£6 Million of public money!

Sad person that I am, I was trawling through the Cabinet Resources Committee papers. Agenda Item 10 Monitoring 2010/11 Report.

The relevant section:

4.3 The arbitrator in the Catalyst dispute has found partially in favour in Catalyst. The cost to the Council to March 2010 has not been finally determined, but will be up to £6m. The cost will be funded from the risk reserve (currently £17.7m), leaving a reduced balance to manage other risks, including Icelandic bank deposits.

I am very angry. This is public money that will not benefit Barnet residents. Unfortunately I have a long memory and fought hard with UNISON members to oppose this back in 1999.

We produced reports with Professor Dexter Whitfield, opposing the rush to privatise this service, but councillors were being scared into making a rushed and poorly thought out decision.

Unfortunately despite our best efforts and genuine commitment to work with our employer, battle lines were drawn, and none of our recommendations were acknowledged.

The above Deficit Claim by Catalyst Housing (the Partner with Fremantle Trust) ends a long and very bitter four years which has seen the former council workers TUPED to Fremantle Trust have their terms and conditions ripped apart.

The sad fact is public money has been handed over and for what gain?

In the space of a couple of weeks we have seen former council services contracted out in the newspaper headlines Barnet Homes with Edward Meakins, the news of the potential imminent collapse of Connaught the contractor providing council house repairs services and today Catalyst Housing Association .

This is why the Trade Unions are campaigning against the Future Shape programme in its current state.

Very soon I will receive a draft report with proposals to undermine our redundancy scheme and no doubt be informed sometime this year about some pretty savage cuts to public services and redundancy for our members.

How we could do with that £6 million now, and don’t get me started about Icelandic Banks!

I am so angry.



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