UNISON secures equal pay for 800 workers in Brighton and Hove

After a ten-year campaign, UNISON has secured a momentous equal pay victory for low-paid women in Brighton and Hove

Around 800 Brighton and Hove city council workers, many of whom are women working in care, will see pay improved in line with refuse and recycling workers. They will also receive a settlement of up to £2000.

The equal pay issue started in 2013 when a special bank holiday payment, the Resident’s Services Guarantee (RSG), was negotiated for workers in refuse and recycling. 

The majority of workers benefitting from the payment in refuse and recycling were men, and the majority of those employees also working bank holidays but not receiving the RSG were low-paid women workers, many working in the care sector. 

UNISON was not included in those negotiations at the time, but has been trying to gain parity between the two groups ever since.

The council has now sent an offer out to affected workers, who will decide whether or not they wish to accept it. The offer consists of 70% of the difference between people’s current bank holiday pay, six years’ worth of RSG pay, and an agreement to pay everyone at the same rate until a new system has been negotiated.

UNISON member and care worker Rose said: “This settlement has made me feel valued and respected as an employee, which has been sadly missing from recent experience working for the council.”

UNISON Brighton and Hove Unitary joint branch secretary Corinna Edwards-Colledge said: “We are delighted that hundreds of key workers, including care workers, security staff, seafront officers and venue workers will now be being compensated for an historic inequality in how Brighton and Hove City Council pays its bank holiday workers.

“This is another example of the power of the collective voice that trade unions represent, and our branch’s prioritisation of fairness and accountability.”