Published Thursday, 18th March 2021

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council is disappointed that the GMB union is refusing to attend collective bargaining mediated talks through ACAS, lined up for 19 March.

The talks are designed to resolve a pay dispute GMB is pursuing on behalf of a very small percentage of council staff.

Under the best practice advice of ACAS, and the terms of the council’s mutually agreed Collective Bargaining Agreement with its recognised unions – GMB and Unison - these talks must involve both unions. We have been advised by ACAS that GMB is unwilling to enter talks with Unison in the room. We believe it would be unreasonable to exclude Unison as any agreement would be binding on them too, and they – the council’s largest union – have already expressed a willingness to attend the talks.

The Council hopes the GMB reconsiders its position and that constructive talks mediated by ACAS can still go ahead and strike action can be avoided.

We would like to reassure residents that plans are being put in place to minimise any disruption to essential services, such as bin collections, should strike action go ahead.

We believe the 1.3% pay award recognises how important the efforts of our key workers have been during this difficult year. It is one of the highest being offered across Surrey local authorities and follows a 2.3% pay rise to all staff in April last year. 

However, we must also recognise the scale of the financial challenges facing the country, the Council and many of our residents.