Joint Trade Union Cambridge Education members meeting Weds 6 pm

Dear Member

Please note Barnet UNISON is hosting a  members meeting today Wednesday 24 June 6-7 pm

It is for all members of the Trade union.

To join the meeting please click on the link below.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86110127797?pwd=MUpSblEzZkRtaG9PV1ZBOENoRU1vQT09

Meeting ID: 861 1012 7797

Password: 493730

If you have an queries or concerns please email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

 

BREAKINGNEWS: Mott MacDonald and Barnet Council in contract termination talks

On Thursday 18 June 2020 former Barnet Council staff working for Cambridge Education were summoned to a succession of meetings where they were informed that, due to the impact of Covid19, discussions are now taking place about ending the contract on 31 August 2020.

The staff are being told there are two possible options:

  • Transfer back into the Council
  • Transfer to a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC)

Consultation on the options started on Friday 19th June 2020 with a briefing for head teachers.

There will be a briefing for the Parent-Carer Forum sometime this week.

Consultation ends 30 July 2020.

The Council wants to start TUPE consultation on 6 July and end consultation on 20 July 2020.

Staff will be informed of the transfer arrangements on 30th July 2020.

Services and staff transfer on 1 September 2020.

“The private sector doesn’t like taking the risks for delivering public services and this is yet another damning example. Mott MacDonald is a global giant want out of this Education Services contract. Barnet Council has stood resolute in the face of the COVID challenge and has used its resources and staff to address the needs of the most vulnerable in the community. This latest crisis could not come at a worse time. The staff delivering this service have been valiantly supporting Barnet Schools to continue to provide for pupils during this pandemic. Now, at a time when they are mobilising to support Barnet Schools reopening in September, they are facing an unknown future. As someone who attended the outsourcing meetings with staff I remember all too well the staff concerns as to what would happen if the contractor wanted to end the contract. This concern was played down at the time, as it always is, by and assurance that they were dealing with a global giant and what could possibly go wrong?

If COVID has shown us anything it has to be that direct control of public services means you are more agile, more efficient and most importantly you have CONTROL.

The obvious and most common sense decision is to simply transfer the services back to the Council. This would enable staff and the service to focus on doing what they do best – delivering support for Barnet Schools.” (John Burgess Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON).

*****
The Trade Unions have not been sent the consultation report which was promised last week, however a copy has been provided. Not a good start to consultation.

To view the report click on the link below

Future of ES – briefing for staff – 19.6.20 final

End.

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

 

 

At last. Government publish the missing BAME report which includes recommendations.

The following extracts including the Recommendations are from the Executive Summary of “Beyond the data: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups.”(Source: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/892376/COVID_stakeholder_engagement_synthesis_beyond_the_data.pdf )

“Stakeholders expressed deep dismay, anger, loss and fear in their communities about the emerging data and realities of BAME groups being harder hit by the COVID-19 Beyond the Data: Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on BAME Communities pandemic than others, exacerbating existing inequalities. Many had lost colleagues or family members to the disease, and nearly all are experiencing the impact of the disease on their communities with the significant social, physical and mental health impacts and complications.”

“Stakeholders pointed to racism and discrimination experienced by communities and more specifically by BAME key workers as a root cause affecting health, and exposure risk and disease progression risk.”

“Strategies to create healthy and supportive workplaces (within and outside the health service) that have zero tolerance for discrimination and empower BAME staff to raise concerns about occupational risk and safety are essential.”

“The unequal impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities may be explained by a number of factors ranging from social and economic inequalities, racism, discrimination and stigma, occupational risk, inequalities in the prevalence of conditions that increase the severity of disease including obesity, diabetes, CVD and asthma.”

“The engagement sessions highlighted the BAME groups deep concern and anxiety that if lessons are not learnt from this initial phase of the epidemic, future waves of the disease could again have severe and disproportionate impacts. All were united in the commitment that urgent, collaborative and decisive action is required to avoid a repeat of this in the future.”

“Recommendations

1. Mandate comprehensive and quality ethnicity data collection and recording as part of routine NHS and social care data collection systems, including the mandatory collection of ethnicity data at death certification, and ensure that data are readily available to local health and care partners to inform actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities.

2.Support community participatory research, in which researchers and community stakeholders engage as equal partners in all steps of the research process, to understand the social, cultural, structural, economic, religious, and commercial determinants of COVID-19 in BAME communities, and to develop readily implementable and scalable programmes to reduce risk and improve health outcomes.

3. Improve access, experiences and outcomes of NHS, local government and integrated care systems commissioned services by BAME communities including: regular equity audits; use of health impact assessments; integration of equality into quality systems; good representation of black and minority ethnic communities among staff at all levels; sustained workforce development and employment practices; trust-building dialogue with service users.

4. Accelerate the development of culturally competent occupational risk assessment tools that can be employed in a variety of occupational settings and used to reduce the risk of employee’s exposure to and acquisition of COVID-19, especially for key workers working with a large cross section of the general public or in contact with those infected with COVID-19.

5. Fund, develop and implement culturally competent COVID-19 education and prevention campaigns, working in partnership with local BAME and faith communities to reinforce individual and household risk reduction strategies; rebuild trust with and uptake of routine clinical services; reinforce messages on early identification, testing and diagnosis; and prepare communities to take full advantage of interventions including contact tracing, antibody testing and ultimately vaccine availability.

6. Accelerate efforts to target culturally competent health promotion and disease prevention programmes for non-communicable diseases promoting healthy weight, physical activity, smoking cessation, mental wellbeing and effective management of chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

7. Ensure that COVID-19 recovery strategies actively reduce inequalities caused by the wider determinants of health to create long term sustainable change. Fully funded, sustained and meaningful approaches to tackling ethnic inequalities must be prioritised.”

To view the full report click on the link below.

Beyond the data: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/892376/COVID_stakeholder_engagement_synthesis_beyond_the_data.pdf

 

Barnet UNISON email Care Providers in the London Borough of Barnet

Dear Care Provider,

I hope this email finds you and your care setting well. The last weeks have been particularly gruelling for the social care sector and we recognise you have had to cope with extremely challenging and distressing situations. We believe this has been unacceptable and going forward it needs to change for the better.

You along with our members are undoubtedly aware of the Governments infection control fund which is an attempt to address the risks of infection to residents in care home settings.

UNISON fully supports this initiative both locally and nationally.

UNISON notes that London Borough of Barnet has been allocated £3,564,514 for infection control by the Government.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5ec2717de90e071e30d09844/allocation-table-for-the-infection-control-fund-for-adult-social-.pdf

The Government guidance is clear that this funding should be used to pay the “normal wages” of social care workers that are absent due to COVID-19 as a measure to help reduce transmissions, so they do not feel pressured into going into work out of financial necessity.  Its intention is also to top up the wages of those doing shifts at several care homes by encouraging them to reduce the number of workplaces they visit.

To that end we are writing to as many care providers in Barnet as we can to ask them to provide the following information:

Wages and Sick Pay arrangements

  • Can you please confirm what your sick pay/ pay arrangements to cover periods of isolation are for those workers you employ?
  • Can you confirm whether you employ workers on zero hours contracts and how these would be affected by your sick pay/ isolation pay arrangements?
  • Can you confirm how you will identify the workers who would need a top up?
  • Can you confirm whether your basic minimum hourly rate of pay is above, below or at the London Living Wage (£10.75/ hr)

PPE

  • Can you confirm what PPE you have in place and in what circumstances this is used?
  • Can you confirm what training you have in place regarding the correct use of PPE?

The infection control funding is a much needed positive boost for a workforce that has been on the frontline dealing with a deadly infection that they could have never imagined they would face in a care home setting.

Please note we are widely publicising our communication to all care homes settings with our members and we will be updating them on the responses we receive through our usual social media communication platforms.

Can you please respond by close of play this Friday 19 June 2020? If you intend to respond but cannot meet the deadline of Friday could you give us an alternative date we can expect your response?

Many thanks in advance,

Stay safe.

Best wishes

Barnet UNISON

 

 

 

All Care Workers Now To Receive Full Sick Pay For COVID19

 

If you are a care worker you will shortly be receiving this email from us (if we have your email address). If you are the friend or know someone who is a care worker or support worker – let them know about this and encourage them to join UNISON!

Dear Colleague,

The Government has given funding to local authorities to ensure that you will be paid as if you were working normally if you go off sick with suspected COVID19 or have to isolate because you came into close contact with someone who has COVID19. London Borough of Barnet has been allocated £3,564,514

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5ec2717de90e071e30d09844/allocation-table-for-the-infection-control-fund-for-adult-social-.pdf. This is for infection control purposes.

 

Government guidance is clear that this funding should be used to pay the “normal wages” of social care workers that are absent due to COVID-19 as a measure to help reduce transmissions, so they do not feel pressured into going into work out of financial necessity.  Its intention is also to top up the wages of those doing shifts at several care homes by encouraging them to reduce the number of workplaces they visit.

Since the news of this funding was made we have been writing to the local authority trying to gain an assurance this money will make its way into your pockets should you need it. Some companies, such as YCB (Your Choice Barnet) have already been paying colleagues their full salary whilst they’ve been isolating but far too many have not made this commitment. This is unfair and dangerous.

Today we received confirmation that the local authority has passed this money on to the care providers in Barnet. There should now be no excuse for you not getting the pay you need to stay away from work when you need to. We are in the process of writing to all care providers – starting with those where we have members – asking them these questions:

Wages and Sick Pay arrangements

  • Can you please confirm what your sick pay/ pay arrangements to cover periods of isolation are for those workers you employ?
  • Can you confirm whether you employ workers on zero hours contracts and how these would be affected by your sick pay/ isolation pay arrangements?
  • Can you confirm how you will identify the workers who would need a top up?
  • Can you confirm whether your basic minimum hourly rate of pay is above, below or at the London Living Wage (£10.75/hr)

PPE

  • Can you confirm what PPE you have in place and in what circumstances this is used?
  • Can you confirm what training you have in place regarding the correct use of PPE?

I want to thank all of you for the contributions you have made, not just in terms of going to work during this difficult time, but for speaking to us about the issues you are facing. To be honest we should not have to be working so hard to get these changes – it should be understood as obvious. Yet without your feedback absolutely nothing would have changed. Trade Union organisation has helped us organise this feedback and delivered it to the right places. Many of your colleagues are not members of a trade union – imagine how much more we could achieve if we had more members. Even better if we had reps who could be that vital link between you and your colleagues in workplace and the branch. It would help you overcome that sense of isolation and help you network with more people. Please recruit your colleagues, keep the feedback going and think about becoming a rep.

We will keep you updated with the responses of the employers as they come back to us.

Thanks

Helen Davies

Branch Chair

Barnet UNISON

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