“All you need to know and more about the Capita contracts with Barnet Council.”

Guest Speaker: Barnet Blogger Mr Reasonable  

Tuesday 30 November 7- 8 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83430400093?pwd=SVcwRTF4Y0Z5bG11NG9PWFZNeVNRZz09

Meeting ID: 834 3040 0093

Passcode: 177260

Background information:

Barnet Council awarded Capita two ten-year contracts in 2013

Barnet Council are reviewing both of their Capita contracts which were due to expire in 2023 ten years after they were awarded details of the progress of the review https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s68820/FPC%20Contracts%20Review%20Report.pdf

The Capita contracts have been subject to widespread concern from the local community and trade unions.

Two local films were made and screened at the local Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley with introductions from Ken Loach.

A Tale of Two Barnets: https://youtu.be/b3Z6Llu1tks

A Billion Pound Gamble https://youtu.be/rpoTSAV5efQ

Council under fire over contractor’s £2m fraud

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-45641513

Is this the end of Capita in Barnet – Grant Thornton’s report is a devastating critique of Capita’s dismal performance.

https://reasonablenewbarnet.blogspot.com/2018/09/is-this-end-of-capita-in-barnet-grant.html

Barnet UNISON call-out for people to give evidence at the #KickOutCapita Inquiry in House of Commons.

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2018/10/25/barnet-unison-call-out-for-people-to-give-evidence-at-the-kickoutcapita-inquiry/

 

Capita to pay more than £4m compensation to Barnet Council over contracts performance

https://www.publicsectorexecutive.com/Public-Sector-News/capita-to-pay-more-than-4m-compensation-to-barnet-council-over-contracts-performance-

Just what we pay Capita – How they billed £555 million to one council

http://reasonablenewbarnet.blogspot.com/2021/09/just-what-we-pay-capita-how-they-billed.html

Man working for Capita in Darlington carried out £70,000 fraud

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/18222301.man-working-capita-darlington-carried-70-000-fraud/

Pay, Workload and Anti Casualisation claim to Barnet & Southgate College

Barnet UNISON: Barnet and Southgate College. 
Local Claim: Pay, Workload, Anti-casualisation

The attached three-point claim is submitted on behalf of business support staff employed at Barnet and Southgate College.

This claim relates to issues of concern to UNISON members in Barnet and Southgate College and UNISON is seeking to reach a collective agreement with Barnet and Southgate College management.

UNISON seeks College agreement on measures related to:

 

  1. Pay 2020/21 and 2021/22
  • Implement a significant percentage consolidated increase on all salary scales backdated to 01 August 2020 that represents a significant move towards the full restoration of college pay levels to where they would have been had the college pay kept pace with inflation since 2009.
  • UNISON demand; for the academic year
    • 2020/21, an additional 4% pay increment backdated to 01 August 2020.
    • 2021/22, a 5% pay increment backdated to 01 August 2021.
  • London Weighting allowance to be set at no less than £2,350 per annum.

 

  1. Workload

UNISON demand

  • the expedited resolution and implementation of agreed strategies and actions to demonstratively reduce staff workload, which have been collectively devised in the current workload committee.
  • the Risk/Impact Assessment of all new as well as changes to work practices.
  • a radical change to systems, structures and processes to reduce repetitive and duplication of administrative duties.
  • The completion and agreement of a College Stress Policy and staff survey.

 

  1. Anti-casualisation

UNISON demands that all staff who work for the college for over two years on a causal or fixed term contract are automatically converted to permanent fractional business support contracts, on a commensurate payscale.

Provision of specific facilities time

 

Undertaking effective negotiations concerning this claim will require a time commitment from UNISON representatives beyond their normal duties and responsibilities.

The claim therefore includes a call for agreement on a specific allocation of paid time for UNISON branch negotiators to participate fully in the negotiation process on behalf of the staff they represent.

UNISON Barnet and Southgate branch submits this claim as a matter for negotiation. This is a matter pertaining to the terms and conditions of business support staff at Barnet and Southgate.  As such, we seek negotiations between representatives of the UNISON and College management alone.

We seek to conclude negotiations in a reasonable timescale with the objective of reaching agreement in time for implementation of an agreement in December 2021.

 

Implementation, monitoring and review

The provisions of any agreement should be disseminated in a manner that provides for uniform application across the College.

Managers should be provided with full relevant training on the provisions of any agreement. The terms of any agreement shall be reviewed jointly after 12 months.

UNISON Barnet and Southgate branch looks forward to negotiating with a view to reaching agreement on the matters contained within the above claim.

Christalla Tsattala – UNISON Senior Steward/Convenor

John Burgess – UNISON Barnet Branch Secretary

Tuesday 16 November 2021

 

 

93 care workers sacked during a national shortage of care workers

What does it say about our society when 93 care workers are sacked and barely a mention is made in the media or by politicians?

This week consultation closed on the decision to sack 93 care workers.

Barnet UNISON has submitted our report into the shocking sacking of 93 care workers in what has been a shameful consultation.

To understand our anger and sadness at what has happened I encourage readers to read our report which is online here  or Barnet UNISON Response to Apthorp Consultation 22.10.21 FINAL

 

“Throughout the negotiation it emerged that the decision to vacate Apthorp had been taken by Barnet Council with no consultation with any other stakeholder other than Your Choice Barnet (YCB). The rationale for this has been stated over and over but the information underpinning this decision has been withheld. This has limited the trade union engagement to one of simply negotiating the redundancies rather than avoiding them. Consequently we have unanswered questions and we dispute the view that this discussion is not relevant to the trade unions.

The decisions around Apthorp directly affect the staff who are trade union members. Furthermore there is the potential for a significant knock-on effect in terms of the budget. As a result Barnet UNISON has been denied the opportunity to consider alternatives which may have ended up being less costly both on a financial and a humane level than the only option presented.” (An extract from the report)

 

What is deeply troubling is that this happened in the week of the CQC report “The State of Care”

https://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/major-report/state-care

Some of the headlines in the report are below.

  • “The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says health and care staff are “exhausted and depleted” and working under intense levels of pressure.
  • Urgent action is needed to stop a “tsunami of unmet need” rippling across essential services this winter, the care regulator has warned.
  • Desperately needed social care staff are quitting their jobs to work in the tourism and hospitality sector because they are ‘burnt out’, the sector has warned.
  • Exhausted staff are leaving the key worker roles to fill shortages in other sectors, as pubs and restaurants struggle to find enough staff.

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-10-22/burnt-out-and-exhausted-social-care-staff-quit-to-fill-hospitality-shortage

 

“We have Covid infection levels increasing daily, an overworked and under resourced NHS staff, a deliberate lack of action/leadership by this government and lack of leadership from the political opposition in Parliament and a negligent national media, it looks like we are sleep walking into a health and social care crisis of biblical proportions. We will continue to do what we always do for Barnet UNISON members which is providing public support and standing side by side with them whatever is happening to them.”

(John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.)

 

End:

 

Background to the Save Apthorp campaign 

1.Update: 93 Covid heroes face the sack

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2021/08/23/80-covid-heroes-face-the-sack/

2. Barnet UNISON request the right to speak on behalf of 93 Covid Heroes

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2021/08/26/barnet-unison-request-the-right-to-speak-on-behalf-of-93-covid-heroes/

3. What happened to the 11 Barnet Council Care Homes and day centres in 1999?

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2021/08/26/what-happened-to-the-11-barnet-council-care-homes-and-day-centres-in-1999/

4. What is going on, just who owns Apthorp care home?

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2021/09/03/what-is-going-on-just-who-owns-apthorp-care-home/

5. Update on Apthorp consultation: Save Apthorp

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2021/09/03/update-on-apthorp-consultation-save-apthorp/

6. Join our We Are Barnet Save Apthorp lobby in person and online

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2021/09/08/join-our-we-are-barnet-save-apthorp-lobby-in-person-and-online/

7. A Tale of Two Priorities

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2021/09/09/a-tale-of-two-priorities/

8. Is Apthorp care setting closing or not?

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2021/09/09/is-apthorp-care-setting-closing-or-not/

9.Going, going gone, sold to…….what is going on at Apthorp?

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2021/09/27/going-going-gone-sold-to-what-is-going-on-at-apthorp/

End.

 

 

Barnet UNISON support Defend Paul Holmes campaign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barnet UNISON notes:

  • The suspension by Labour-led Kirklees Council of UNISON Branch Secretary Paul Holmes in December 2019
  • That Kirklees Council has had almost two years to carry out an investigation
  • That Paul has been a Nalgo and then UNISON steward for 46 years, and Branch Secretary for 32 years, and is currently the President of UNISON
  • That Kirklees UNISON is one of the largest branches in the country and had 3 live strike ballots and one pending when Paul was suspended
  • On hearing that Paul Holmes had been suspended the Council’s Deputy Leader said at the time, “There is a Father Christmas”.

 

Barnet UNISON believes:

  • That an injury to one is an injury to all – employers must not be allowed to get away with attacking our union organisation and our union activists, reps, branch and national officers.
  • The Deputy Leader’s statement shows that UNISON and Paul have been a thorn in their side, and critical to resisting cuts and closures of public services – delaying any investigation for so long indicates the aim was more to undermine union organisation in the Council.

Barnet UNISON resolves:

  • To campaign for Kirklees Council to end the suspension of Paul.
  • To write to both the Chief Executive and the Council Leader calling on them to lift Paul’s suspension.
  • To affiliate to the Defend Paul Holmes Campaign and publicise and mobilise for campaign events and activities.

 

Barnet UNISON Branch Executive unanimously passed this motion on 8 September 2021.

 

Is Apthorp care setting closing or not?

Incredibly last week our reps were informed that Barnet Council were continuing with the repairs at Apthorp with the intention that it will re-open.

This was shocking news in that the staff were not informed it was re-opening and the Council delegated report which triggered the announcement of the sacking of the 93 Covid heroes did not mention that Apthorp would re-open

The only recorded decision was as follows:

“1. To commence work with the residents of Apthorp and their families to identify appropriate alternative placements and effect a safe transfer to the new home.”

View report here https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?Id=8668

“Why did Barnet Council consult residents, relatives, Trade Unions and staff on the options before simply imposing a decision that is damaging both to resident and staff?”

Now we know it is re-opening we are seeking a meaningful consultation on an alternative way to deal with the issues facing the residents and staff.

Look out for further updates.

End.

 

 

 

A Tale of Two Priorities

Capita have received a staggering £555 million from Barnet Council whilst 93 #CovidHeroes care workers have been given their redundancy notice due to a decision made by Barnet Council

Big thanks to @ReasonableNB for keeping tally of the #Capita payments

“Just what we pay Capita – How they billed £555 million to one council”

http://reasonablenewbarnet.blogspot.com/2021/09/just-what-we-pay-capita-how-they-billed.html

This is truly shocking our #WeAreBarnet #keyworkers just don’t understand why money can be found for Capita but not for the residents of #Apthorp

 

 

Join our We Are Barnet Save Apthorp lobby in person and online

Please come along in solidarity for our 93 Covid Heroes who after working through Covid were told two weeks ago their jobs were going.

The lobby starts 6 pm outside Hendon Town Hall and finishes at 7 pm.

This will be an opportunity to hear from the care workers directly as to what has happened.

Barnet UNISON has a proud history of standing up for members when they are in need therefore we are calling on all Barnet UNISON members and trade union members to attend our Solidarity public lobby.

We had asked to speak at the Adults & Safeguarding Committee which starts at 7 pm inside Hendon Town Hall , but our request was denied.

We have been offered a meeting and we are waiting for the date and time.

We also want to extend our request for solidarity to the wider Trade Union movement and we are pleased to announce that our lobby will be hosted by Socialist Telly.

You can find Socialist Telly on You Tube here https://www.youtube.com/c/SocialistTelly

Here are details to join the Save Apthorp care home lobby online

Join Barnet UNISON Zoom Meeting Tuesday 14 September at 5.45 pm – 7 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88230246920?pwd=L1ZNa1FWellMYVpRWW1zc0ZpbzI0dz09

Meeting ID: 882 3024 6920

Passcode: 894775

Solidarity

End.

What is going on, just who owns Apthorp care home?

News has come to light which suggests that Barnet Council does not own Apthorp care home.

See Land Registry which shows that the owner is CATALYST HOUSING LIMITED (Industrial and Provident Society No. IP16561R) of Ealing Gateway, 26-30 Uxbridge Road, London W5 2AU.

Apthorp Lodge Land Registry Title

Let’s go back to Barnet Council delegated Powers report which made the decision to close the home which has created untold stress and anxiety for residents and their relatives along with the 93 Covid heroes who work there.

“In March 2021 and May 2021 routine fire safety assessments, followed by additional building conditions surveys identified that significant and intrusive works would be required to bring the building up to standard. Indicative costs were estimated to be in the region of £2.7m.”

The report fails to mention that the costs which are high should be paid by the owner of the property instead it is the reason to justify the decision to create havoc at Apthorp.

Furthermore, the communication over this decision is all over the place.

In the communication to staff and trade unions the time to get out states 31 October 2021 yet in this report it states:

“This report recommends that, to ensure residents’ needs are being met appropriately, the adult social care team should work with YCB to support residents to move to alternative care homes by end November 2021.”

There are so many questions that are unanswered about this grievous decision see our next post

In the meantime, we are still waiting to hear back from the Chair of Adults & Safeguarding Committee in answer to our request to address the meeting on behalf of our 93 Covid heroes. The silence is deafening.

Details of our lobby on Tuesday 14 September at 6 pm are here below

2021.08.31 Apthorp lobby leaflet

What happened to the 11 Barnet Council Care Homes and day centres in 1999?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barnet Council back in 1998 made a decision that it would outsource all of its Elderly Services residential and day care services.

They not only wanted to get rid of the workforce they handed over the property to the lucky contractor.

Imagine that 11 prime real estate locations and they only required to build four new settings (they only built three new homes, more on that in a later post).

Barnet UNISON commissioned a report to counter this proposal.

Here is what we recommended to Barnet Council back in 1999

 

Recommendations 

We recommend that:

  1. Barnet maintains ownership of its residential homes and continues to

    directly employ staff engaged in these homes. Any reorganisation and

    redirection of resources in favour of specialist or domiciliary care should be in

    the context of in-house provision and joint work with health organisations,

    rather than transfers to the independent sector.

 

  1. The residential and domiciliary services, including home care, day care and

    respite care, be subject to a comprehensive Best Value service review which

    includes a detailed examination of quality and cost.

  1. The council works with the trade unions and staff to develop the in-house

    service. As part of this a review of the operation and management of the

    service should be conducted with the full involvement of the trade unions, users and the wider community in accordance with the Best Value requirements .

  1. Alternative funding options and the impact of phased improvement work on

    the capital programme require further detailed investigation before any

    decisions are made.

 

You can read the FULL report here Barnet Res Care 1999 report

 

Needless to say, our report was ignored, and the staff and Council properties handed over to contractors.

Next post will be on what happened next?

 

Did we get high quality care homes fit for the future?

 

What happened to the work force?

 

End.

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