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Hot on the heels of the wildcat strike in May (see Dust Up!) GMB staff at Cityclean were recently balloted and despite the spin and the sweeteners, 95.6% of them voted for industrial action and will strike again from Friday 14th June.

In 2009 the government came after public sector pensions. November of that year saw Cityclean refuse, recycling and street sweepers and some CityParks and gardens workers strike alongside students, teachers, NHS staff and even some police and others in the biggest strike action Brighton and Hove had ever seen. All aspects of council waste service workers' pay should have been sorted then, but now four years later the government in their penny pinching wisdom are coming for allowances, all in the name of equality.

The city's binmen will be the hardest hit by the new allowance regime. To make the pill (of losing out up to 4000 from their annual salary) taste less bitter, Cityclean staff have been offered a 6000 payout. Only two minor drawbacks - workers have to work on for at least a year or pay it all back, and workers accepting the pay off lose all rights except personal injury claims and pensions for the whole of the rest of their council careers. While council bosses sitting high and dry up Kings House rake in 100,000+ salaries, with whopping allowances on top of that.

Head of council's ruling Green body Jason Kitcat and council's chief executive Penny Thompson and other council representatives have stuck their oars in spouting their version to local media in recent weeks, whereas grassroots waste service workers have stayed silent (bound by their contractual confidentiality clause aka 'gagging order'). Caroline Lucas (Green M.P.) said in May the poorest paid workers should not be pitted against other poor paid workers and the cuts should come from those that can afford them. Sadly not all Greens are singing from the same song sheet.

There are things that can be done to help the worker's  Friday(14th). Go to the council/ Cityclean's website, and see how much of your council tax (up by 1.7%) goes towards your waste services, and if you've been receiving a reduced service since May 8th (and no service at all from June 14th) knock an appropriate amount off your council tax, and tell your mates to do likewise. If you went to a self service restaurant you wouldn't tip the waiter for not waiting on you!

For those wanting to show support there will be a march and rally through the city on Saturday (15th) from Hollingdean Cityclean depot, Upper Hollingdean Road to Kings House, Grand Avenue in Hove starting at 12 noon, assembly time is at 11:30.

The fight continues...

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Twitter: @SchNEWS