Press release: “We Are Barnet” – Pay like Barnet!
“If we’re good enough for Barnet residents, we’re good enough for Barnet terms and conditions” – A Barnet Group Worker
“I have rarely discovered such a deeply embedded scale of inequalities and exploitation in a local authority arms length company. This a damning indictment on the London Borough of Barnet who have colluded with this model for nearly a decade.” Dexter Whitfield, Director, European Services Strategy Unit
“It might be the London Living Wage but it’s not the London Living standard, is it?” – A Barnet Group Worker on hearing they are to be moved from being paid the National minimum wage to the London Living Wage (£8.72/ hr to £10.85/ hr)
The Barnet Group workers are all on different terms and conditions often for the exact same job. This creates divisions and inequalities. Very few of the workers are on terms and conditions which resemble the Council terms and conditions and although the Council terms and conditions are hardly generous they are better in all areas than the terms and conditions most of the workers in The Barnet Group have. It means the Council can choose to pay inferior terms and conditions if it wants to.
Barnet Group staff worked through the COVID pandemic putting themselves and the lives of their families at risk. A number of them became ill with COVID as a result. They are care workers, support workers and housing workers.
The Barnet Group is a subsidiary wholly owned by Barnet Council. It now employs over 1,000 workers and is almost as big as the Council itself. All of the jobs and services done by The Barnet Group were all once carried out by the Council directly.
‘The embedded inequalities of Terms and Conditions and Pay across The Barnet Group cannot be tolerated any further.
Barnet Group staff have been providing frontline services to the Public all the way through the Pandemic with little or no reward or recognition for the vital work and services we provide to Barnet residents on behalf of the Council – all we are asking is to be treated with the same respect as our colleagues who work directly for the Council – it really isn’t too much to ask!’ Patrick Hunter, Barnet UNISON convenor for Barnet Homes
“The Barnet Group is ridiculously complicated for work colleagues to understand. Frankly they do not understand how they can be doing the same job but be paid differently and I think we only need to understand one thing – it’s wrong. The high death rate in the UK from COVID is largely due to the socio-economic inequalities in the UK. We have had nearly one continuous year of lockdown. We all suffer when people are not paid enough to live on and thrive. This is why our campaign is about reversing that race to the bottom in pay, terms and conditions.” Helen Davies, Barnet UNISON Branch Chair
Note to Editors: Contact details: Helen Davies Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk
To View Dexter Whitfields report summitted to Chief Executive of The Barnet Group please click on the UNISON link below
“We Are Barnet” Campaign explained https://youtu.be/m7wB0hY45Rk
We Are Barnet” explainer flyer https://bit.ly/3r9TDed
“We Are Barnet – Pay like Barnet” petition http://chng.it/wCm6ZzWTXs