Meanwhile back in the real world: “Appraisal payments update 2”

Just a quick update.

Barnet UNISON met with the Chief Executive to seek assurances that the payments would be paid as they are contractual and Barnet UNISON has no hesitation in escalating if there are any lengthy delays.

The meeting ended with a commitment that they hoped payments would be paid in August subject to making the payroll deadlines.

However, until the payments are made this is a standing item with Barnet UNISON and will be part of our discussions with our members in our September meetings details of which are below.

Barnet House

  • Wednesday 5 September, 12 noon, Committee room 2
  • Wednesday 12 September, 12.30 pm, Committee room 1
  • Friday 21 September, 12.30 pm, Committee room 1
  • Thursday 27 September, 12.30 pm, Committee room 2

NLBP

  • Thursday 6 September, 12.30 pm, Building 4, Central room
  • Friday 14 September, 1 pm, Building 4, Central room
  • Thursday 20 September, 12.30 pm, Building 2, G2 room
  • Tuesday 25 September, 1 pm, Building 4, Central room

However, if you need some advice or a meeting with a Barnet UNISON rep please contact the office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

Meanwhile back in the real world: “Taxing the sick update 2”

Barnet Council are in a serious financial crisis and are in talks with Capita as to how many services will have to be come back in-house. Staff are already worried with having to cope with more work and less resources without the added stress that the Council may start making mass redundancies in a bid to make more cuts.

It is therefore deeply troubling that the Council have announced that they want to consult on a proposal to deduct pay from staff off sick from work.

From the brief consultation we have had so far it is already very clear that the sickness levels are high with staff with serious illnesses such as cancer, strokes etc. hence we are calling the proposal “Taxing the sick”.

In September 2018 we are going to be consulting with our members on this proposal.

There will be opportunities to discuss the proposal with local reps at a number of Barnet UNISON meetings in September.

Barnet House

  • Wednesday 5 September, 12 noon, Committee room 2
  • Wednesday 12 September, 12.30 pm, Committee room 1
  • Friday 21 September, 12.30 pm, Committee room 1
  • Thursday 27 September, 12.30 pm, Committee room 2

NLBP

  • Thursday 6 September, 12.30 pm, Building 4, Central room
  • Friday 14 September, 1 pm, Building 4, Central room
  • Thursday 20 September, 12.30 pm, Building 2, G2 room
  • Tuesday 25 September, 1 pm, Building 4, Central room

However, if you need some advice or a meeting with a Barnet UNISON rep please contact the office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Meanwhile back in the real world: “Don’t blame our members.”

This is a plea to Barnet residents not to take out their understandable frustration on our members working in Street Scene when their bins are not being taken away or their street cleaned.

For the past 12 months the work force has been squeezed whilst at the same time more flats are being built without any thought that more resources are badly needed to take away the increasing amount of waste and recycling and litter.

It is now well documented that Barnet Council is in a serious financial crisis, week after week the impact of senior management decisions are now being felt in Street Scene services. Cuts backs on staff and overtime cuts for street cleansing, inevitably means work will not be done.

We are getting regular feedback from our members that the public are furious when their bins are not collected or that litter is not being taken away on time.

Our members are proud to work for Barnet and frustrated that resources needed are not being provided.

If you are unhappy with the service please contact Street-based services (Including rubbish collection, potholes or graffiti) on Tel: 020 8359 4600 or Tel: 020 8359 2000.

For details on the current financial crisis click on an earlier post http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2018/06/08/fundingcrisis-at-barnet-council/ and here http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/16284942.Council_taking_urgent_action_as_budget_gap_soars/

“Both #Capita contracts are now on the menu”

Attention: All Barnet UNISON Capita members

On Thursday 19 July 2018 Barnet Council Policy and Resources Committee agreed that Options 2 and 3 will be tested in a full business case. This mean all staff working on both Capita contracts are now included in the options.

The full business case will be presented to a committee in the Autumn.

In the meantime Barnet UNISON will be hosting meetings in Barnet House and NLBP for our members in September 2018.

However, if you need some advice or a meeting with a Barnet UNISON rep please contact the office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

 

 

No Pay Progression payments this month

Some Barnet Council staff may have received the following email explaining why the payments have not been made. Please see email below:

“We are aware that all staff will be expecting their pay progression to be paid imminently. Unfortunately there has been a delay due to the final stage of moderation needing to take place.

The final stage of moderation is for SCB to ratify the ratings awarded to staff and this is being discussed at SCB next week. We recognise that this delay will be disappointing for you but we also need to make sure that any pay progression awarded is fair and equitable, and in line with the pay progression policy.

After the discussion at SCB next week we will be able to share more information with you and let you know next steps. Please note that the pay progression awards will be back dated to 1 April 2018.

We want to thank all staff in advance for your patience and understanding of this delay whilst we work to make sure you are properly recognised and rewarded for your performance and contribution.”

Firstly, it is disappointing to have only learnt this news so late in the day.

Barnet UNISON has already sought assurances that the payments will be made as we believe they are contractual.

We are already lobbying senior management for details as to when the payments will be made.

In September 2018, Barnet UNISON will be holding workplace meetings with members in order we can discuss a number of serious matters that impact on all of our members such as

  • Performance Review payments
  • Sick pay Deductions
  • Capita
  • Restructures and Council Finances

Please make sure you find time to attend one of these meetings.

“Our members need water!”

“UK weather forecast: Temperatures ‘could break UK record’ as pollution alerts issued in London”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/temperatures-could-break-uk-record-as-pollution-alerts-issued-in-london-a3896566.html

Spare a thought for all workers who are currently working outside.

In Barnet Council we have a large workforce who work outside.

Bin workers, Street Cleansing, Parks are but a few of the services provided by Barnet Council to the residents.

We are proud of our members who have had to cope with relentless cuts to the size of the workforce at a time when new housing developments are springing up everywhere.

Our members had a difficult time during the winter weather, but the current heatwave is presenting a serious threat to their health and wellbeing.

This is London.

We all know there are serious air pollution issues in London. The long term exposure to air pollution will undoubtedly have an impact on workers who work outside.

It is therefore a surprise that when Barnet UNISON requested that staff are readily supplied with water and sun block to help prevent heat exhaustion, it was turned down.

This is even more difficult to understand when we are being told temperatures could reach 37C.

Our members are working with less staff but far more work as Barnet continues to grow.

Our own members are equally upset to see an increase in fly tipping and bins uncollected. But they are not the decision makers. They are not the people making cuts to services.

Barnet UNISON is now taking this matter up with our Chief Executive as we fear for the safety of our members.

We will update our members as we have more information.

Barnet Homes ASSIST

Image result for barnet group

Barnet Group ASSIST proposals

 

Barnet UNISON is currently in negotiations with The Barnet Group in relation to the recommendations below.

Needless to say, Barnet UNISON is opposed to cuts to this vital front line service and opposed to the night operator service being outsourced.

The proposed recommendation to move to bench marked salaries would have grave implications for ALL Barnet Group staff irrespective of whether they are employed on a traditional Barnet Homes contract, which is protected by the 2006 TUPE agreement from LBB, or, a TBG Flex contract.

If Barnet Group Management continue with the intention to break with the current nationally agreed pay structure in the Barnet Homes and the TBG Flex paystructure, Barnet UNISON will be left with no alternative other than consult with ALL employees that would potentially be effected.

 

The Barnet Homes Board approved the following on Monday 18th June.

 

Recommendation

It is fully acknowledged that Assist is an essential and greatly valued service and the focus will be on how the service is supported to grow. However, the current cost base does not support the services ability to bid for new business and cannot continue to be provided in its existing form if the growth aspirations are to be achieved.

 

The proposed changes are not made to cut costs just to make the numbers balance, but are made to modernise the service. The result of the changes are lower costs as we plan to combine our call centre functions and tender the current night operators service. Jobs will be offered in the call centre where they are available but they will be different.

 

The measures that need to be taken if Assist is to continue to provide an operator and mobile response service to its current customers and to win additional services to support the growth imperative are stated below.

 

There have been 4 different options that have been consulted on with the Assist staff and following feedback the following is recommended.

 

  • The Assist service provides a limited operator service during office hours and buys in the out of hours call monitoring.
  • All Assist daytime operators, mobile response officers, management and admin teams will be matched to the bench marked high rate salaries, aligned to NJC Outer London Spinal points.
  • Enhancements and shift allowances will no longer be paid.
  • 3.3 full time equivalent operator posts (125 hours) will be co-located to work within the contact centre carrying out the same duties as they currently do, during office hours (8am-6pm), this option will add another facet to the Barnet Homes Call Centre further supporting the diversity of work that this service area carries.
  • The current night operators will be consulted with and will either be TUPE’d to the procured provider, be redeployed within The Barnet Group, or be made redundant.
  • Where the impact of the changes to individual’s salaries and contractual obligations are impacted negatively by -10% (gross) or higher they will be offered redeployment or redundancy if a suitable alternative cannot be found.
  • All mobile response officer (MRO) work patterns will be reviewed to ensure that there is full cover for the service and capacity for growth
  • There will be a reduction of one senior post
  • The standby rate will remain at £26.76, this will be cost neutral for the Barnet MRO’s and an increase for the Brent MRO’s
  • Removal of the car allowance with all mileage paid at 60p per mile.

 

FAT CAT PROFITS

 

‘Taxing the Sick’: Barnet Council Sick Pay deductions consultation begins

Barnet UNISON has been formally notified by Barnet Council of it’s intention to consult on whether to impose what we are calling a ‘tax on the sick’. It is important for all Barnet UNISON members that we~ reject the proposal. However, the Council is insistent that it wants to commence consultation before coming to a decision later in the year.

37% of sickness is short term sickness

63% of sickness is long term sickness.

This means that those with serious health conditions such as stress, cancer, strokes etc are being targeted by our Council as their time off work is contributing to the high sickness levels.

It is Barnet UNISON’s view that this is both discriminatory and unacceptable.

Furthermore we have serious concerns about the process for staff with long term health conditions to be able to access ill health retirement options. Before Capita took over this service we had hardly any complaints about the occupational health service provided by a local GP based in Barnet. Now it is a private company and is causing widespread problems across all in-house services. It is important that for those trying to come to terms with long term health issues that they should be treated with dignity and respect. They do not need ongoing delays to a process which is not complicated. In our view a new local occupational health provider should be given a contract to see how they impact on the length of delays for those off sick still waiting for a decision.

As part of this consultation we have asked for a breakdown of the types of medical conditions for both short and long term sickness reporting.

We have also requested for a breakdown of return to work meetings as we are hearing across some services they are either not happening or sporadically. It is important that when someone is off sick that they have their one to one meeting.

We are also asking for a breakdown of sickness meetings in order to understand how frequent they are taking place across the services.

It’s important that staff understand that the Council has a duty of care towards their staff. If someone is off sick it is critical that the Council has used meetings with staff to understand why someone is off sick.

What happens next?

We will continue to update our members on the consultation and towards the end we will conduct an indicative strike ballot as we believe that this proposal to ‘tax the sick’ must be dropped. We need to hear directly from our members as to what they think of this proposal. Keep a lookout for our weekly eNEWS and any email/text messages from our branch office.

Barnet UNISON has produced a number of flyers which members can download or share with work colleagues here

2018.07.16. SICK PAY leaflet v1

2018.07.16. SICK PAY leaflet v2

2018.07.16. SICK PAY leaflet v3

2018.07.16. SICK PAY leaflet v4

If you have any questions please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

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