GMB calls for resignation of Brighton council boss over bullying claims

The GMB is calling for the resignation of “incompetent” Brighton and Hove City Council chief executive Geoff Raw over claims of union reps being bullied.

The union also wants to see the back of Nick Hibbard, the council’s executive director of economy, environment and culture, for his role in the scandal that might see CityClearn – the city’s recycling service – shut down.

GMB B50 Branch Secretary Mark Turner said: “In all my time and historical involvement with CityClean, involving all the various management structures and personnel I have come in contact with, I’ve never seen such basic incompetence which has led us to having the threat of having the city’s operating licence withdrawn and the service shut before.

“In doing so they potentially have endangered the livelihoods of every employee working within the service and have only recently brought this to the attention of GMB because it appears they now require union reps and member’s assistance to get them out of a very deep hole with the Traffic Commissioners.

“It must be said that strangely those will of course be the same union reps that the council require the assistance of now, who have come under increasing unfair scrutiny and unsanctioned investigatory and reporting processes, or to give it its real name, management bullying, by the council over recent months.”

GMB regional organiser Gary Palmer said: “The checks and balances required by law to operate CityClean services within the city should be automatically in place and written in stone, but it’s become clear from this fiasco that those in lofty and well paid council positions whom we trust to oversee services on our behalf appear to be the least capable or trustworthy to do so.

“I’ve no doubt that when the report of this debacle becomes available, those always able to deflect responsibility will indeed seek to do so on to either those already departed from the council or someone in the organisational structure who probably never even knew they were responsible in the first place.

“In regard to the treatment of GMB reps and members, the jury is still out as far as we are concerned in deciding if that approach has been officially sanctioned at the highest level within the paid service at BHCC or they have alternatively simply just not given CityClean the attention and support they are paid to do so.

“Either way our members have suffered as a result. So it’s time for the Chief Exec and Head of the Environment Service to step aside for someone with the vision and the drive to resolve the numerous on-going issues and managerial errors and to re-set industrial relations from one of the current organisational sustained attack on GMB reps and members to one more in tune to partnership working to get the CityClean service back on track for the benefit of Brighton’s residents and staff.”

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