Brighton rubbish strike: Union suspends strike

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Media captionRefuse collectors are back on the streets clearing piles of rubbish.

Refuse and recycling workers have suspended their strike in Brighton and Hove while they consider a new offer.

GMB union members started a seven-day walk-out out on 14 June in protest at plans to reduce their take home pay.

The industrial action was set to resume on Monday but branch secretary Mark Turner said it had been halted for 28 days to let members consider a deal.

Brighton and Hove City Council said it had put forward a "good service redesign proposal".

The union has been in dispute with the council for months over Green Party plans to change staff conditions, which they say could cost some of them up to £4,000 a year.

Rubbish-strewn street

Mr Turner said: "We have made significant progress over recent days, the proposal significantly reduces or in some cases eliminates the losses for individual staff members which arose under the previous offer, however there are still some areas that must be addressed.

"I will be continuing to meet with the council regarding these aspects of the proposal.

"For their part, the council have committed to confirm to each staff member how the revised proposal will affect them on an individual basis."

Businesses in Hove's George Street clubbed together to clean up their rubbish-strewn street during the strike because they feared it was harming trade and posing a health hazard.

Council chief executive Penny Thompson said: "We've put forward what we consider to be a good service redesign proposal.

"It is good for the residents and good for the city. I am really pleased that already the Cityclean workforce are back and working hard and fast to clear up the city.

"We are more than half way through a consultation period on an allowances system for staff across the council which is fair, consistent and affordable."

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