Archive for the 'strike' Category

Statement on the Argus journalists’ strike action

As a City, we have managed to weather the economic storm relatively well, in part due to initiatives such as our Be Local Buy Local campaign. So it is disappointing that Newsquest have decided to relocate the Argus sub-editing function out of Brighton & Hove in favour of Southampton. Supporting local business is one of my key priorities as Council Leader and so any loss of local jobs is a real source of regret for me.

Last year, the Council unanimously passed a motion supporting the City’s local written media and expressing concern at the growing regionalisation of press coverage in general. Unfortunately, this latest move by Newsquest seems to be another example of this.

The Argus is a real Brighton & Hove institution and, although they clearly need to move with the times (and the economic realities), it is a great shame that they seem to be gradually locating their operations out of the City. For the sake of strong local democracy, I believe that Brighton & Hove needs a genuinely local newspaper with journalists and editors who have an in-depth understanding of local issues. I hope that Newsquest can be persuaded to reconsider this decision.

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Strike action suspended

I’m really pleased that the GMB Union has decided to suspend its strike action so that normal rubbish collections can resume in Brighton & Hove. We will now resume talks about the details of our proposal but I very much hope that we are close to resolving this once and for all.

At all times during the negotiations we have aimed to meet our legal and moral duty to pay employees fairly without passing on unnecessary costs to council tax payers – at times a difficult balancing act.

Although the strike has lasted only two days, it will take a while for the Council to catch up on any missed collections and I’d ask for residents’ patience during this period. I expect things to be back to normal by the end of next week. We have a hard working and dedicated workforce, which we are proud of and I’m confident they will get the job done as quickly as possible.

I would also just like to add that the whole equal pay issue, which this strike was about, has been ongoing now since 1998. This could have been resolved a long time ago by the previous Labour Administration of the Council, had the political will been there. I was, therefore, more than a little surprised to see ex-Labour Leader of the Council, Simon Burgess, quoted in the Argus yesterday as saying that “equal pay is a very important issue and is something that needs to be addressed.” Quite Simon – it’s just a shame that you didn’t implement it when you had the chance.


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