Royal Pavilion and museum staff to lift strike threat as council reviews handover to Brighton Festival
Staff at the Royal Pavilion and Museums service are expected to lift their threat of a strike after a new proposal Brighton and Hove City Council.
The council is to put on hold its plans to transfer the service and staff to the Brighton Festival and instead carry out an independent review if the options.
The move was welcomed by the GMB union which was planning to ballot members on whether to strike over the changes.
The GMB said: “The decision by Brighton and Hove City Council is a result of the direct representation of the feedback, concerns and views of GMB union and its members.
“They have agreed to postpone the immediate threat of a direct transfer to the Dome and Festival Trust and the commissioning of an expert external review of all of the options available to them in regard to the future of the Royal Pavilion and Museums services.
“The scope of the review, which is to be completed by the end of September 2018, will include looking again in detail at the two-stage process to establish fully the costs and viability of that option, alongside other models including the service remaining as it is in house.
“The review will also take into account any or all risk factors specific to each of the options on the table.
“Once completed, the review will then go back again to the (council’s) Policy, Resource and Growth Committee for a final decision to be made on how best to protect the future of the Royal Pavilion and Museums services and staff.”
Mark Turner, GMB B50 Branch Secretary said: “I of course cautiously welcome the offer from Brighton and Hove City Council.
“I say cautiously because everyone thought we were all moving along in one direction before, and then suddenly the Labour group changed direction under the leadership of Warren Morgan without any hint of a warning signal.
“Conservatives at the council’s Policy, Resource and Growth Committee also moved to awarding a contract unilaterally to the Dome and Festival Trust to run the Royal Pavilion and Museums services.
“So my hope is that this time an open and fair process with meaningful consultation will stay in place from start to finish in all aspects of new review process.
“The next steps for us is that we will be meeting members and staff next Wednesday (21 February) at 9am to ask them if they agree with the council’s proposal.
“In the meantime, we will be standing down any threats of both a ballot and/or industrial action as a sign of good faith in light of the proposal to our members to consider.
“If they do then accept the proposal we will commence discussing what happens next around the review and their involvement in scoping the consultant brief, engagement process and timetable, and in ensuring that GMB members and staff will be seeing meaningful and significant input this time, into the whole process and final report.”