A couple of weeks ago, Brighton and Hove City Council honoured employee Osei Frimpong as its Public Servant of the Year at a lavish ceremony. Osei is a streetcleaner and the work he and his colleagues do in keeping the streets clean and healthy is vital. The same council which displayed its faux gratitude to Osei is about to cut the pay of those same staff, in some cases by £8000 a year. Hundreds of other staff are also facing pay cuts.
The council unions, GMB and Unison have had enough. After months of unproductive talking, they are going to start the process for an industrial action ballot. The final straw in the talks was a cack-handed attempt by the employer to split the two unions. It didn't work.
This is just the latest example of the quite staggering ineptitude of the Council over this issue over a number of years. The workforce is left wondering if they'll ever manage to sort it out.