Barnet UNISON votes to seek lawful national dispute over the School Budget cuts

Support our School Staff members

This Branch Executive Committee notes:

1.    This statement which came out 13 December 2016:

“State schools in England will have to find £3bn in savings by 2019-20, says the public spending watchdog. Schools face 8% budget cuts and about 60% of secondary schools already have deficits, warns a funding analysis from the National Audit Office (NAO).”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38301843

2.      Our branch has received an unusually large number of requests from schools seeking consultation over redundancies.

3.      The cuts budget is a national agenda which being fought at a local level.

4.      School support staff are often a significant proportion (30-50%) of the membership of UNISON local government branches.

5.      The formation of a new Education trade union which will bring teachers and school support staff into one union.

6.      The disputes by Derby City and Durham UNISON teaching assistants against the imposition of pay cuts through term-time only contracts.

7.      The impressive public support those teaching assistants have received for their strike action.

This BEC believes:

1.    School support staff are particularly vulnerable to redundancies but there is then a knock-on effect for the rest of the school when jobs are cut.

2.    The scale of the problem, the speed of the consultations and the general lack of confidence amongst school support staff means it is incredibly difficult to organise effective, or any resistance to cuts in posts at individual schools as a result of the overall cut in the schools budget.

3.    The cuts budget is a national agenda which should be fought at a national level.

4.    The issue of term-time only pay should be made into a national dispute.

5.    Fighting cuts and defending public services is popular with the public.

This BEC resolves:

1.    To continue supporting and encouraging all and any colleagues fighting job losses and pay cuts on a local level.

2.    To call on UNISON to seek a way of registering a lawful national dispute over the School Budget cuts and begin the mobilisation of all of our members working in schools for a strike ballot.

3.    To call on UNISON to seek urgent talks with sister unions to attempt to coordinate joint national strike action over the School Budget Cuts.

4.    To send this motion to National Local Government conference 2017.

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

Unified Pay: “Myths & Updates” – School staff please read

 

Unified Pay Update

New contracts

Last term Barnet Council employees received their new contracts. Most staff had no issues so they signed their contract. There were a smaller group of workers who had issues. For these staff UNISON advised that they did not need to sign until the appeal/issue had been resolved. In some cases some staff signed even though they had an outstanding issue. In which case once their appeal was resolved they received an updated contract.  It is important that members keep a copy of their new contracts somewhere secure.

School staff:

I have been informed that Barnet Council are about to issue new contracts for all their employees (excluding teachers) in schools

It is really important that if UNISON members do have any issues or concerns they contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

On Monday and Tuesday we have Louis Smyth specifically to deal with UNISON school member issues and Nadia Joseph on Wednesday.

Myth

“If I don’t sign the contract I will be made redundant”

No, no no. This is not correct. If you feel any pressure or are uncertain what to do then please contact your local rep or the unison office.

Sick Pay Scheme

In the new contract there is mention of a potential change which could see some staff having pay deducted if they are off sick. It is important to note that this is an ‘if.’ UNISON are already in negotiations about a new sickness policy, until we have reached an agreement the current sickness scheme is in place. It is worth noting that the original Council proposals was to withdraw from the current sick pay scheme for example end the 6 months full pay, 6 months half pay if you were seriously ill

Nursery Nurse group appeal

In the negotiations with the council there was an agreement that discussion about the 3.4% would continue after implementation. I can report that I am in the process of putting together an appeal for the Nursery Nurses with the support of some of our members. A meeting whereby I will be giving feedback on what I am proposing is being held

52 Week Teaching Assistants group appeal

I am meeting with the Council negotiating team to discuss a proposal which I hope I will be able to discuss with members shortly.

Individual Appeals

I have a list of members who have individual appeals. It is very important that members provide the UNISON office with all documentation, and arrange for a 1:1 meeting with me in order that I can best able to provide you with support. I have been supporting non schools members for the last five months and this process has worked well.

*** If you have sent in an appeal and have not notified UNISON, we will not be able to help. It is very important that you notify the branch if you want the support.

Stage 1 appeals

These meetings are not meant to be stressful for members. They an opportunity for a discussion with the employer, employee and their UNISON rep. In the many other Stage 1 meetings for non-school staff, management have been very supportive of any of their staff who are facing a loss in pay. I have found that the approach taken for non-schools staff has been largely positive for staff. The solution to the loss in pay can often be resolved by exploring a number of different approaches.

I would hope that UNISON members working in schools would expect that they should have the same treatment.

This is why when UNISON members working in schools contact the branch for support, they will be offered a 1:1 meeting with me. I need to listen and then advise, before we go into the Stage 1 meeting.

Faith schools

A number of faith schools are adopting Unified Pay collective agreement. It is important that members make sure they keep our office informed if they have any issues or concerns.

It is really important that if UNISON members do have any issues or concerns they contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

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”.

 

Message of Solidarity from Barnet Green Party

‘We at Barnet Green Party are writing to express our solidarity with the three day strike action being taken by your library workers. Barnet Council’s proposed cuts to posts, staffing hours, library space and other resources is completely unacceptable. It demonstrates an absence of imagination in modernising libraries to adapt to the electronic-era. We believe that the shrinking, selling and cutting staffing at libraries is the action of a heartless undemocratic council. The selling off of public goods which are treasured by Barnet’s residents and of which they are custodians with no mandate to dispose of is quite simply scandalous and we shall continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in resisting the cuts to library services as we have sadly had to do for years.’

Dan Ozarow

Trade Union Liaison Officer, Barnet Green Party

Message of Solidarity from Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary

“On behalf of PCS, I send our full solidarity for your strike. You have the full support of PCS in your fight against cuts to public libraries in Barnet and the forced privatisation of these vital public services and we are absolutely clear that your fight is our fight. PCS members have taken action over similar issues in recent years. Our members at the Land Registry successfully fought off privatisation in the past, and are now facing another struggle to stop another attempted sell off. Please let us know if there is any other practical support we can provide.”

(Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary)

Solidarity Message to the Barnet Strikers From John McDonnell

“I want to pay tribute and send solidarity greetings to Barnet UNISON Library workers who are taking three days strike action starting Monday 13 June. They have been fighting an inspirational work place and community campaign with the Save Barnet Libraries campaign. I would like to thank them for their sterling efforts to expose and prevent the proposed widespread decimation of their Library service which will see half the workforce dumped onto the dole queue. Barnet UNISON has been a fine example of how trade unions and their community can work together in fighting austerity policies which are destroying local public services up and down the country, they have my 100% support.” John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor

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