Greenkeepers ballot for strike action

Greenkeepers are balloting for strike action after pay talks collapsed.
Social enterprise company Mytime Active put forward a proposal to cut pay and lay off staff at the Hollingbury and Waterhall courses in Brighton in February.
The firm said it had a duty to make the operation profitable.
After lengthy talks, unions have said discussions have now broken down and balloting for “all out strike action” has begun.
Mark Turner, of the GMB, said: “They talk about being a social enterprise and putting things back into the community.
“Well how is making people worse off and unemployed helping the community they serve?”
The social enterprise firm signed a 10-year contract with Brighton and Hove City Council in 2009 to manage the courses.
The current proposal will lose one head greenkeeper by compulsory redundancy.
Seven other staff will see their take home pay reduced by about £4,000 each due to a loss of allowances, such as overtime and weekend working.
A spokeswoman for Mytime Active said, despite its investment in facilities, its Brighton operation was not performing as profitably as others in its operation.
She added: “We understand how frustrating and difficult this situation must be.
“We have been working hard to ensure that we minimise the risk of potential redundancies and have invited the views of both the unions and our greenkeepers.
“We have concluded our consultation process and unfortunately we have not been able to reach an agreement between all parties.
“We are disappointed that the unions are encouraging action.
“However this does not alter the fact that Mytime Active has to make significant service efficiencies to help develop both courses for the community now and for future generations.”

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