Adur & Worthing bin strike remains on whilst council game playing continues
GMB officials are disappointed with official statements from the council, which they are calling ‘mistruths and misdirection.’
GMB Union are condemning the latest public statements from Adur & Worthing Council, which have come just hours after the latest round of talks had taken place.
The union remains clear that pay talks will continue, but is keen to stress its disappointment with the official council statements around the ongoing negotiations, which GMB officials are describing as “mistruths and misdirection”
The meeting which took place today (Friday 8 April) saw the signing of a formal recognition agreement between GMB, Unison and the council.
This agreement was not sought by GMB, but was insisted upon by the other two parties before pay talks could begin in earnest, and GMB now hopes that these pay negotiations can now begin, some 4 months after the pay issues were first raised in December 2021 by GMB on behalf of its members.
Mark Turner, GMB B50 Branch Secretary said: “GMB are indeed pleased that the issue around recognition for other parties has now been settled.
“We have always questioned whether recognition was in fact needed to deal with the low pay issue for refuse, streets and recycling operatives and drivers in the first place, and we are sure that the public and residents of Adur & Worthing weren't really bothered about it at all.
“However, if it’s the catalyst that allows GMB to progress our members’ claim for a pay rise that really reflects our members’ expectations, then fantastic. Now it’s done, let’s get on with getting the substantive matter sorted.
“Our issue remains one of trust and we unfortunately have little belief in the council's ability to do anything other than use smoke and mirrors to avoid reporting matters accurately.
“An agreement to minimise press, as brokered by ACAS at the beginning of the talks has been broken, leaving us to now question again the council’s inaccurate statement today on their website.
“GMB did in fact lay out our members’ proposal to the council, at which time they then asked to go away and look at and understand the aspects of implementation and we assume the cost before talks resumed next Wednesday (13 April).
“It needs to be accurately reported that in fact as ACAS were unable to attend today’s meeting, talks could not have been led by them as stated by the council’s spokesperson. It's not a big lie but it is a lie.”
Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser said: “It’s great to finally start talking about the substantive issue around pay, but I'm disappointed that the council have chosen to continue their anti-GMB campaign, all despite an agreement brokered by ACAs on press releases during the process.
“GMB have previously raised issues around misleading narratives by the council. A worker was spat at by a member of the public last weekend, and GMB believe this was at least partly due to the misleading, anti-GMB rhetoric coming out of official council statements.
“It may be GMB’s first real dealings with Adur & Worthing Council, but their attempts to seek to try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory has impressed already.
“We were surprised to have apparently missed the invite to meet over the weekend, especially as, according to their update, their officers will be working over the weekend to try to resolve the issues that are in front of them. Perhaps it might have been preferable and more productive for us to be there too?
“To be clear, GMB are willing and able to meet over the weekend if the council wants to. The ball is firmly in their court.
“Otherwise, we will of course stick with the process, now it has finally started, and return next week to the table for the benefit of our members and of course the residents of Adur & Worthing to seek a solution.
“Needless to say, it's being made so much harder than it need be.”
Contact: Mark Turner 07860 787973 or Gary Palmer 07552165950