Repairs and maintenance dispute

Prior to the transfer of the housing repairs & maintenance service to the council in April, the GMB lodged a dispute with Mears as part of the 2020 pay review process relating to the request for an increased percentage pay rise and the standardisation of annual leave and sick pay for all staff. 

As the employer since April, the council has been engaged in positive and constructive discussions with staff and the GMB in an effort to resolve the dispute. 

We are continuing discussions with staff and are working to resolve the dispute with the GMB.

All transferred staff are being offered the opportunity to switch from their current contracts to council terms and conditions, which includes full sick pay and annual leave entitlements. 

Staff also have the option of remaining on their current pay and conditions, including the contractual arrangements for an annual pay review.

We will not be making anyone take a reduction to their pay.

We’re aiming to provide all transferred staff with an offer of council terms and conditions based on a Brighton & Hove job description by 31 December.

The first step is to consult staff on their Brighton & Hove job descriptions. Following this, formal job evaluation panels involving council managers and trade union representatives will determine a final grade for the roles. 

We are aiming to give staff time to consider their options and the opportunity to ask questions before making a decision. 

If staff choose to transfer to Brighton & Hove terms and conditions, this will be backdated to 1 April 2020 and, subject to the consultation process, we anticipate that staff will transfer to the council’s monthly payroll at the end of February 2021.

Transferred staff have been provided with the local government pension scheme and have been paid in full throughout the Covid-19 crisis, while the service has been limited to providing essential repairs.

This has included Covid-19 special leave arrangements for those without sick pay under the current terms and conditions they have transferred to the council on. We’ll continue these arrangements during the current public health crisis.  

We are keen to continue discussions to resolve the dispute and progress with harmonisation as soon as possible.

We feel the offer the council has made is fair, transparent and offers many benefits for colleagues who may want to transfer to council terms.

It also means that all council staff are paid fairly and equally and we are not entering into an agreement that might create unfair pay for any one group of staff.