£40 Billion pay out!

£40 Billion pay out!

As our members hear their employer is not going to pay out any nationally agreed pay award this year, they see this!


Incredible….but perhaps not and it gets better


We the Public… must learn to ‘tolerate’ bankers bonuses according to Conservative peer Lord Griffiths.

Small comfort to those families where redundancy letters are dropping through the letter box!

Remember October last year a politician said “we’re all in this together”

We must tighten our belts, accept pay freezes whilst those in the city thumb their noses and award themselves bonuses….it just makes me…..

Freezy easyCouncil…..brrrrrrr

Barnet is freezing…..and it looks like there could be some disruption to services of the rest of the week.

Staff should keep an eye on the council web site http://www.barnet.gov.uk/highlights.htm

We are getting lots of calls about getting in to work. Staff should make sure they ring their line manager if they are experiencing problems.

Last September the council agreed in September 2009 an Emergency Civil Emergency Plan which you can download on the council web site here


or here


Customer ‘don’t care Services????

Customer ‘don’t care’ Services


Aaaaaarghhhhh…….over the break I had the please of dealing with a private sector organisation as my phone line went dead before Christmas.  I am really, really sensitive about customer services now particularly as it is something Future Shape has identified as some thing that needs to be  improving.

We are being told we need to compare ourselves with the private sector as they set the new standards……I can’t speak for anyone else but I have not been impressed by customer services for some of the biggest providers in particular, the public utilities that used to be under public ownership but have now been sold off to large multi national companies based outside the UK.

I had to ring a 0845 number with my mobile, which concerned me and I had to make several calls all of which ended up in me hanging u p because I was going mad listening to the background music! 

I am sure this is familiar experience for many of you:

Press 1 for ……….

Press 2 for…………….

Press 3 for …………….

Press 4 for…………….

Thank you, in order to help us (?) help you please choose from the following

Press 1 for ……….

Press 2 for …………..

Press 3 for ………………………..

Thank you, we really want to help you, but first can you check you have done the following,

To help us (?) help you please choose from the following

Press 1 for …….

Press 2 for……

Press 3 for……

Or hold and a customer services operator will deal with you shortly……

Next you hear these dreaded words…

“We are experiencing high volume of calls and waiting times could be up to 30 minutes………in the meanwhile…….why not listen to some music while you wait….”

To listen to classical music Press1

To listen to jazz music Press 2

To listen to drum & bass music Press 3

To listen to easy listening music Press 4 

I eventually spoke to a real human being after choosing the option I was interested in purchasing their service (a potential new customer). 

Two visits from an engineer later I now have my phone back and a promise that I will not be paying for my phone for the next two months. I also took the opportunity to provide feedback on their customer services. I pointed out that all I want is a number to ring. I want someone to pick up the phone and sort my problems out. I added that I don’t want or like pushing option buttons and to be honest I have not met anyone who thinks this is good idea. My question is what customer feedback determined this is what we wanted? I have never been asked if I want this sort of customer service and that is for all services I pay for in the private sector. 

I ask this question knowing that this year will see the creation of a Customer Service Organisation see page 99 of the Future Shape Cabinet report


I have been asked by council staff

“Which services or staff will be going into this Organisation?”

I don’t know. I am expecting a meeting to be arranged to discuss sometime soon, but I would guess it could mean all staff who deal directly with customers/residents/citizens for their service. This obviously has implications not just for those staff but also for the service they leave.  

Lots and lots of questions which I hope we will be able to work through this year……………….

For those of you interested in this issue here are few links

1. Guardian


2. Video’s


Do you need to outsource?


Downside of outsourcing



Copenhagen…NEWSFLASH! The world is flat…..?

Remember you heard it first from our Barnet UNISON international reporter Hands Christian Anderson live from the Copenhagen talks.

Apparently Barack Obama is flying in today to seek an urgently remedy in case the western seaboard of the United States literally falls off the map!

‘World is flat experts’ the Grimm brothers speculated whether the arrival of Barack would mean a fairytale ending for the talks in Copenhagen!

Barnet UNISON hopes world leaders do come to the senses and come to a fair and genuine agreement over Climate Change which will make a difference to people’s lives across the world.

Barnet Sheltered Housing residents win Judicial Review

BARNET Council failed to comply with disability law when it decided to cut sheltered housing warden services, a High Court judge has ruled.


“Sheltered housing residents brought a judicial review in the court in The Strand on December 2 and 3, in a linked case against both Barnet and Portsmouth Councils. “

To read more click here


and here in the Guardian


This is a demonstration to those in the Apathy Party who say there is no point doing anything there is nothing you can do. We still live in a democracy, we can still largely speak freely and organise opposition to proposals. Residents along with Barnet Community Campaign and Barnet Trades Council which includes the local council trade unions have been actively campaigning for this service since the decision to delete the service was made in the budget proposals early this year.


What it will mean for residents, staff and future of the services will be dependent on what Barnet do next. As the Council were reported in the article above as saying this raises “profound issues for the working of local government”.


A decision to Appeal is being considered, I have no doubt the cost of funding an Appeal will be carefully looked at especially at a time when public spending is under ever increasing public scrutiny.


We will be keeping our members posted on any developments. 


“Save our Wardens…Save our Wardens…….Save our Wardens…..”

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