GMB slam nursery service proposals

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GMB, the union for nursery staff, has issued a response to Brighton and Hove Council’s proposed changes to nursery provision and services which will leave the low-paid, predominantly female work force unable to cope with devastating cuts to pay, working hours and employment terms and conditions.

GMB has revealed that nursery staff and practitioners will lose between £3,300 and £10,500, depending on current pay grades and hours reductions, as a result of the council’s proposed changes and cuts.

This move comes on top of the misinformation around pay protection for staff. Council officers have said that measures that would have seen staff pay protected for three years, will in fact only be in effect for one year dropping to 75% in the second year.

Mark Turner, GMB B50 Sussex Branch secretary, said “Members are feeling very angry and frustrated as a result of actions from this council and their senior management team. The depth of these unprecedented cuts within such a valuable service and to loyal staff is a worrying sign and should send warning bells to all council staff and services in regard to further proposed programs of cuts within all council departments.

Once again it appears low paid, and in this case 98.5% female workers, together with some of the most vulnerable children and families they support are going to be the accepted collateral damage to Brighton and Hove City councillors and officers’ draconian devaluing of this important service.

GMB calls upon Councillor Tom Bewick as the administration’s lead for children’s services together with Councillor Warren Morgan as the City Council’s Labour leader to stop their officers enforcing these cuts, which will potentially place our members’ homes at risk, when finding themselves in the horrible position of having to potentially make the choice between paying bills or feeding their families.

Only by stepping back from the current menacing risk to the well-being of young children and the threat towards staff working at the affected council nurseries before coming back to the table to open a full and open dialogue with unions, staff and Brighton families will see the inevitable clash and industrial unrest we would very much like to avoid. But that decision can only be made by Councillor Bewick and the Labour administration if they care for the City, its workforce and residents.”