OPINION

Bin strike shows how Greens still have serious lessons to learn

Posted On 24 Oct 2021 at 8:14 pm

I am very pleased that a deal has been struck to end the bin strike. After weeks of rubbish and recycling piling up in the streets, with residents suffering, it was a relief all round that a resolution to the dispute was finally found.

I have been open about the fact that the dispute never should have dragged on this long – and about the fact that the Green administration should have resolved it long before it got to the point of strike action.

The last Labour administration avoided strike action in 2019 by keeping lines of communication open and working hard with both unions and managers to find solutions.

This included bringing in ACAS and a senior industrial relations expert who was respected by both sides involved in the dispute.

If these steps had been taken sooner, this strike may have been avoided and residents needn’t have suffered.

When Labour left office there was a clear plan in place to address the underlying issues at Cityclean, recruit a senior industrial relations officer and implement a long-term solution.

We are disappointed that this plan seems to have been abandoned. So, we need a commitment from the administration to find a long-term solution.

I am, however, really pleased with the terms of the deal to end the bin strike, which eradicates low pay at the council and gets our city cleaned up.

And we in the Labour group are proud to have been part of the process of reaching that agreement.

The deal to finally resolve the dispute means a pay rise for some of the lowest paid workers in the council, which my Conservative colleagues have taken serious objection to.

We in the Labour group welcome the fact that pay will increase for low-paid key workers across the council, as well as for HGV drivers.

It gives the council a greater chance of retaining these essential workers who are in high demand and short supply following Brexit.

This deal is a real positive step for the council. However, the strike could and should have been avoided, and serious lessons must be learned by the Green administration regarding their handling of this debacle.

Councillor John Allcock is the joint Labour opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Ken Abell Reply

    Shame Lloyd Russell moyle labour mp for the east of Brighton doesn’t have the same gumption as mr Allen, moyle doesn’t appear to do anything for his constituents he’s a waste of time, full of hot air when it comes to the media.

  2. Jon Reply

    John Allcock is a member of the GMB union as are many other Labour councillors. The GMB pays the Labour Party £2million every year and sponsors 80 Labour MPs
    The GMB and Labour are essentially one institution so of course Labour Councillors will support them instead of local residents.
    Is it a coincidence that during a pandemic where there’s a national shortage of HGV drivers and drivers in the private sector are getting huge pay rises that the 40 or so GMB drivers go on strike because of stress and being asked to do different rounds?
    The details of the pay rise they received to help cure this will never be revealed as its probably an embarrassment to Labour, the GMB and the council

  3. Kev Reply

    BHCC have not handled this bin strike very well at all.

  4. Louise Hewitt Reply

    I note your MP for Kemptown was up on the picket line at Hollingbury encouraging this strike with no doubt many other members of the Labour administration.

    The Greens may be useless but the Labour Party installed them with your secret power sharing agreement when too many Labour councillors got into trouble for Jew-hating.

    Now the Labour administration has been doing everything possible to stir up this strike with GMB members like the author of this article. Disgusting behavior that will end up costing jobs for many of your constituents that rely on the visitor economy.

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