Three workers in the Dust truck is not safe

The threat of COVID 19 both real and perceived is growing stronger every day especially amongst front line workers who are being asked to carry on a deliver services as normal.

But these are not normal times. We are in a global pandemic which is sweeping across the globe, some countries faster than others.

The response from workers in public services is incredible people are offering support to other services which are under serious pressure.

Once such service that needs to continue otherwise there will be another type of public health risk is the Waste and Recycling Service.

There can sometimes be 3 or 4 workers sitting inside a vehicle a clear contravention of the government advice on social distancing.

Earlier this week Barnet UNISON wrote to Barnet Council requesting urgent measures to be put in place to safeguard our member’s health and safety.

Our demands are as follows:

1. Cleaning regime.

The inside of the vehicles are subjected to thorough cleansing regime each day.

That Hand gel is provided for each team every day. Please note there are no toilets available for these staff to use therefore no access to water and soap.

Cleansing wipes to be provided to each team every day.

Gloves and masks to be provided to each team every day.

Provision of toilet facilities for the workforce

Procedure to change how they currently work to reflect government advice about social distancing.

2. Bonus/recognition payment

Workers have asked that the Council pay a bonus to the reflect the recognition of the work they are currently providing under difficult circumstances.

3. Mental Health

To increase awareness of counselling support for staff working on the frontline during this national crisis.

4. Food and supplies

It is well documented that access to supermarkets is proving problematic and for the key workers it will more difficult for them to access supermarkets as they are working. Barnet UNISON has asked Barnet Council look to secure means by which food and supplies can be provided on an order basis for key workers.

 

***** Barnet Council have responded see below:

Cleansing

Hand sanitiser gel has been issued to the crews and drivers have a supply of hand wipes for them and the crew to use.  Drivers can request more from the Supervisors once their supply has gone.  Drivers are also being issued with cleansing wipes so that they are able to wipe down surfaces, handles and steering wheels in the cab.  We have also progressed arrangements to implement a cleansing regime for vehicle cabs.  Nitril gloves are currently also available on request for those who may wish to use them.

We have sourced resource that will be undertaking a deep cleanse of the RCV cabs on Saturday this week.  Following this, we will have a team of four people working from Monday to clean the vehicle cabs.  RCV’s will be cleaned on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings and Street Cleansing vehicles will be cleaned on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Payment.

No bonus payment will be paid to key workers.

Mental Health

Mental Health First Aiders to be made available for staff to contact and discuss their issues.

Food and Supplies

No.

 

End.

LATEST – Management position on Leasehold, Neighbourhood, Rental Income, Customer Contact Centre

Hello All,

Earlier this week I confirmed that that all interviews have been suspended up until 1 June and that this would not affect any applications for voluntary redundancy. I also stated that I would provide an update to everyone as to the implementation of the wider CEP recommendations before the end of this week.

The CEP recommendations will continue to be implemented but with some changes to account for the suspension of the interviews. Please note that these dates are subject to review in light of the ongoing COVID-19 issues. I would like to thank everybody for their continued efforts over this difficult period and I have tried to give an overview of how this will impact on each service below over the coming months and up to 1 July:

 

Changes 13 April 2020
 

1 – Income Collection Services

  • New Income Collection Service goes live with all Rental Income Team staff & functions transferring into the new service area
  • Recruitment for new Income Collection Service Manager post to be suspended in line with wider TBG approach
  • Leasehold Housing Manager and 5 x Leasehold Housing Officers transfer to the new Income Collection Service as a separate Income Collection Team (Leasehold). The Leasehold Housing Manager will report directly into Head of Housing Management
  • Leasehold Housing Officers will retain responsibility for managing leasehold management enquiries but will not be responsible for the Right To Buy process.
  • Leasehold duty line to close and be redirected to CCT

 

 

2 – Housing Management Services

  • New Housing Management Service goes live with all Neighbourhood Housing Team staff & functions transferring into the new service area
  • No change to role and responsibilities of staff as all Leasehold Management functions and the management of RTB will not be added to this service area at this point
  • All ‘at risk’ staff members (2.5 x Housing Assistants) to be retained pending interviews currently scheduled for 1 June
  • Neighbourhood duty line to be retained – to be transitioned to CCT by 1 July 2020
  • Regeneration Service to be set up over the course of April – May 2020

 

 

3 – Leasehold Development Team

  • Leasehold Development Team to be transferred with all existing staff and resources from Leasehold Services to Property Services
  • Leasehold Development Team Manager to report direct to Head of Property Services

 

 

4 – Leasehold Management Functions & Right to Buy

  • Leasehold Housing Officers will retain responsibility for managing leasehold management enquiries but will not be responsible for the Right To Buy process.
  • 1 x Leasehold Housing Assistant to be retained pending interviews currently scheduled for 1 June
  • Sections of the RTB process (e.g. RTB application pack) to transfer to the CCT
  • Assistant role to report into the Leasehold Development Team Manager
  • The Leasehold Development Team Manager will be given additional hours to lead on developing the approach to transferring all leasehold management and RTB function into the Housing Management Service
  • All transition activities regarding leasehold management and RTB functions will be reported to Head of Housing Management

 

 

Changes 18 May 2020
 

1.       Income Collection Service

  • 0.5 resource (LHO) to move out of the Income Collection Team (Leasehold) to join new transition team focussing on leasehold management enquiries
  • Responsibility for all leasehold management enquiries to transfer to new transition team

 

 

2.       Housing Management Services

  • No further change

 

 

3.       Leasehold Development Team

  • No further change

 

 

4.       Leasehold Management Functions & Right to Buy

  • To recruit 1 x FTE agency staff member to join Leasehold Management Transition Team to be joined by 0.5 resource from the Income Collection Team (Leasehold) and 1 x Leasehold Assistant
  • 1.5 x Officer resources to lead on leasehold management functions. 1 x Leasehold Assistant resource to lead on RTB and admin functions
  • Team to be managed by the Leasehold Development Team Manager

 

 

Changes 1 June 2020
 

1.       Income Collection Service

  • Interviews planned for this date – to be kept under review

 

 

2.       Housing Management Services

·         Interviews planned for this date – to be kept under review

 

 

3.       Leasehold Development Team

  • No further change

 

 

4.       Leasehold Management Functions & Right to Buy

  • 1 x FTE Housing Officer to join the transition team from Income Collection Service
  • This will allow 2 x FTE Officer resources to lead on leasehold management functions.
  • 1 x Leasehold Assistant resource to lead on RTB and admin functions will need to be replaced by agency member of staff up to 1 July

 

 

Changes 1 July 2020
 

1.       Housing Management Services

  • On 1 July all leasehold management services and RTB functions to transfer into the Housing Management Service dependent on meeting key criteria (e.g. development of key processes; training provision; IT system improvements)
  • If all criteria met the transitional team closes down and Leasehold Co-ordinator post reports into the Housing Management Service Manager post
  • If extension required must be authorised by the Head of Housing Management

 

 

2.       Leasehold Development Team

  • No further change

 

 

3.       Leasehold Management Functions & Right to Buy

  • If all criteria met transition team closes and all function move to the Housing Management Service
  • 1 x FTE Housing Officer to join the Housing Management Service
  • Agency post to be ended
  • Leasehold Co-ordinator post reports into the Housing Management Service Manager post

 

 

I will be keeping this plan under continuous review and its successful implementation is dependent on a number of factors not least having feedback from everyone about what is and what isn’t working.

 

If you do have any queries about the above, please let me know.

 

Kind regards

 

 

 

Stuart Coleman

Housing Restructure Update

Dear member,

I hope you and all your loved ones are well.

See attached or below.

This is the latest update from management in regard to the ongoing Consultation in Leasehold, Neighbourhood, Rental Income and Customer Contact Centre.

I have not been able to consult with you on these proposals or call a meeting with you to discuss whether these proposals change the position agreed upon the last time we met on the 11 March 2020.

The position then was for a dispute to be lodged at JNCC and thereafter enable an indicative ballot of members effected by as to what industrial action you are prepared to take.

Obviously the Corona Virus has markedly changed priorities.

The next scheduled JNCC is on the 3 April 2020 – so given that management have moved their position, put some further risk mitigating measures in place and moved the interview dates for ‘at risk’ staff to the 1st of June

Should UNISON lodge the dispute?

Or wait and continue further dialogue?

Please reply to this email and indicate either 1 or 2.

  1. LODGE DISPUTE NOW
  2. DO NOT LODGE AT THIS TIME

Let me know your thoughts –

In solidarity

Stay safe

Patrick Hunter

UNISON Convenor for The Barnet Group

 

 

 

 

 

We Need To Hear From You

IMPORTANT:

We are attending weekly skype meetings with Barnet Council every Wednesday morning.

Barnet UNISON statement:

If you have any questions or concerns email the branch at

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

You can keep up to date with Barnet UNISON here on our

Website here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

Twitter https://twitter.com/barnet_unison

NSL Parking Services Update for Barnet UNISON members

Barnet UNISON has been informed that the NSL Parking Service has been reduced after discussions with Barnet Council.

The service is reducing from approximately 50-55 staff on the streets to only 15 staff working between the hours of 7am and 7 pm.

Full details of Parking in Barnet can be found on the Council website here https://www.barnet.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information-and-advice/covid-19-parking-arrangements

The new rota is five days on and 10 days off.

Barnet UNISON statement:

If you have any concerns email the branch at

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You can keep up to date with Barnet UNISON here on our

Website here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

Twitter https://twitter.com/barnet_unison

Barnet UNISON seek Hazard Payment for frontline workers

TESCOs announced a few days ago that they are giving frontline staff a 10% bonus to recognise their invaluable effort to help feed the nation.

The majority of key workers being asked to go into work and face the risks of contracting COVID 19 are often the lowest paid workers such as:

  • Care workers
  • Cleaners
  • Street Scene workers, Bin workers, street cleansing, drivers etc.
  • School Support staff

In recognition of the risks they are taking every day whilst having to cope with the stress and anxiety of trying to cope at home with all the restrictions COVID 19 is bringing into their lives, Barnet UNISON has taken the following action:

Barnet UNISON have formally requested Barnet Council to adopt a similar bonus payment for key workers for the duration of this crisis.

The Council are considering our request.

Watch this space…………..

 

Barnet UNISON statement:

Please let the branch know what is going on with your employer by emailing

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You can keep up to date with Barnet UNISON here on our

Website here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

Twitter https://twitter.com/barnet_unison

 

What is happening in your workplace: Please read

If your employer is not listening to the government following the lock down announcement as a worker you do have some legal rights to protect your health and safety.

If you are a Barnet UNISON member please let us know immediately by emailing the branch at

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Already some workers have walked out by using this legislation

Employment Rights Act 1996 Section 44 (Health and safety cases).

(1) An employee has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by his employer done on the ground that—

(d) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger persisted) refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work, or

(e) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, he took (or proposed to take) appropriate steps to protect himself or other persons from the danger.

Barnet UNISON statement:

Please let the branch know what is going on with your employer by sending an email to

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You can keep up to date with Barnet UNISON here on our

Website here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

Twitter https://twitter.com/barnet_unison

FAQs Barnet educational settings 22 March 2020

Frequently Asked Questions for Barnet educational settings that are continuing to be open for children of key workers – from Barnet Public Health Team 22 March 2020

What are the Standard Operating Procedures for working with children who may have been exposed to the virus as their parents work with people who have COVID-19 infection?

  • People exposed to the virus, children or adults, should not be attending schools. Significant exposure to the virus that warrant action, if you do not have symptoms, is defined as living in a household with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms of high fever (37.8 degrees or higher) and/or persistent cough. These people should self-isolate at home for 14 days;
  • Parents who work with people with COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. medical and nursing staff or social care workers) wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), that protects them from being exposed to the virus;
  • PPE stock for the NHS and care homes were replenished last week. PPE delivery is continuing into this week too.
  • Therefore, parents who work with COVID-19 suspected people, are unlikely to be exposed to the virus, unprotected;
  • If, however, any parents or staff develop high temperature (37.8 or higher) and/or persistent cough, they must self-isolate at home for 7 days immediately and their children, as members of their household, because they may have been exposed to the virus at that point, will need to be isolated for 14 days. If, during this period, those who did not initially have symptoms now start showing symptoms, they must self-isolate for 7 days, from a day when fist symptom occurred;
  • It is recommended to schools to communicate these messages to all parents who classify as key workers and, every morning, school staff may ask the following questions:
    • Do you or your child or any member of your household have a high temperature (37.8 degrees or higher) and/or a persistent cough? If the answer is yes, they should not be allowed to leave their child at the school.

 

  1. What systems should be put in place to keep the staff safe?

For children and staff who remain at schools, social distancing measures and general hygiene measures should be applied at all times:

  • Washing hands more often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser, if washing basin is not available, when you get home or into work/school, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food;
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands;
  • All staff and children coming to school should avoid all non-essential public transport travel, whenever possible and, outside school hours, should minimise social interactions, as per the national guidelines;
  • In school, keep windows opened, keep a distance of 2m between children and staff, avoid contact sport, no ball games, use of books or keyboards;
  • Activities that can continue is a walk in a playground (but not using equipment that cannot be cleaned after each child) or watching educational programmes or movies;
  • Due to a reduced number of children in school, keeping open only a part of the school would make it easier to maintain regular cleaning;
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is not recommended for frontline staff who do not work with children and adults with COVID-19 symptoms.

 

  1. What is the current advice for staff with underlying health conditions?
  • The main objective of COVID-19 response is to protect our staff and vulnerable residents. To do this, we are recommending that people with underlying health conditions (as defined by Public Health England) must stay at home.This includes all frontline staff underlying health conditions;
  • We understand that, for some frontline staff, this is a particularly difficult decision as it may stop them from continuing in their current role. However, we do strongly advise you to follow the PHE and Barnet Council’s guidelines, in all circumstances. This is because these groups of staff, however healthy they are now, are at increased risk of catching the virus and having more severe illness with potentially serious outcomes;
  • It is unlikely that staff would not be aware or have undetected underlying conditions from the list specified in PHE guidelines. However, if staff are worried that this may be the case, they should contact their GP to confirm.

 

  1. What to do if someone develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) on site?
  • If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in an education setting they should be sent home and advised to follow the staying at home guidance;
  • If a child is awaiting collection, they should be moved, if possible and if appropriate, to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door. Settings should be mindful of individual children’s needs – for example it would not be appropriate for younger children to be alone without adult supervision. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people;
  • If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else;
  • If they need clinical advice, they (or their teacher, parent or guardian) should go online to NHS 111 (or call 111 if they don’t have internet access). In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital;
  • If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell.

 

  1. If someone on site developed COVID-19 symptoms, how do we ensure that the area is cleaned properly?

Public Health England has issued guidance for cleaning public areas for non-healthcare settings if they had a case of suspected COVID-19 infection.

The key things that must be followed are highlighted below. However, please read the full guidance carefully here. <<(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings)>>

  • Cleaning an area with normal household disinfectant after someone with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people;
  • If an area can be kept closed and secure for 72 hours, wait until this time has passed before cleaning. The level of contamination from the virus that might be living on surfaces will have reduced;
  • Wherever possible, wear disposable or washing-up gloves and aprons for cleaning. These should be double-bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours then thrown away in the regular rubbish after cleaning is finished;
  • Use a disposable cloth, first clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then disinfect these surfaces with the cleaning products you normally use. Pay particular attention to frequently touched areas and surfaces, such as bathrooms, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells and door handles;
  • If an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (COVID-19), consider using protection for the eyes, mouth and nose, as well as wearing gloves and an apron;
  • Follow the waste disposal procedure as outlined in the guidance, contaminated waste bags should be stored for 72 hours before being put out for collection;
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning.

Barnet Public Health Team – 22 March 2020

 

Barnet UNISON statement:

Please let the branch know if you are being told something different at your school by sending an email to

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You can keep up to date with Barnet UNISON here on our

Website here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

Twitter https://twitter.com/barnet_unison

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