After clapping for essential workers, BHCC is rewarding its repairs and maintenance workers by not giving them sick pay during a pandemic, reports Liv Singh
GMB repairs and maintenance workers at Brighton & Hove City Council have been in strike all of last week over an outstanding pay claim from last year before the workers transferred back to the council from private contractor Mears. The GMB say the pay claim is part of the liabilities of transfer.
In addition to the 8% pay claim there is a further issue that some workers, who had been on different contracts, are facing a significant cut in pay in exchange for full sick pay. “Our members..., who are providing emergency home repair cover and are placing themselves at risk on a daily basis, have no sick pay should they get ill,” said Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Officer.
He also said that the BHCC are trying to downgrade the workers concerned by not recognising their qualifications.
The GMB have announced a further 10 days of strike action later this month beginning on the 28th of September which will see plumbers, electricians, carpenters, painters and others refuse to work.
“Our members remain clear: ‘We’ll stay away until we all have sick pay’” said Mark Turner, GMB B50 Branch Secretary.
There is a shameful trend of councils attacking their workers: in Tower Hamlets the council fired and rehired its workers on worse contracts, Croydon’s council is on the verge of axing 400 jobs and Glasgow’s cleansing workers are being forced back to working longer hours in unsafe conditions.
But in all these cases, the workers are fighting back, and they all deserve all our support. Get down to the picket lines, get a collection sheet going at your workplace for the strike fund, pass a resolution of support at your union/CLP branch and send in your messages of support.
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