Invite to Barnet UNISON AGM with Ken and Hilda, Debbie and Anju

Dear Barnet UNISON member

I am pleased to invite you to the Barnet UNISON Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 4 March 4-6pm

The last 12 months have been the most traumatic for many of our members both in the workplace and in their homes.

Our branch has tried its best to support as many of our members as possible and will continue to do so.

I am proud to introduce our first speaker Hilda Palmer who last year was recognised as “Most Influential person in health & safety for 2020”

Hilda work on health & safety is inspirational and she has helped out branch immensely during the COVID pandemic.

I am sure you will want to hear what Hilda has to say about safety in the Covid workplace.

Our second speaker is the legendary Ken Loach. Our branch has been working with Ken for nearly two decades we have screened several of his films and Ken has been a big supporter of our members facing mass outsourcing.

Ken is joining us to talk about the brutal inequality in the workplace that has caused untold damage to the life chances of so many.

He will introduce a clip from his most recent film “Sorry We Missed You” and discuss what lessons we can learn and what actions we as a branch must take to tackle inequalities in the workplace.

Our last two speakers are our very own Barnet UNISON reps Debbie & Anju both of whom work for The Barnet Group and organisation owned by Barnet Council. I’m really excited about what they have to say.

Our AGM is a really important meeting it decides what we as a branch are going to do for the next 12 months which is why we want all of our members to join us.

Due to COVID our AGM has to be online.

We need you to register to attend the meeting.

All you need to do is click on the Barnet UNISON link below to confirm you are coming to the meeting.

On the day before the AGM you will receive an email with the link to join the meeting.

I look forward to seeing you at our AGM.

Best wishes

John Burgess

Branch Secretary



Annual General Meeting 4th March 2021, 4pm


March 4th at 4pm Time off has been requested from all employers

I don’t think we ever imagined circumstances where as trade unionists we would be facing such wide scale interventions involving potentially life or death decisions. The pressure on the whole branch, which is not an abstract thing – it’s our members and reps – has been intense and continues to be so.

Nonetheless it is you and your engagement which has enabled reps to keep on doing what they are doing and to meet with some success. There is so much more to do though…

We need you to attend our Annual General Meeting in order to make key decisions for the correct running of our branch. If we fail to meet as per rules we will fail to exist and we will not be able to continue to support you.

We have confirmed our zoom account will let in up to 500 people so there will not be a problem for those of you who wish to attend. However, this time you MUST register in advance. This is because the AGM is a member only event and for voting purposes we need to confirm those attending are our members.

You need to make sure when you attend we can identify you, therefore if you know your image in the meeting will appear with “Galaxy” or “i-phone user” rather than your name you need to change this to your real name before you enter the meeting otherwise you are likely to be denied access.

Here is a guide on how to use Zoom


If you still require assistance on how to use Zoom please contact the Branch Office by email

Barnet UNISON is the 2nd fastest growing branch in the Greater London region according to last year’s figures. We welcome our new members. We have also seen a much greater number of colleagues agreeing to become reps which is incredibly important. This growth has been critical in our attempts to keep us all as safe as possible. In order to keep going we need you to attend our AGM

Register in advance for this meeting:

What is the difference between working for TBG Flex and having a Barnet Homes Contract ?


TBG Flex Pension Scheme query submitted to the Pensions Regulator – Barnet UNISON

If you joined the Barnet Group after 2017 you don’t actually work for either Your Choice Barnet [YCB] or Barnet Homes – Your employment contract is with TBG Flex.

So, what is TBG Flex?

TBG Flex is an employment company set up by the the Barnet Group with the purpose of not allowing entry in to the Local Government Pension Scheme [LGPS], giving employees inferior Terms and Conditions, lower Pay  and longer working hours than staff who were employed before 2017.

For instance….

TBG Flex -The Basic working week for TBG Flex Staff is 37.5hrs

For staff employed before 201736hrs


TBG Flex Annual Leave is capped at a maximum of 25days for workers or 30 days for Directors and the CEO.[excluding Bank Holidays]

For staff employed before 2017 – at least 29 days for all staff. [excluding Bank Holidays]


TBG Flex Sickness – For TBG Flex staff – capped at 2 months full pay and then Statutory Sick Pay[SSP] of £95.85 per week for a maximum of 28 weeks.

For staff employed before 2017 – Sick Pay is capped at 6 months full pay and then 6 months half pay.

TBG Flex Overtime – For TBG Flex – No overtime rate – except for Christmas day which is paid at double time. The same applies for workers in YCB who were forcibly ‘opted out’ of Nationally Agreed Pay.

For staff employed before 2017Monday to Saturday Time and a half –  Sundays and Public and Extra Statutory holidays Double time (min 2 hours). 


TBG Flex Pension – upto 5% paid in to your pension [matching your contribution] as an employers contribution [10% for Senior managers, Directors and the CEO] – for every £1 invested by the worker TBG Flex invest £1.

For staff employed before 2017 – Local Government Pension Scheme – up to 6% contribution from the worker is matched by a 19% contribution from the employer – for every £1 invested by the worker the employer invests £3.50.


TBG Flex Continuation of Service [with other Local Government employers] – No

For staff employed before 2017 Yes – which means your accrued Annual Leave, Sickness Benefits, maternity pay and Pension is transferred to the new employer. This also means that your continuous service with other Local Government employers is recognised in relation to redundancy payments.

TBG Flex Pay – Evaluations of jobs reached by using the ‘HAY’ pay model – this evaluation scheme, in general  ‘rewards’ jobs at the lower and medium end [most workers] with lower salaries than Barnet Homes contracted workers and at the higher end [senior management] with higher salaries.

Any Pay Rise has to be signed off by the Barnet Group Board.

For staff employed before 2017 in Barnet Homes –  Evaluations of jobs reached by using the ‘Greater London Provincal Council’ [GLPC] pay model – this evaluation scheme, in general  ‘rewards’ jobs at the lower and medium end [most workers] with slightly higher salaries than TBG Flex contracted workers and is consistent in ‘rewards’ offered across the business/council. 

Any Pay Rise is Nationally Negotiated and implemented as soon as agreed.

N.B. This does NOT apply for workers in YCB who were forcibly ‘opted out’ of Nationally agreed pay –  they have NEVER received a payrise since YCB’s inception.

And the list goes on – TBG Flex workers have less Maternity Leave and are paid less should they be made redundant.

This is not acceptable – Barnet Homes contracted workers and TBG Flex workers do the same job and we are all paid by the London Borough Of Barnet

– We should all be on Nationally agreed Pay and Terms and Conditions – 

Help us achieve that – Join Barnet UNISON – Help us fight for Local Government Terms and Conditions, Pay and working hours in the Barnet Group


Our fight to end low pay

There is definitely a mood in the air here in Barnet.

 I can’t put my finger on it but it is there.

 In the last few weeks our reps have been going into workplaces and recruiting both members and reps in services where staff have been working throughout COVID, services such as care homes, waste and recycling, street cleansing, housing repairs and gas services, parking enforcement and passenger transport to name but a few.

One of the major issues is that they are all low paid workers and they quite rightly feel they are not being paid enough, especially when you consider they have worked on throughout all the restraints caused by the virus.

For the past six months these workers have been directed into the COVID workplace by senior managers all working from the comfort of their homes.

Being able to work from is not an option for these workers.

While senior management are saving money on transport costs because they can work from home these workers are paying the rising costs of public transport to get to their workplaces.

 Today was no exception. We met a group of workers in the Repairs and Gas Service who had recently TUPED into the Barnet Group from Mears. There were many serious issues raised, all of which can and must be dealt with by our union.

 What was great about the meeting was that this previously un-unionised workforce quickly grasped the importance of union membership in the workplace. Not only have they already begun to recruit the whole of the service, they have understood the need to have local reps and we recruited two union reps and one Health and Safety rep.

I never get tired of working with members and today reminded me of what we can do if we have the confidence and support of the workforce.

Today is but the beginning I sense things are going to get interesting here in Barnet over the next six to nine months.


John Burgess

Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.

Pay Rise for Some – NOT for others? Must be The Barnet Group

UNISON been informed that if you are a Barnet Homes Contracted member of staff that you should receive the 2.75% nationally agreed pay rise in your October pay – this will be backdated to April 2020.

If you are a TBG Flex Contracted member of staff working in Barnet Homes – the pay rise your Barnet Homes colleagues receive as part of their Nationally agreed Pay and Terms and Conditions, will be brought to the TBG Flex Board for hopeful approval the next time it sits – IF AGREED by the Board you will receive the 2.75% increase, which should be back dated to April – As yet UNISON has not been notified as to when the TBG Flex Board will meet to make this decision.

If you are a TBG Flex member of staff working for Your Choice Barnet – The Barnet Group have informed UNISON that you will NOT receive any Pay Rise.

If you are a Your Choice Barnet contracted member of Staff – The Barnet Group have informed UNISON that you will NOT receive any Pay Rise.

If you are a Your Choice Care [ex Fremantle] contracted member of staff – The Barnet Group have informed UNISON that you will NOT receive any Pay Rise.

UNISON is waiting for The Barnet Group to advise UNISON on whether staff in Your Choice Care will receive the London Living Wage as a minimum.

This highlights the shocking discrepancies in Pay and Terms and Conditions in the Barnet Group – WE ALL ultimately work for the London Borough of Barnet – WE SHOULD ALL be on Nationally Agreed Pay and Terms and Conditions with access to the Local Government Pension Scheme and a standard 36hr week.

Please, please, talk to your colleagues about the Pay inequality in The Barnet Group and get them to join Barnet UNISON –



Repairs Consultation in the Barnet Group to begin 7th of September

The Repairs Consultation will start on Monday 7th of September.

I will be at the Grahame Park Housing Office on Monday from 9am to offer you support.

I have scheduled a zoom meeting at 3pm for any members effected by the proposals – the details to join are below – Time off for members effected by the proposals to attend has been agreed.

Topic: Barnet Homes repairs
Time: Sep 7, 2020 03:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 828 8942 0737
Passcode: 605905

When is a Council Worker not a Council Worker?

When is a Council Worker not a Council Worker?

The Barnet Group is a Local Authority Trading Company [LATC] fully owned and funded by the London Borough of Barnet to provide Housing and Care Services on behalf of Barnet Council to Barnet Residents.

Barnet Homes Contracted staff [pre 2016] – Have nationally agreed Terms and Conditions and access to the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Your Choice Barnet [YCB] Contracted staff – were forcibly opted out of nationally agreed pay which included a 9% cut to their wages.

YCC – Your Choice Care – consists of staff [many of them originally LBB employees] TUPE into the Barnet Group are not even paid the London Living Wage.

TBG FLEX –  an employment company within the Barnet Group – Was initiated in 2016 to drive down T&Cs for new starters working for Barnet Homes and Your Choice Barnet.

It has been a success!!!


TBG Flex employees have:

No access to the Local Government Pension Scheme. [But do have access to a much inferior pension scheme….Thanks!]

Work longer hours that their colleagues in Barnet Homes or LBB.

Are paid less than colleagues in Barnet Homes or LBB.

Have less Annual Leave than colleagues in Barnet Homes or LBB.

Have no continuation of service should they wish to work for another Local Authority.

YCB workers and TBG Flex contracted workers in YCB or YCC have the added bonus that they do not even get the cost of living yearly increase which TBG Flex contracted staff receive in Barnet Homes.

So when is a Council Worker not a Council worker?

When they work in the Barnet Group in YCB or YCC or have a TBG Flex Contract 


Help us to stamp out the inequality in the Barnet Group 

Join us in campaigning for all Barnet Group staff to have access to the Local Government Pension Scheme, have the same pay and grading, sick pay, annual Leave and Terms and Conditions as our colleagues in Barnet Homes.



“IMPORTANT Update: Guidance and template letter for vulnerable employees (England)”

28 May 2020.

Please read the latest guidance provided by UNISON

This guidance covers:

1 Clinically extremely vulnerable employees (people at high risk)

2 Clinically vulnerable employees (people at moderate risk)

3 Employees living with / caring for the vulnerable or extremely vulnerable

4 Black employees

5 Older employees (over 60)

6 Employees who have childcare responsibilities

7 Employees who are feeling anxious about returning to work

8 Template letter to head teacher

Click on the link to read the guidance

If you need any help with this advice please contact the branch office at




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