GMB to open industrial action ballot at Brighton and Hove Cityclean

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“Members’ strong response for action in a recent consultative ballot and no progress from Brighton & Hove City Council Management team leaves us with little choice”, say GMB Southern

GMB, the union for staff at Brighton and Hove’s Cityclean street cleansing services, have formally provided Brighton and Hove City Council Chief Exec Geoff Raw with the required legal notices to open an Industrial Action ballot from Monday 3rd June for a two-week period.

The formal ballot, if supported by members, will see various affirmative industrial actions taken from July onwards, if Geoff Raw and his team don’t go through with the engagement of ACAS to assist in resolving matters around the recent issues and consequences arising from some anti-trade union management at the Cityclean Hollingdean depot.

A recent GMB consultative ballot, returned a 90.6% turnout and saw members voting 91.8% in favour of supporting their union through affirmative strike action if required, which has now moved a step closer to that action happening over the summer.

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser said: "I’m just not sure that Geoff understands the need for, or even wants immediate action on the council’s part to resolve this matter, so while the GMB wait for Geoff and his management team to finish deliberating over diary availability, we find ourselves needing to move to protect our members position through enacting the formal industrial process, in case BHCC filibustering continues. 

"ACAS involvement in conciliation at Cityclean is the key to resolving what is for us, a serious threat to future industrial relations throughout the whole of the city’s workforce if not challenged now.

"Geoff’s refusal to distance himself from the poor professional practices of a few anti-trade union managers at the depot is disturbing but getting around the table to hear his views on why he thinks it important to back such anti-trade unionists is important to the future success of Cityclean and the services it provides to the city, will be interesting to say the least."

Mark Turner, B50 Branch Secretary said: "When GMB are convinced that discussions, if or when they start are meaningful and that the Chief Exec and his team acknowledge that the behaviour of some of the Cityclean management has been anti-trade union when dealing with GMB Reps and branch officials either purposefully or in error.

"Our members might in view of seeing a declining threat against those that protect and support them in the workplace, accept a recommendation from GMB to scale down, suspend or even halt the threat of action against their employer; otherwise unfortunately there will be disruption to the city’s streets and refuse services throughout July, August and September."

Contact: Gary Palmer 07552 165 950 or Mark Turner 07860 787 973 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114 762