*** Pensions: New Annual Benefit Statements to be issued by Capita.

 

Dear Barnet UNISON Members

Sadly the Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) issued by Capita Pensions service this September to LBB staff (not schools) was wrong.

We are urgently seeking confirmation as to when the updated ABS will be sent out as we are aware that the Pension Administration Service is being handed over to a new Company at the end of next month.

Members are understandably worried that if their ABS is wrong it will be hard chasing Capita for data once the service has been handed over to the new company.

Barnet UNISON has also been made aware of a number of other errors different to the one above and we are in contact with the Council on behalf of members to try to resolve these matters.

Lastly, it is important to note that the error that led to the inaccurate ABS being sent out to staff was a PAYROLL error.

The Payroll service is delivered by Capita out of the Belfast office. This service is not being handed to the new company.

Barnet UNISON is concerned that if pay roll errors continue then the Pension Service will not produce accurate Pension figures for members of the scheme. We have repeatedly raised this concern with the Council and will continue to do so for our members.

End.

 

Passenger Transport COVID Update 1.  

Thursday 24 September 2020.

Barnet UNISON has been contacted by coach escorts and drivers about COVID safety concerns since the service began at the beginning of September.

The issues are

  1. Overcrowded minibuses which have 10 or more pupils on a bus.
  2. Overcrowded minicabs
  3. COVID Cleansing of private contract vehicles

Barnet UNISON made the point that Government Guidance was a minimum standard and that we want a higher standard of protection for our members especially in light of the fact that a significant number of this workforce had been self-isolating.

Barnet Council have agreed to look at the numbers on the vehicles and the cleansing regime for the private contractor vehicles.

We want to assure all of our members working in Passenger Transport that your safety and welfare are central to what we do.

If you have any concerns please contact the branch on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Barnet Bin workers Update 3

Barnet Council depot, Bittacy Hill, Mill Hill.Unison members on strike.02/11/15

Today Barnet UNISON and GMB met with senior management to discuss the proposed changes to Bin workers’ contracts.

At this meeting senior management responded to say that after meeting with the workforce and listening to their views about the proposal they needed to go back to the Corporate Management Team.

Management said they would be responding back to the trade unions with a date for a new meeting by close of play today or tomorrow.

I registered my disappointment that management had not come to this meeting with a response as our members were waiting to hear the outcome of this meeting today. I made it clear that I did not want the added stress and pressure hanging over the workforce any longer.

Look out tomorrow for further details from Barnet UNISON.

John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.

End.

Notes to Editors

Contact details: John Burgess Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: john.burgess@barnetunison.org.uk

Background links:

Breaking News: Bin workers Trade Dispute meeting with Barnet Council update 1

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2020/09/18/breaking-news-bin-workers-trade-dispute-meeting-with-barnet-council/

Barnet Bin workers dispute update 2

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2020/09/19/barnet-bin-workers-dispute-update/

 

Breaking News: Barnet Bin workers Trade Dispute meeting with Barnet Council Update 1

Dear Member

What is happening?

At 10 am on Monday 21 September 2020, Barnet UNISON and GMB are in an emergency meeting to discuss the management proposal to impose a contractual change for all bin workers.

Barnet UNISON have for the last six months tried to convince senior Street Scene management that there is no need to adopt aggressive tactics towards bin workers who have worked through constant changes to the bin service, a depot that has been a building site for the past year and lastly COVID with all the additional stresses that brings.

We have made the point that other Council workers who work Bank Holidays and weekends do so without imposing any contractual changes.

We want our members to be treated the same as any other Council workers.

What is our proposal?

Barnet UNISON proposal is that we would sign a Bin workers local agreement for working Bank Holidays at the same rates of Pay as other Council workers with the understanding that there are no changes to the contracts.

What happens if the Council does not agree to UNISONs proposal?

If we do not reach an agreement at this meeting which we can recommend to our members then we will register a formal dispute with the Council.

What does that mean?

Immediately after the meeting Barnet UNISON will submit a report to London Region UNISON to begin the legal process of organising a strike ballot.

Barnet UNISON will be organising a mixture of online meetings and social distanced meetings down the depot to explain the process to all of our members.

Keep a look out for our next text and email messages.

Barnet UNISON

 

Need support for your mental health at work?

 

Able Futures can help you manage your mental health at work so you can enjoy more good days. If eligible they provide you nine months advice and guidance from a mental health specialist who can help you learn coping mechanisms, build resilience, access therapy or work with your employer to make adjustments to help your mental health at work.

Call Able Futures free on 0800 321 3137 from 8 am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday or apply online.

Able Futures delivers the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. It could be available to you if you can answer “yes” to the following questions:

  • Are you aged 16 or over?
  • Are you in work, on an apprenticeship, about to start work or furloughed?
  • Do you live in Great Britain?
  • Do you have mental health difficulties that impact upon your work?

This list is not exhaustive and it is ultimately up to the Department of Work and Pensions Access to Work Mental Health Support Service adviser to determine eligibility.

Able Futures provide 1 – 2 – 1 support, is free and easy to use and is a confidential service.

Read case studies of people Able Futures have supported here:

https://able-futures.co.uk/mental-health-support-for-individuals/case-studies/

For further information visit the Able Futures website here:

https://able-futures.co.uk/

 

Urgent TUPE advice for Cambridge Education members

Dear Member

It has come to my attention that due to the short timescale imposed on the TUPE to the new company the usual checking of personal data that always takes place when staff transfer under TUPE is not happening.

What should happen?

In TUPE consultation the current employer will send a copy of the data they are going to send to the new employer to the employee in order that the employee can confirm it is accurate.

What is happening in this TUPE?

I have been advised that staff are not being sent a copy of their personal data to check. They are being advised via an email to check their personal data themselves.

What is UNISON’s advice?

As a UNISON member you are entitled to support and advice.

In this case the advice from UNISON is very clear.

Please check that your personal data which is currently being held by Cambridge Education is accurate.

At some point in the future you may need copies of your personal data which is why it is important that you check your personal data is accurate.

UNISON has had too many experiences of dealing with the consequences of inaccurate personal data especially where there have been multiple employers.

What can you do?

You can request to have all of your personal data sent to you by Cambridge Education via a secure email.

If you have any questions please email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

BREAKING NEWS:Trade Unions all call for outsourced Schools contract to be brought in-house.

 

 

 

“Barnet Council’s draft Equality Impact Assessment is fundamentally inadequate because it does not assess the impact of the two options on the equality groups and assumes no negative impact. But there is a world of difference in terms and conditions, particularly pensions, between being transferred to the Council and being transferred to a Local Authority Controlled Company which currently does not exist and will be modelled on other Council arms length companies that have inferior terms and conditions. Therefore the Equality Impact Assessment must be rewritten.”

Dexter Whitfield

“Why, why, why are Barnet Council making this crisis worse? The contractor is dumping the contract through no fault of the staff. All the staff want hear from Barnet Council are these two little words “Welcome Back”. The evidence for returning the hard working Education and Skills workforce is contained within the Joint Trade Union report written By Dexter Whitfield.”

John Burgess Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.

It is clear that the best option is for Education and Skills to return the council.   Employment will be less attractive with an LACC resulting in it being harder to recruit and retain the experienced staff required and this can only mean an inferior service for schools and the young people of Barnet.

Keith Nason, Secretary Barnet NEU.

“The comparison of key criteria in this report makes it clear to the advantages of an in-house option and I encourage GMB members’ to read this detailed report.

Outsourcing has been bad news for Barnet staff. Time and time again, we have seen private providers fail to deliver while members’ terms and conditions and national agreements have been undermined.

GMB are clear that it is better value for services such as this to be brought back in-house.”

Mary Goodson, GMB Barnet Branch Secretary & Krissy O’Hagan, GMB London Region Organiser.

The following Trade Unions representing workers from Cambridge Education have worked together with their members and Dexter Whitfield to produce a report to Barnet Council.

  • UNISON
  • NEU
  • GMB
  • NASUWT
  • Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP)

Summary of the report

The two options of in-house provision or establishing new Local Authority Controlled Company (LACC) are examined using 12 key criteria (see Table 1) with in-house provision having significant advantages over the latter.

1.The Council’s draft Equalities Impact Assessment is significantly flawed because it concludes there is ‘No Impact’ for any of the equality groups when in fact there is a Positive Impact for all equality groups with the in-house option but a Major Negative Impact for all equality groups with the LACC option.

2. We have examined the ability of Education and Skills to retain and recruit qualified and experienced staff and conclude that the continuity of service and quality of pension schemes are fundamentally important. The LACC option fails on both these criteria.

3. A sustainable motivated workforce to provide the range and quality of services required by schools, parents and children for their physical and mental health is dependent on the retention of the existing staff and the recruitment of new qualified and experienced staff is critically important to ensure high quality services for Barnet Schools.

4. A divided, demoralised workforce as a result of a differential in terms and conditions combined with an inability to retain and recruit qualified staff is inherent in the LACC model and will have a long lasting negative impact in education and the community.

5. The Council has failed to prepare a full Equality Impact Assessment for the consultation process.

6. The Council has stated that the Equality Impact Assessment and the full business case will only be completed after the consultation feedback deadline of 4pm 3 July 2020. This contradicts Government policy set out in the Green Book, and ignores over a decade of established custom and practice in Barnet and is likely to fail to take full account of key and other unforeseen emerging issues.

7. The multinational Mott MacDonald’s use of the Force Majeure contract clause raises many questions given that Barnet’s Education and Skills contract represented just 0.23% of the company’s £771m annual turnover in 2019. The fact that all local authorities with education responsibilities, teachers and parents are confronted by the same impact of COVID-19 raises questions over the real motives of this decision.

Recommendations

1. We strongly recommend that Barnet Council transfers Education and Skills staff from Cambridge Education back to direct employment in the Council.

2. We recommend that the contract management functions of the ISS catering contract, which is going to be novated to the Council, are established in the Education Department.

To View the Full report click on link below

Barnet Why Educ Skills in-house 2020

Notes to Editors.

Contact details: John Burgess Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: john.burgess@barnetunison.org.uk

Background:

History of the outsourcing of Schools Meals and Education & Skills services

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2015/11/17/history-of-the-outsourcing-of-schools-meals-and-education-skills-services/

 

Catering Services: “Jewel in the Crown”: Privatisation of Education & Skills and Catering in Barnet

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/Barnet%20Jewel%20in%20the%20Crown%20final.pdf

 

Education & Skills and Catering: Threat of large-scale subcontracting

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/sites/default/files/Barnet%20Education%20&%20Skills%20subcontracting.pdf

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