Breaking News: Barnet UNISON submits Cost of Living Crisis claim to Barnet Council contractors

The following communications has been sent by Barnet UNISON to the following contractors who deliver services on behalf of Barnet Council.

  • Capita
  • ISS
  • BELS
  • Blue 9 Security
  • The Barnet Group
  • Norse cleaning
  • Nsl

 

Dear Contractor

On Monday 6 June 2022, Barnet UNISON, GMB and NEU submitted a Joint Trade Union Cost of Living Crisis claim to Barnet Council on behalf of all our members.

In the space of a week, we now some Petrol pump prices have reached £2 per litre with no sign that this will stop at this price.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-s-most-expensive-petrol-prices-cheapest-pump-prices-reach-ps2-capital-b1005124.html

I am submitting the same emergency Cost of Living Crisis claim to your organisation on behalf of UNISON and GMB members.

We are submitting the same claim to all contractors commissioned by Barnet Council to deliver services.

For the purposes of transparency, we are copying in the Chief Executive of Barnet Council.

Introduction:

National Pay Bargaining has failed to deliver meaningful improvements in pay for many of our members. Our members have endured a decade of pay freezes and below average pay awards which has seen our members lose on average 27.5% from the value of their pay since 2010.

Whilst we wait for the national pay negotiations to reach an outcome our members are facing the fastest fall in living standards since the 1950s. Inflation is forecast to peak at over 10% this year, the sharp rise in the cost of living is hitting our members hard. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has warned economic conditions are now unlikely to return to pre-Covid levels until at least 2024.

The UK’s biggest supermarket chain, Tesco, predicts food price inflation will soon hit 5%. The cost of many supermarket staples has increased far more than this already – the average price of pasta increased 41% last year and tinned tomatoes went up 29%.

Within these figures, some costs are rising at an unprecedented rate, such as gas bills at 28.8%, petrol and oil at 21.4%, and electricity bills at 19.2%.

What is of concern for our members is that the support measures offered by the government are not enough.

The Joint Trade Unions welcome the “Cost-of-Living approach: Debt and Financial Vulnerabilities workstream” report going to Policy & Resources Committee on 8 June 2022. (https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s72786/Cost%20of%20Living%20approach%20Debt%20and%20Financial%20Vulnerabilities%20workstream.pdf )

In particular we agree with Recommendation 3 which states notes the urgency of the cost-of-living challenges facing residents”. Some of our lowest paid members live and work in the London Borough of Barnet.

Poorer households are currently experiencing higher inflation – on average – than better-off households

As Trade Unions we recognise that we need to act in the interests of our membership in these unprecedented times which is why we have tabled three proposals to address some of the concerns raised on a daily basis by our members.

  1. Travel to Work payment

The cost of fuel is driving up prices both for car users and for those using public transport.

In terms of public transport costs between 2009 – 21 Bus & coach fares have gone up 88% and Rail fares have gone up 55%.

Petrol and diesel costs are at a historic high. Filling up a tank costs £17 more than just one year ago, but HMRC mileage rates have not been updated since 2011/12.

There are staff, keyworkers, who have no choice but to travel to work. They are not able to work from home. Throughout the COVID pandemic they have had to keep travelling to work and incurring their travel costs at a time when many other workers have saved money because they were able to work from home.

 Barnet UNISON/GMB is asking for a Travel to Work payment to be paid each month.

 

  1. Home Working payment

The COVID Pandemic forced home working on many employers. We now have a hybrid pattern of working where staff are still working from home with occasional days at the office.

Energy prices rose even more sharply from April 2022, when the price cap received an enormous lift and the average bill increased from £1,277 to approximately £2,000 a year.

In terms of some escalating costs which we believe impact on the Home worker, between 2009 – 21 House prices have risen by 53% and Electricity bills by 65%.

The Emergency Cost of Living Crisis has changed things dramatically. The energy bill hikes are putting many of our members under financial insecurity especially in light of further energy bill increases in the Autumn.

It is only fair that the employer should contribute to energy costs for those staff working from home.

Barnet UNISON/GMB is asking for a Home Working payment to be paid each month.

  1. COVID Recognition Payment

Last year the trade unions requested a COVID Recognition payment as a sign of goodwill and recognition that many of the frontline workers had continued to deliver services right through the Pandemic and when the vaccine was not available. Our request was turned down. As previously stated in our Cost-of-Living Crisis proposal many of our lowest paid are under serious financial pressure and they want a payment in recognition of what they did during the height of the COVID pandemic.

 Barnet UNISON/GMB is asking that Barnet Council makes a one-off COVID-19 recognition payment.

 

End.

 

 

National Pay Claim lodged with employers: It’s £2,000 or RPI*

 

UNISON calls for a substantial pay rise of £2K or RPI for all local government & school workers

UNISON, GMB and Unite lodged a pay claim for all council and school workers employed on NJC pay in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Monday 6 June.  The claim calls for a substantial increase of either £2,000 or RPI (whichever is greater) on all spinal column points, from 1 April 2022.

The full claim has been submitted to the Employers’ Side of the NJC.

Click on the link below to read the NJC pay campaign bulleting with more information about the pay claim and how your branch can get involved in campaigning for a decent pay rise.

https://msgfocus.com/files/amf_unison/project_131/We_Need_More_NJC_pay_2022_Bulletin_01.pdf

 

Click on the link below to visit UNISON’s NJC pay campaign webpage ‘We need more’. This webpage will be updated with lots of campaign resources.

https://bit.ly/3x8DU48

*RPI = Retail Price Index

End.

Joint Trade Union Emergency Cost of Living Crisis Pay claim.

Introduction:

National Pay Bargaining has failed to deliver meaningful improvements in pay for many of our members. Our members have endured a decade of pay freezes and below average pay awards which has seen our members lose on average 27.5% from the value of their pay since 2010.

Whilst we wait for the national pay negotiations to reach an outcome our members are facing the fastest fall in living standards since the 1950s. Inflation is forecast to peak at over 10% this year, the sharp rise in the cost of living is hitting our members hard. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has warned economic conditions are now unlikely to return to pre-Covid levels until at least 2024.

The UK’s biggest supermarket chain, Tesco, predicts food price inflation will soon hit 5%. The cost of many supermarket staples has increased far more than this already – the average price of pasta increased 41% last year and tinned tomatoes went up 29%.

Within these figures, some costs are rising at an unprecedented rate, such as gas bills at 28.8%, petrol and oil at 21.4%, and electricity bills at 19.2%.

What is of concern for our members is that the support measures offered by the government are not enough.

The Joint Trade Unions welcome the “Cost-of-Living approach: Debt and Financial Vulnerabilities workstream” report going to Policy & Resources Committee on 8 June 2022. (https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s72786/Cost%20of%20Living%20approach%20Debt%20and%20Financial%20Vulnerabilities%20workstream.pdf )

In particular we agree with Recommendation 3 which states notes the urgency of the cost-of-living challenges facing residents”. Some of our lowest paid members live and work in the London Borough of Barnet.

As Trade Unions we recognise that we need to act in the interests of our membership in these unprecedented times which is why we have tabled three proposals to address some of the concerns raised on a daily basis by our members.

 

  1. Travel to Work payment

The cost of fuel is driving up prices both for car users and for those using public transport.

 

In terms of public transport costs between 2009 – 21 Bus & coach fares have gone up 88% and Rail fares have gone up 55%.

 

Petrol and diesel costs are at a historic high. Filling up a tank costs £17 more than just one year ago, but HMRC mileage rates have not been updated since 2011/12.

 

There are staff, keyworkers, who have no choice but to travel to work. They are not able to work from home. Throughout the COVID pandemic they have had to keep travelling to work and incurring their travel costs at a time when many other workers have saved money because they were able to work from home.

 

Joint Trade Unions  is asking for a Travel to Work payment to be paid each month.

 

  1. Home Working payment

The COVID Pandemic forced home working on many employers. We now have a hybrid pattern of working where staff are still working from home with occasional days at the office.

 

Energy prices rose even more sharply from April 2022, when the price cap received an enormous lift and the average bill increased from £1,277 to approximately £2,000 a year.

 

In terms of some escalating costs which we believe impact on the Home worker, between 2009 – 21 House prices have risen by 53% and Electricity bills by 65%.

The Emergency Cost of Living Crisis has changed things dramatically. The energy bill hikes are putting many of our members under financial insecurity especially in light of further energy bill increases in the Autumn.

 

It is only fair that the employer should contribute to energy costs for those staff working from home.

 

Joint Trade Unions is asking for a Home Working payment to be paid each month.

 

  1. COVID Recognition Payment

Last year the trade unions requested a COVID Recognition payment as a sign of goodwill and recognition that many of the frontline workers had continued to deliver services right through the Pandemic and when the vaccine was not available. Our request was turned down. As previously stated in our Cost-of-Living Crisis proposal many of our lowest paid are under serious financial pressure and they want a payment in recognition of what they did during the height of the COVID pandemic.

 

Joint Trade Unions is asking that Barnet Council makes a one-off COVID-19 recognition payment.

 

Joint Trade Unions = Barnet UNISON, GMB, NEU. 

End.

UNISON General Secretary responds to The Barnet Group UNISON reps.

 

The Barnet Group UNISON Reps wrote to Christina MacAnea, UNISON General Secretary, about the plight of workers in TBG and what its like being 2nd class Public Servants and the lack of access to the Local Government Pension Scheme for our members.

We received this response:

 

Dear Patrick

Good to hear from you again. Thanks for your email. Like you I am hopeful that in those councils that are now controlled by Labour councillors we can  get positive progress and recognition for the work our members do.

I am planning to write to all new Labour council leaders asking them to meet with Unison and work with us to deliver decent  pay  and conditions for local government workers, prioritise insourcing and support our campaign for a national social care service among other issues. 

Not all these councils have formally selected their  leaders and my letter will go once we have this information.  We are also hoping to work with the Labour Group on the Local Government Association.

I know what a great job you have been doing to support our members in Barnet during really difficult  times. 

 I understand from the region that the new council leadership have already contacted the branch. Here’s hoping having a Labour controlled council gives you and the branch an opportunity for genuine partnership working.

Best wishes 

Christina 

Payroll issues, Accident reporting, PPE for our depot members

Payroll issues

The Cost Of Living Crisis is getting worse. We want to make sure all our members are getting paid correctly.

 

Accidents at Work.

Unfortunately, accidents happen at work. It is REALLY important that our members report the accidents. Your supervisor must take details from you and record the incident on the Councils Accident/Injury system.

If you are injured whilst carrying out your job this is called industrial injury. This means that if you are off sick you don’t need to worry about your pay running out.

If you are having a problem reporting your accident, please contact your UNISON rep immediately.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Your employer must provide this to you by law. If you need new PPE speak to your supervisor. If you are experiencing problems obtaining PPE please contact your UNISON rep.

PPE is there to protect you.

To view our flyer click on the link below.

2021.09.22 depot flyer

End.

Have You Voted in the Service Group Elections?

Barnet UNISON falls in the Local Government Service Group and from 28th April all our members will be invited to vote for the London Delegates to this Service Group. This service group decides the policies and campaigns (including pay) we want in relation to our employers: Councils and the outsourced services of these Councils.

If you get emails from UNISON then you will have been sent a link to vote in the Service Group Elections. In the London area they seem to have been sent out last Friday 29th April approximately 8.30pm. It will have come from CES with a subject line UNISON Service Group Executive Elections.

For a demonstration about how to vote online, click the below link:

Have You Voted in the Service Group Elections

The Tories Are Out Of Barnet!

To quote CeCe Peniston: “Finally!” (For those of us young enough to remember popular music of the 90s) https://youtu.be/xk8mm1Qmt-Y

On behalf of our members our Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary, John Burgess, has written to the newly elected Council Leader, Barry Rawlings, congratulating him on the success of the Labour Party and requesting to meet with him.

This is John making a statement to all Barnet UNISON members

For 20 years our members have had to deal with brutality of outsourcing and attacks on our time off to represent members. Our members in the Barnet Group, Capita, NSL, BELS and ISS will be expecting to see positive change for them. UNISON’s General Secretary, Christine McAnea has also been written to requesting her support for assistance in our discussions with Barnet Labour.

We’ll be providing regular updates to our members and our wider UNISON family and trade union community on our progress.

End.

UNISON’s Service Group Elections Begin!

Barnet UNISON falls in the Local Government Service Group and from 28th April all our members will be invited to vote for the London Delegates to this Service Group. This service group decides the policies and campaigns (including pay) we want in relation to our employers: Councils and the outsourced services of these Councils.

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