Published Tuesday, 23rd March 2021

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council is saddened that GMB has announced intended dates of strike action in response to an ongoing pay dispute.

Two 48 hour periods of strike action have been announced, for 8-9 and 15-16 April.

Responding to this announcement, Leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, Cllr Mark Brunt, reassures residents:

“It is disappointing that we have reached this point, following GMB’s unwillingness to engage in mediated talks last Friday (19 March) with ACAS, ourselves and our main recognised union, Unison.

“I want to highlight that we are not in dispute with our staff, whose hard work and dedication over the last year – and beyond – is hugely valued by myself, my fellow Members and the Council’s Management Team.

“GMB represent just 72 of our around 550 strong workforce, of which only 27 voted in favour of taking strike action in a ballot held last month. It is regrettable that GMB’s regional representatives have taken this step.

“Our focus now is on putting in place measures to minimise disruption to our essential services, specifically our bin collections on which we know residents rely. We’d like to reassure our residents that plans are already in place for managing this. Should we anticipate potential disruption to collections, we will use our website and social media channels to keep residents updated. Should bins be missed, collections will be caught up.”

The Council stands by the 1.3% pay award, which we feel 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 2020, and a one-off bonus payment paid to all council staff in August last year in recognition of their incredible support during the pandemic.

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