Labour Councillors are pleased that a deal has been struck to end the bin strike in Brighton & Hove, despite the Green administration’s bungled approach to the dispute up to now.
At this afternoon’s special meeting of the Council’s Policy & Resources Committee, Labour Councillors scrutinised the deal, and held the administration to account for their failure to resolve this dispute sooner. Residents have suffered with rubbish and recycling piling up in the streets for over two weeks.
Labour are clear that the Council as a whole needs to reflect and learn serious lessons from this debacle.
When Labour left office, there was a clear plan in place to address the underlying issues at Cityclean and recruit a senior industrial relations officer. Those plans appear to have been abandoned.
However, the Labour Group did welcome the terms of the deal to finally resolve the dispute, celebrating a pay rise for some of the lowest paid workers in the Council, and for HGV drivers who are in short supply following Brexit.
Labour emphasise that Cityclean workers are local residents who kept working during the pandemic, are out in all weathers doing a difficult and dirty job, and who deserve our respect and fair payment.
Labour’s co-leaders of the Opposition, Cllr Carmen Appich and Cllr John Allcock said:
“We’re pleased that the steer we gave the administration last week has led to a deal to end strike action.
“Residents have suffered unnecessarily for over two weeks now when this whole debacle could have been avoided.
“Labour had put in place plans to improve industrial relations that were not followed by the Council, and today we raised questions about the poor handling of the situation from the start. Serious lessons need to be learned.
“However, we really welcome today’s agreement which eradicates low pay at the Council and gets our City cleaned up, and we are proud to have been part of the process of reaching that agreement.
“Pay will increase for the local key workers who are out to collect our bins in all weathers, as well as for HGV drivers, which will give the Council a greater chance of retaining these essential workers who are in high demand and short supply following Brexit.”