Coach Escorts Update on cuts to pay

Dear Members

We understand that some coach escorts have been sent letters stating that they are having their hours cut.

UNISON has called a meeting with BELS to discuss what is going on.

After the meeting we will be organising one to one meetings with our members and BELS to go through your case.

If you want a one to one meeting please contact the Barnet UNISON office on contactus@barnetunison.org.uk or leave a message on our voicemail on 0208 3599 2088

 

What happened to the 11 Barnet Council Care Homes and day centres in 1999?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barnet Council back in 1998 made a decision that it would outsource all of its Elderly Services residential and day care services.

They not only wanted to get rid of the workforce they handed over the property to the lucky contractor.

Imagine that 11 prime real estate locations and they only required to build four new settings (they only built three new homes, more on that in a later post).

Barnet UNISON commissioned a report to counter this proposal.

Here is what we recommended to Barnet Council back in 1999

 

Recommendations 

We recommend that:

  1. Barnet maintains ownership of its residential homes and continues to

    directly employ staff engaged in these homes. Any reorganisation and

    redirection of resources in favour of specialist or domiciliary care should be in

    the context of in-house provision and joint work with health organisations,

    rather than transfers to the independent sector.

 

  1. The residential and domiciliary services, including home care, day care and

    respite care, be subject to a comprehensive Best Value service review which

    includes a detailed examination of quality and cost.

  1. The council works with the trade unions and staff to develop the in-house

    service. As part of this a review of the operation and management of the

    service should be conducted with the full involvement of the trade unions, users and the wider community in accordance with the Best Value requirements .

  1. Alternative funding options and the impact of phased improvement work on

    the capital programme require further detailed investigation before any

    decisions are made.

 

You can read the FULL report here Barnet Res Care 1999 report

 

Needless to say, our report was ignored, and the staff and Council properties handed over to contractors.

Next post will be on what happened next?

 

Did we get high quality care homes fit for the future?

 

What happened to the work force?

 

End.

Barnet UNISON request the right to speak on behalf of 93 Covid Heroes

On Tuesday 24 August 2021 Barnet UNISON wrote to the Cllr Rajput Sachin Chair of the Adults & Safeguarding Committee

Extract below:

“ I am writing to you today on behalf of our members who provide care services at Apthorp care home.

 

 

On Friday 20 August 2021, 93 staff were informed that as a result of a Council decision to close Apthorp residential home on 31 October 2021 they are all at risk of redundancy.

 

 

This decision has understandably left our members devasted especially considering their hard work looking after vulnerable residents during the height of Covid when there were no vaccines available.

 

 

I must profess I am also concerned about the speed in which the home is to close. These are vulnerable residents and the consequences of moving can sometimes be fatal.

 

 

Our members want to know the real reason as to why the home is closing.

 

For your information these are the questions we submitted to Your Choice Barnet and we are seeking answers:

 

 

  1. Who made the decision to close Apthorp?

 

  1. When did the meeting on the future of Apthorp take place?

 

  1. What information about Apthorp was provided to the decision makers?

 

  1. Please provide copies of the information provided to the decision makers.

 

  1. Please provide a copy of the minutes of the meeting and the actions agreed.

 

I note that there is an Adults and Safeguarding Committee meeting on Tuesday 14 September 2021 at 7 pm.

 

 

Our members have asked that we seek permission from the Chair of this Committee in order we can make our case for this decision to be delayed.

 

I am formally requesting that UNISON is allowed to make representation to this committee.

 

 

Our members will be attending this meeting it would be helpful if they could see that this committee will do the right thing and provide these care workers with an opportunity to put their case against closure.

 

Stay safe.

 

Best wishes

 

John Burgess

 

Branch Secretary.

 

Barnet UNISON

As of Thursday 26 August 2021, we have not yet had a response to this request.

End.

Update: 93 Covid heroes face the sack

Monday 23 August 2021

Care staff working at Apthorp residential and day care service were told last Friday 20 August 2021 that Barnet Council had made the decision to close Apthorp.

There are approximately 93 care staff working at this location.

Apthorp provides services for vulnerable older people.

Apthorp was originally owned by Barnet Council until it was sold off with 10 other Council residential homes and day services to Catalyst Housing who contracted Fremantle Trust to take over the Council care workforce.

The current Apthorp buildings were part of a deal which meant Catalyst Housing were given all 11 real estate locations to develop for themselves and in return they would provide modern state of the art residential and day care services on four of the sites.

Only three were built.

What were the staff been told?

In a letter from their employer it states:

“the Council and Your Choice Barnet have taken the decision to vacate Apthorp Care Home by 31 October 2021. You will be aware that we have been carrying out some fire safety works in the building. Whilst all emergency works have been carried out, further surveys have taken place which highlight that significant levels of repairs are needed. The scope of works required in Apthorp Care Centre are extensive and would be extremely disruptive to residents of the home.”

At the meeting some staff responded to this devastating news by claiming that moving vulnerable residents from Apthorp to another home at this time will result in blood on someone’s hands because some of the residents won’t react well to the move.

There is documented evidence of the serious and sometimes fatal risks when moving vulnerable and elderly residents out of their homes. What is worrying about this plan is that Barnet Council are attempting to fast track the move of residents in less than two months which does not provide ample time to prepare and support vulnerable residents.

“Two decades to run down a service, wasted millions of public monies and now 93 Covid heroes are to be sacked.  

The world is upside down, seriously it is less than 12 months since our members were trying to care for vulnerable residents struggling to deal with Covid. There was no vaccine back then and the lack of PPE was an issue for members who were risking their own lives and those of their own family every day they went into work.

I won’t forget the fear in the voices of care workers as Covid was letting rip across Care homes. I can never begin to understand the terror our members were going through every day and all for the magnificent sum of £8.72 per hour! So here we are now August 2021 and our members have been told their workplace is closing, through no fault of their own.

Barnet UNISON will be supporting every single one of our members at this time we will also be seeking to find out who made this decision and why, this is not over. Keep watching this space…….”

(John Burgess Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON).

“The workers at the care home and day centre will have their lives thrown up in the air some few months after banners at the care home proclaimed them as heroes for how they dealt with the pandemic. There has been absolutely NO engagement with staff, residents, their families or the trade unions at any point to consider how Apthorp could be made viable. The cornerstone of activism for people with disabilities – nothing about us without us – has been utterly and completely ignored.

The elderly and the workforce are ignored and presumably they are just furniture to be moved around as The Great and The Good see fit. They are not worthy of any consideration. They have received no apology for this shocking turn of affairs.”

(Helen Davies Branch Chair Barnet UNISON.)

“We know the Care workers are ‘fit for purpose’ – they worked through the most unprecedented times in living history giving care to the most vulnerable in our community – in many cases end of life care to the clients they obviously love while putting themselves and their loved ones in danger to deliver care for their patients.

Their reward? The Barnet Group have announced their plan to make 93 Covid Heroes redundant. To sack the very workers that a few months ago were described as ‘Heroes’ because the company they work for obviously didn’t complete any meaningful due diligence when transferring staff and buildings from Fremantle, begs the question as to who should be facing redundancy.” (Patrick Hunter Barnet UNISON Convenor Barnet Homes.)

“The planned closure of the Apthorpe care home is the latest Adult Care policy decision that will have a major impact on service users, job losses for care workers and another policy decision that will ultimately cost council taxpayers dearly.

It marks 22 years of knee-jerk decison-making by Barnet Council which havve been devoid of economic and social impact analysis and cost benefit analysis since Barnet’s care homes were privatised to a Catalyst/Fremantle ‘partnership’.

Some partnership when eleven homes left the Council and only three return twenty years later. So what has happened to the land of the other eight homes?”

(Dexter Whitfield, Director, European Services Strategy Unit)

End.

Note to Editors: Contact details: Helen Davies Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk

More On Mandatory Vaccines

Colleagues from Adult Health and Social Care are also affected by this new legislation as anyone attending care homes as part of their work will also have to be vaccinated against COVID. We are having constructive and positive discussions with the Senior Management Team to avoid colleagues being dismissed. However, our members are rightly concerned at the potential for divisions to open up in teams around this question.

Additional key questions are: how will the employer keep the information as to who is vaccinated and who is not, and how/when will this be shared with staff and with UNISON. This is all new territory for us and not one we wanted to be in, so all questions and suggestions are welcome with the aim of doing our utmost to protect everyone from harm at work.

UNISON has now published its guidance just this week – please read here

Your Union Needs You! – How to Win £20

Recruit a member and win £20! The more members we have in our union and our branch, the more weight we carry with the employer. It’s that simple. We negotiate ALL the terms and conditions of your employment with the main Council employers and being a member of the union means you contribute directly to what we negotiate. We consult regularly with our membership via online surveys, meetings and we can be contacted by phone on 020 8359 2088 or by email at contactus@barnetunison.org.uk.

Over the last year we have grown in membership but there is much more to do. Many of you will be in teams where you hardly know any new members. Why not drop them a line or a phone call and ask them if they would like to join the union?

For every member who joins because you spoke to them about it, we will give you £20. This will be paid after the first subscription has been received from the new member. What you do with the £20 is up to you. You can even split it with the new member.

 

Branch officers and staff are excluded from the scheme, this is directed specifically at our rank and file members and activists.

The form you will need to complete is simple to do and you can get this by contacting the branch office. To order your recruitment bundle contact the branch office on 020 8359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

What is a Green Rep?

These are members who will take up issues of climate change in the branch and look at ways we can shift employers to become greener. This means more than putting things in the correct rubbish container. Find out what it could mean for you here.

Click here to read UNISON’s policy on climate change, the environment and the workplace.

Have Your Say On Pay!

 

“Despite their courage and sacrifice throughout COVID-19, council and school workers have been offered 1.75%. With inflation at 3.9%, that’s a real terms pay cut. UNISON is launching a consultation and strongly recommend members vote to reject such an unfair offer.” – UNISON

This ballot will begin later in August. Check we have your correct details for your ballot: https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison/

      • Most importantly is your name spelt correctly?
      • Is your address correct?
      • Is your job title correct?
      • Do we have the correct employer?
      • Do we have the correct department?

Read more about this campaign here

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