Brighton Refuse Workers Call For Meaningful Talks To Avoid Escalation Over 'Service Delivery Issues'

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Hard-working GMB members at City Clean are frustrated by management not dealing with issues.


Hard-working GMB members at City Clean are frustrated by management not dealing with issues. 

Brighton refuse workers have called for scheduled talks with the council over a series of service delivery issues affecting residents’ bin collections to be meaningful. 

A consultative ballot of GMB’s 119 members at the City Clean depot saw 95 per cent in favour of being balloted for industrial action over the changes. 

Workers are concerned about disruption to their workloads and the city because of no clear processes for tipping.  

In addition, vehicle breakdowns are common and action to rectify vehicle defects is slow, affecting service delivery. 

The council is also proposing redundancies of the most experienced senior supervisor roles in favour of higher paid ‘operations managers’ who do not have the extensive experience of the city or the refuse industry. 

Members say they lack adequate PPE, safety on site is poor, facilities such as drying rooms often have no heating and no driers and none of these issues are being looked at by management.  

The service desperately needs a round restructure, to ensure rounds are balanced, and a digital system, which has been promised for years. 

None of these measures are part of the consultation.  

Lib Whitfield, GMB Senior Organiser, said: 

"GMB members work hard to deliver a service, but they’re being hampered by everything from vehicle breakdowns due to management not acting on defects, to inconsistent and unfair treatment. 

“All this massively affects the service for residents, but rather than deal with the problems, management expects workers to bear the brunt of changes, with a huge knock-on effect to residents. 

“Brighton’s refuse workers do their best, but they do not feel listened to.  

“The scheduled talks must be meaningful if we are to avoid an escalation that nobody wants.”