolve the dispute without placing workers at detriment and so as to avoid our residents being affected. We urge them to continue to negotiate with the GMB and not bypass the union in discussions, to negotiate with trade unions around appropriate emergency cover during industrial action, and to involve ACAS if necessary to resolve the dispute.

Labour strongly supports the rights of workers and the GMB to collective bargaining. We also support equal pay and are calling for a solution which avoids inequity in pay scales across the council notwithstanding proportionate and reasonable pay protection of affected staff.

We will support striking workers and want to see a speedy resolution to this dispute.

We are proud that it was a Labour administration that brought the housing maintenance service in-house, following input from tenants and residents, to provide a better service with greater social value.

We also recognise the extensive work done by officers in recent months consulting staff to facilitate the transfer in-house.

We now call on the administration to get negotiating with the unions and find a resolution to the dispute for the good of our workers and our residents.

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