For A Better, Fairer, Democratically Accountable Barnet.

 

 

 

Barnet UNISON has been involved with many campaigns involving the Community over the years. We do not see a contradiction between the provision of good services and good terms and conditions for the workers we represent. Our members often use the services our colleagues provide. Our key campaign has been the opposition of outsourcing which we warned would deliver inferior services to the Council, with a higher cost to residents and with less accountability for the money spent.

 

Unfortunately we appear to have been proven right. The following quote is from the Council’s own recent External Audit report:

 

“As at 31 March 2017, the Council has a prepayment balance of £44.7 million in respect of its Customer and Support Group (CSG) contract. This contract covers a number of front line and back office services including finance, ICT, HR, customer services, revenues and benefits, procurement, estates, and corporate programmes. As this is a significant prepayment, we challenged management with regard to its basis“.

 

Barnet UNISON has agreed policies we would like to see implemented by the next Council administration. We may alter or add to these policies and positions following discussions in the coming months.

 

Barnet UNISON (Local Government Branch) calls on those parties and candidates contesting the local Council election in May 2018 to support (and implement if elected) the following:

 

 

             AGENCY STAFF/CONSULTANTS

 

  • End the Council’s over reliance on agency staff and consultants, replacing these with Council employees.
  • Review Unified Reward and consider returning to GLPC.

 

 

CARE

 

  • Adopt UNISON ethical care charter.

(https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2013/11/On-line-Catalogue220142.pdf)

 

 

COLINDALE MOVE

 

  • Address and alleviate the problems caused by the forthcoming relocation of Barnet Council and Partner organisation staff to the new Colindale Office building.

 

 

 

HEALTH & SAFETY

 

  • Bring all the Council’s Health & Safety responsibilities back in to in-house control and monitoring.
  • Review Health & Safety arrangements in the Borough.

 

 

HOUSING

 

  • TBG Flex employees to be employed on Local Government T&C’s, Pay with access to Local Government Pension Scheme.
  • The Barnet Group to be brought back in-house.
  • End short term 2 & 5 year tenancies and reintroduce secure life time tenancies for all tenants.
  •  End or  limit  Right to Buy and the  subletting of Right to Buy properties
  • Increase Council home building.
  • Widen the availability of social housing within the Borough.
  • Resource the monitoring of housing where necessary to ensure it is fit for habitation.

 

 

LIBRARIES

 

  • Restore the pre-April 2017 level of staffed opening hours, with sufficient Library workers (in numbers, qualifications and experience) and resources.
  • Review the use of lost Library space with a view to returning to Library use.
  • Bring the Partnership Libraries back in-house.
  • Work with all stakeholders in the Library Service to produce a strategy that will maintain and improve the quality and accessibility of Barnet Libraries.

 

 

OUTSOURCING

 

  • No more Council services to be outsourced.
  • Work towards bringing services already outsourced back in-house including NSL.
  • Review Capita and other contracts with the aim of bring services back in-house.
  • Ensure that while outsourcing contracts are running they are properly overseen and these services are provided to the contracted level without incurring further cost to the Council.

 

 

PAY

 

  • Support the Trade Union (UNISON, GMB, Unite) NJC PAY CLAIM 2018 – 2019
  • Ensure that Council, partner organisation and contractor employees are paid at least the London Living Wage.
  • End Performance Related Pay.

 

SCHOOLS

 

  • 52 week contracts for TAs and other support workers.
  • Oppose the establishment of academies.

 

 

STREET SCENE

 

  • Instigate a search within the Borough for a site (or sites?) for a depot (depots?) suitable for all Street Scene’s long-term needs?
  • Commit to the retention of Street Scene services in-house.

Barnet UNISON initial response to Ofsted report for Family Services

It is really disappointing and disturbing to read this damming Ofsted report.

http://bit.ly/2t6FX5y

I have been working in the London Borough of Barnet for 22 years.

I have a long history of knowledge of our social services.

Back in 2008 our Council celebrated being a five star Council. They actually hung the stars from the high ceiling in our Atrium (posh for staff canteen).

At this time we did not have any serious issues in social work. Barnet had a good reputation for social work and had no reliance on agency workers.

In May 2008 something changed.

The Council announced a major policy change called Future Shape later to be known as “easyCouncil” then “One Barnet” and finally “Commissioning Council.”

Barnet UNISON quickly recognised this change as mass outsourcing ideology.

Barnet UNISON has written much on what has transpired over almost a decade of ideological obsession with mass outsourcing.

For this press release it is not the outsourced contractors that we are focussing on, but the impact on those remaining Council services, in this case Family Services.

Over the past decade to ensure delivery of the outsourcing programme the senior management had to change.

I watched as managers who were good at delivery were replaced by strategic managers. Often they were replaced by interims who would later become permanent. The Council then looked to consultants to prepare services for outsourcing. This led some to argue the Council was becoming “consultant dependent.”

Corporate knowledge was not seen as a positive.

What has happened in Family Services is, in my opinion, a long time coming.

This is why I would say to those looking for heads to roll, to reflect on those architects that have long since left.

Where is the accountability for those who have left and those who took their eye off the ball?

What needs to happen now? Barnet UNISON has already begun discussions with our members in Family Services and the Council.

We want to make Barnet a safe place to work which will translate into better services for children.

This means a change and recognition that staff and UNISON need to be fully involved in changes in Family Services.

There must be no repeat of past mistakes.

Barnet Council must listen to the workforce and their representatives.

The life of the child must and always be at the heart of Family Services.

To achieve this you need a highly motivated skilled workforce that is well supported.

The next 12 months are going to be critical and Barnet UNISON is going to make sure we are there for our members and those children who need Family Services.”

(John Burgess Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON).

End.

1. OFSTED inspection findings

http://bit.ly/2sXHEa7

2. Inspectors rap ‘inadequate’ Barnet Council children’s services

http://bit.ly/2tAGoso

3. Barnet children’s services condemned as inadequate by Ofsted: ‘Serious failings put young at risk of harm’

http://bit.ly/2u6bSHm

 

Barnet UNISON Press Release: Ken Loach comes to Barnet screening of ‘I, Daniel Blake’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Special screening of BAFTA winning ‘I, Daniel Blake’ with a Q & A Ken Loach. 28 February 2017

27 February 2017 

‘Hunger is being used as a weapon,’ says veteran director, calling for public rage over situation he says is worse than when he made Cathy Come Home in 1966” (Ken Loach)

“2.8 MILLION disabled people are in deep poverty (< 50% of median income).Source: New Policy Institute

“Austerity has been targeted at disabled people nine times more than the general population and severely disabled people have been targeted 19 times more than the general population.” Source: Centre for Welfare Reform

“After the 2016 Budget, the Office for Budget Responsibility found that, ‘the government is on track by 2020-21 to spend the lowest amount on welfare, as a percentage of GDP, in 30 years.’ Source: BBC

“90,000 disabled people will lose their mobility cars under welfare reform.” Source Fullfact.org

Barnet UNISON branch is proud to be able to host this special event which is being supported by the following community campaigns: Barnet Trades Council, Barnet Alliance for Public Services, Housing Action Barnet, Our West Hendon campaign, Barnet Momentum.

“This film is quite rightly being recognised as a urgent wake up call for all of us. Austerity has delivered brutal cuts to our much loved public services and is hastening the break-up of the NHS. Some political commentators pedal the view that employment is up, but at the same time they conveniently neglect to mention that employment rights are being destroyed through the casualisation of the workforce such a zero hours contracts, and home carers are often not paid for travelling time to clients. I hope all of our members and Barnet residents find time to watch this film. We need everyone to get active in their communities and join the call for the end of Austerity.” John Burgess Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON.

The film is being screened at the iconic community Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley on Tuesday 28 February 2017. A  short Q & A will take place with Ken Loach and Paula Peters from DPAC interviewed by Aditya Chakrabortty, the senior economics commentator for the Guardian.

See attached flyer for details.

Notes to Editors.

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

DPAC http://dpac.uk.net/

Ken Loach http://www.sixteenfilms.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solidarity statement 4 John Burgess

Standing up against Bullies of People with Mental Health Issues

We know John made it public knowledge that he suffered a serious mental health breakdown last year. Whatever anyone may think about such a revelation surely it should not attract a vindictive attempt to undermine his mental health.

Unfortunately John has recently received an email seemingly calculated to undermine his mental health. We will not stand by in silence whilst someone in our movement is bullied in this way.

By signing this statement we are expressing our solidarity with John Burgess and our disgust at this opportunistic and calculated attack on someone recovering from a serious health condition.

Please go to this link to read a fuller story about this attack: https://johnburgess001.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/hate-crime-why-i-reported-it-to-police.html

Name, Position,  Organisation or branch

  1. John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor
  2. Mark SERWOTKA PCS General Secretary
  3. ‪Ian Hodson President BFAWU ‬
  4. Petros Elia General Secretary United Voices of the World
  5. John Hendy QC
  6. Helen Davies Branch Chair Barnet UNISON and NEC.
  7. Hugh Jordan Libraries Convenor Barnet UNISON.
  8. Patrick Hunter Convenor Barnet Unison.
  9. Maggi Myland Barnet UNISON Retired member
  10. Chris Jobson Barnet UNISON Rep.
  11. Sid Ronayne Barnet UNISON Rep.
  12. Claire Locke Chair London Metropolitan University UNISON
  13. Claire Dixon Branch Secretary, UNISON Whittington Hospital branch
  14. John Harris Ex Chair UNISON Whittington Hospital branch
  15. Alex Lines Chair UNISON Whittington Hospital branch
  16. Jackie Taylor UNISON Whittington Hospital branch
  17. Sonya Howard Branch Secretary, UNISON Kensington & Chelsea, NEC
  18. Phoebe Watkins Branch Co-Chair Camden UNISON
  19. Hugo Pierre Schools Convenor Camden UNISON , NEC
  20. Amerit Rait Shop Steward UNISON Whittington Hospital branch
  21. Brian Debus Chair Hackney UNISON
  22. Alex Tarry Branch Secretary London Metropolitan University UNISON
  23. Tony Phillips Branch Secretary UNISON London Fire Authority
  24. Diana Swingler UNISON rep Homerton UNISON
  25. Tanya Murat Convenor Greenwich UNISON
  26. Sandy Nichol SOAS UNISON Branch Secretary
  27. Philip Lewis, Camden UNISON Vice Chair & Branch Health & Safety officer & Convenor supporting people directorate, UNISON Regional Health & Safety Comm. Vice Chair Unison NHSC
  28. Paula Peters DPAC activist, member of Mental Health Resistance Network and Equalities Officer SE London Unite Community
  29. Esther Rey Hounslow UNISON joint branch secretary
  30. Floyd Codlin, PCS Arms, PCS Culture GEC
  31. Tim O’Dell, Libraries shop steward, Lambeth
  32. Linda Burnip, DPAC co-founder and UNISON member
  33. Karen Raynor, Customer Support Assistant, Unison Steward for Bradford Libraries.
  34. Dave Honeybone, Doncaster District and Bassetlaw health steward.
  35. George Binette, Camden UNISON Branch Secretary & Chair, Camden TC
  36. Dean Ryan: Shop Steward Islington Unison.
  37. Sasha Simic, Shop Steward USDAW C133 Central Books branch.
  38. Ruth Cashman, Branch Secretary Lambeth UNISON.
  39. Brad Charteris, Psychotherapist.
  40. Gareth Lane BFAWU community organiser.
  41. Ben Sellers, Secretary, County Durham Trades Union Council.
  42. Dave Auger Wolverhampton deputy branch sec
  43. Sara Wright, Middlesex University Branch, Branch Chair.
  44. Roger Hutt, Doncaster and Bassetlaw steward
  45. Alan Wylie, Unison member & campaigner
  46. Bob Ellard, DPAC
  47. Arthur Nicoll, Communications Officer – Dundee City Unison, Scottish LG Cttee
  48. John Sullivan parent of an adult daughter with learning difficulties , John has spent years fighting for along with her peers and her support staff.
  49. Andy Squires Doncaster and Bassetlaw Health Branch.
  50. Jenny Compton-Bishop Middlesex University Retired Member
  51. Caroline Powls Member Brent Unison
  52. Janette Evans secretary Barnet Branch Unite community , member Mental Health Resistance Network.
  53. Sid Ronayne Barnet UNISON steward.
  54. Adrian Kennett Hull Unison
  55. Jon Rogers, UNISON NEC.
  56. Candy Udwin PCS National Gallery.
  57. John McLoughlin Branch Secretary/SGE Tower Hamlets UNISON
  58. Dan Sartin Branch Secretary West Sussex UNISON
  59. Ron Cohen CWU member
  60. David Ball Steward Barnet UNISON
  61. Theresa Musgrove Broken Barnet Blog
  62. Derek Dishman blogger “Mr Mustard”
  63. A.M. Poppy Barnet Activist
  64. Dave Knight Retired Waltham Forest UNISON
  65. Sarah Littlewood Deputy Branch Secretary Hull LG Branch
  66. Janet Bryan NEC Branch Treasurer Convenor Bolton UNISON
  67. Paul Couchman Deputy Branch Secretary Surrey County UNISON
  68. Sherril Johnston NSL steward Barnet UNISON
  69. Rebecca Call Women’s Officer Wirral UNISON
  70. Ian Davies Community Member Scunthorpe
  71. Ian Thomas Health SGE UNISON Wales
  72. Tony Staunton UNITE member
  73. Raymie Kiernan NUJ member
  74. Mike Calvert Deputy Branch Secretary Islington UNISON
  75. Martin Clark FE college steward Glasgow City UNISON
  76. Mark Evans Branch Secretary Camarthenshire County UNISON
  77. Florence Hill Retired Branch Chair Bolton UNISON
  78. Jane Doolan Branch Secretary Islington UNISON
  79. Steve Day Branch secretary BFAWU
  80. Kevin Ward Labour Link officer Middlesex University UNISON
  81. Ben Jackson Branch secretary pc Manchester Community and Mental Health UNISON
  82. Barry Blinko retired member Westminster University
  83. Karen Reissmann member/ NEC pc Bolton Salford Trafford UNISON
  84. Liz James steward Barnet UNISON
  85. Stephen Wood Hillingdon UNISON
  86. Osman Ahmed Sade ULR rep UNISON
  87. Suzy Franklin honorary President Plymouth Trade Council 2017 – former UNISON Health branch secretary (Plymouth Derriford Hospital Health branch)  NEC southwest and staunch John Burgess supporter
  88. Keith Wilcox Hillingdon UNISON
  89. Raymundo Obedencio Barnet Green Party
  90. Philippa Whitecross
  91. Matt Ratcliffe Branch Secretary Hillingdon UNISON
  92. Sharon Benjamin Assistant Branch Secretary Hillingdon UNISON
  93. Jo Cardwell Vice Chair Islington UNISON
  94. Gary Padgett Lincolnshire County UNISON
  95. Lorna Solomon Branch Chair Homerton UNISON
  96. Megan Charlton Secretary Durham Teaching assistants UNISON
  97. Liz Wheatley Assistant Branch Secretary Camden UNISON
  98. Roger Lewis Assistant Branch Secretary pc Lambeth UNISON
  99. Shirley Franklin Chair Defend Whittington Hospital coalition
  100. Theresa Rollinson Health SGE pc Doncaster and Bassetlaw UNISON
  101. Keith Martin Former chief accountant NALGO
  102. Jenny Leow Homerton UNISON
  103. Jordan Rivera Branch Secretary Homerton UNISON
  104. Jim Board Branch Secretary Doncaster UNISON
  105. Yunus Bakhsh formerly branch secretary Newcastle City Health UNISON; Northern region NEC and Health SGE 25 years a psychiatric nurse
  106. Sharon Campion Joint branch secretary/ SGE Sandwell UNISON
  107. John Woods Branch Chair Portsmouth City UNISON
  108. Tirza Waisel Adult social worker Chair Barnet Communities UNITE
  109. George Shaw Barnet Communities UNITE
  110. Phil Fletcher Barnet Communities UNITE; Friends of the Earth; Barnet Green Party
  111. Kathy Smith Bromley Unite rep
  112. Paul Gilroy Branch Secretary Newcastle City UNISON LG & UNISON NEC
  113. Max Watson, Unite the Union, SE London Community Branch (previously UNISON NEC, 2010-2015)
  114. Tracey Leith, Shetland Branch, Chair
  115. Jennie Haswell, Branch Health and Safety Officer, Wakefield District Branch of Unison
  116. Trish Fay member of County Durham Teaching Assistants Action Committee
  117. Louis Smyth Barnet Schools Officer – solidarity John
  118. Clara Paillard PCS President
  119. Professor Dexter Whitfield Director, European Services Strategy Unit
  120. Graham Eddy ex unison branch sec Northumberland lg and asst branch sec tower hamlets unison.
  121. Gemma Short, Workers’ Liberty. My solidarity.
  122. Ruth Nyman Barnet UNISON Retired member.
  123. Jonathan Dunning, UNISON NEC and Norfolk Branch Secretary. 
  124. Sandra Greenyer, Children’s Centre Manager
  125. Alphonsa M.K. Alby, Barnet social worker
  126. Hilary Price Barnet UNISON member.
  127. Tracey Lowe, Barnet UNISON Retired member.
  128. Tracy Cumberbatch, Underhill School and Children’s Centre.
  129. Izzi Azgadj
  130. Jan McLachlan.
  131. Steve North Branch Secretary, Salford City UNISON.
  132. Mary Beer-Cleasby, small business owner, BECTU member &Save Barnet Libraries.
  133. Andrew Travers, Joint Branch Secretary, Unison Medway Health.
  134. Vicky Perrin school steward Calderdale Branch, YH NEC member (pc)
  135. Craig Martin, schools convener, UNISON Dorset County.
  136. Eddie Rowley london met uni unison steward.
  137. David Summers London Met Unison Asst Branch Secretary. 
  138. John McDermott UNISON steward. Bradford.
  139. Vino Sangarapillai Camden Unison. 
  140. Polly Smith- chair Suffolk County UNISON ,nec (pc)
  141. Rena Neophytou, Barnet UNISON member.
  142. Nick Jackman, Barnet UNISON member
  143. Janet Mead, Barnet UNISON member.
  144. David Halls, Unison Birmingham Branch – retired member.
  145. Mark Dee Smith, Luton TUC.
  146. Sue Plain Southwark UNISON Branch Secretary.
  147. April Ashley UNISON Black members rep and Assistant Branch Secretary Southwark (pc).
  148. Bernie Gallagher, Bolton LG and NEC.
  149. Maddie Cooper UNISON.
  150. Fiona Monkman, Islington UNISON.
  151. David Mackintosh Unison rep for Assist Barnet homes
  152. Kieran Lynch Barnet UNISON Retired member
  153. David Lindsay, Lanchester, County Durham.
  154. Adam Driscoll Barnet UNISON member.

 

Love UNIONS; Join Barnet UNISON “there’s a lot going on!”

As part of 8‑14 Feb 2017 Heartunions week of action

Barnet UNISON is publishing our calendar of action we have organised for our members and the community we serve.

A big thanks to all of our UNISON reps, officers and our admin for all the work they have done and continue to do for our members.

20 February “1 Day Without Us”

“We want to demonstrate our solidarity for our migrant colleagues”

“By wearing a purple or green ribbon. You can also just wear something green or purple.”

“By taking solidarity selfies of you and your workmates on 20th February”

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017.02.02-One-day-without-us-flyer.pdf #20Feb #1DayWithoutUs #BarnetUNISON

 

25 February “Sing Your Heart out 4 NHS”

“Join Barnet UNISON members and our fantastic Barnet residents in a musical message of solidarity for the NHS.”

We can now see what six years of austerity policies has had on the NHS which only recently was described by the Red Cross as a “humanitarian crisis”.

“Listen to Yannis Gourtsoyannis one of the Junior Doctors strikers talk first-hand about the NHS crisis”

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2017.01.09-Rock-Against-Austerity-flyer-1.pdf #NHS #BarnetUNISON

 

28 February “I Daniel Blake” – Phoenix Cinema – East Finchley

“We are absolutely delighted that our long-time supporter Ken Loach has agreed to join a Q & A with DPAC’s Paula Peters, who will be interviewed by Aditya Chakraborrty senior economics commentator for the Guardian.”

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/barnet_idanielblake_28Feb2017_A4_poster.pdf

#IDanielBlake #BarnetUNISON

 

4 March – National “Save Our NHS” demo – Barnet UNISON

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2017/01/25/barnet-unison-supports-nhs-workers-join-us-4marchnhs/ #NHS #BarnetUNISON

 

7 March Barnet UNISON AGM – Fighting Apartheid to Fighting Austerity  

“I am deeply honoured to have as our grassroots speaker Paul Joseph. Paul born in South Africa, became a political activist in the anti-apartheid movement working closely with Nelson Mandela with whom he was good friends. We are all facing deeply troubling times both in the workplace and our homes and our communities. I strongly recommend our members to make time to attend our AGM and listen to Paul tell his story. Hopefully he will be able to give us some advice as to what we all can do and remain positive in these troubling times.” John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2017/02/03/7-march-barnet-unison-agm-fighting-apartheid-to-fighting-austerity/

#PaulJoseph #Mandela #BarnetUNISON

 

18 March – United Nations “Stand Up to Racism” demo Barnet UNISON

Join the Barnet UNISON banner on what is becoming a seminal demonstration in wake of recent events across the globe.

http://www.standuptoracism.org.uk/national-demo-refugees-migrants-welcome-stand-racism-islamophobia-anti-semitism/ #StandUptoRacism #BarnetUNISON

 

Saturday 25 March “Join the Durham Teaching Assistants in Durham”

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2017/02/03/saturday-25-march-join-the-durham-teaching-assistants-in-durham/

#ValueUs #FightingBack #BarnetUNISON

Saturday 25 March “Join the Durham Teaching Assistants in Durham”

The Durham TA Lions are calling on the grassroots movement to join them in solidarity in Durham on Saturday 25 March.

Their fight is our fight.

Barnet UNISON will not turn our backs on them.

We will not leave them behind, we look forward to renewing our previous solidarity experience with them at the Durham Miners Gala last year.

The Durham & Derby TAs and Kinsley 3 are disputes we must win.

These workers are showing the rest of us what you can do even in the face of such brutality.

Now it’s our turn.

We will be taking our banner to Durham

Solidarity “Lions of Durham”.

 

“Giving With One Hand And Taking With The Other”

Barnet Council Giving With One Hand And Taking With The Other

On January 23rd Barnet Council’s Adults and Safeguarding Committee voted to make cuts of £458,373 to Early Intervention and Prevention Services. These include ending the funding  to Inclusion Barnet (a local charity) to provide peer support planning and brokerage, which the Council claim will save £73, 261.5.

The Council’s reason for this is that there is lower level of use for this service than anticipated, and that this work can be done by Barnet Social workers.

This is despite  83% of those consulted, disagreeing with the move.

Yet this is the same Council that is giving Inclusion Barnet between £25, 000 and £35,000  a year to take over  the running of  East Barnet and South Friern Libraries, despite opposition to this voiced in consultations, petitions  and protests since 2014.

Barnet Council are  withdrawing funding to a  local charity with the necessary expertise. to provide a service well regarded by the public. Yet are giving this organisation, that has no experience of running libraries, funding to replace experienced and qualified library workers. Inclusion Barnet are losing funding to provide a service because of “low level of use” but the libraries the Charity will run will only be open 15 hours a week which will certainly reduce level of use.

There is little logic in this decision but reason is something not to be expected from an administration hell-bent on cutting services and reducing the quality of  life of  the people of Barnet.

 

One Day Without Us – 20th February #1DayWithoutUs

2017.02.02 One day without us flyer
Barnet UNISON is asking all of our members (and non-members) to wear the colours (purple and green) to show solidarity with our migrant colleagues and the fantastic work they do with us.

On 20th February we would like also teams and schools to spend some time together to collectively acknowledge our colleagues and show we value our colleagues who have come from other counties to build their lives with us.

Hashtag on Twitter is 

You can watch this short video explaining about One Day Without Us

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