Barnet Council is to debate “Support London’s Living Wage for Care Workers”

Council meeting: 29 October 2019

Motion: Cllr Barry Rawlings

Support London’s Living Wage for Care Workers

Council believes that care workers provide the most crucial services to our elderly and disabled residents, and they deserve to be paid a living wage. Council notes that the former Fremantle care workers that have been transferred to the Barnet Group are being paid less than the London Living Wage which is currently £10.55 per hour. The London Living Wage has been identified as the minimum rate of pay that workers in the Capital need to cover the cost of living essentials. The Barnet Group policy is to pay all its workers at least the London Living Wage. Council welcomes the commitment for a feasibility report into the issue to be brought back to the next meeting of Policy & Resources Committee. Council calls on Policy & Resources Committee to ensure all Barnet Group employees are paid at least London’s Living Wage.

Under Full Council Procedure Rule 17.17: if my item is not dealt with by the end of the meeting, I ask that it be voted upon at the Council me

(Source: https://bit.ly/2Bw5w6z )

IMPORTANT NURSERY SCHOOLS Update from Barnet UNISON

Two joint trade union meetings have been agreed for members to discuss school budget cuts and the possible impact on members and the schools.

Tuesday 29th October at St Margaret’s at 4 pm

Thursday 31st October at Moss Hall at 4 pm

Please try to come along to one or both of the meetings

If you need advice please ring the branch on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

 

BREAKING NEWS: Barnet Homes announce termination of outsourced Mears Housing repairs service and domestic gas service

BREAKING NEWS: Barnet Homes announce termination of outsourced Mears Housing repairs service and bring back domestic gas service

The following announcement was made to all Barnet Homes staff on Wednesday, 9 October 2019

“From 1 April 2020, the Barnet Homes repairs service, currently provided by contractors Mears, will be brought in-house. This means that Barnet Homes will be responsible for repairs in tenants’ homes, refurbishing void properties and repairs to communal parts on our estates.

The domestic gas service will continue to be managed by Mears until 1 October 2020, when it will also be transferred into Barnet Homes and run as an in-house service.”

“This is fantastic news. Housing repairs was one of the first contracts to be outsourced by Barnet Homes. Housing repairs is a critical service and should not have ever been outsourced. Housing repairs was originally delivered by Barnet Council (and should return back there) after which it was first outsourced to Barnet Homes then sold off to Connaughts which became bankrupt. The service was handed on to Lovells and finally to Mears. Looking after council tenants needs to be under the direct control of the Council. This is a welcome first step to that end. The role of Council Housing needs to be seen just as important as Family Services in addressing the brutality of child poverty. All Councils must learn lessons from Grenfell and accept Housing is a human right and as such should be provided directly by the Council.” John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.

“TUPE or not TUPE” that is the stressful question for our outsourced ISS Catering workers

Barnet Council have moved the majority of their workforce to the new £50 million office in Colindale earlier this year.

The plan was to transfer the current staff working in the canteen in North London Business Park (NLBP) to work in a Costa Coffee shop in new office in Colindale.

Barnet UNISON represents all the Catering staff who were going to be transferred to the new café.

Unfortunately, news broke that this transfer is not taking place and no agreement could be reached between Barnet Council, Cambridge Education (Mott MacDonald) and ISS.

The news has brought stress and uncertainty to a group of low paid catering workers who were assured before the outsourcing from the Council that their jobs would not be at risk.

Three years after the outsourcing the staff are now possibly at risk of redundancy or being transferred to another employer.

This uncertainty is yet another example of the brutality of Austerity and the dangers of outsourcing,

Time and time again Barnet UNISON is having to organise workers who are facing serous cuts to their terms and conditions as a result of being outsourced.

Barnet UNISON has written to Barnet Council, Cambridge Education (Mott MacDonald) seeking a meeting to discuss the future of these workers.

Barnet UNISON is calling on the Council to set up their own café in the Colindale office and employ our members to run it.

 

 

 

 

Good News! – Pay Cut for Adoption Workers Stopped

North London Business Park, Unison workers go on strike
29/04/15 BP
Credit: Anne-Marie Sanderson

You may recall that a group of workers were due to be TUPE transferred to the North London Regional Adoption Agency at the start of this month. Shockingly they were informed at the last moment that if they transferred they would lose their Recruitment and Retention payment. This was after being part of the work done to deliver a good Ofsted rating. The Council argued this was not part of their terms and conditions. This would have meant a pay cut of 15%! Only when our union stepped in with legal advice to say they would take a court case on this if the Council went ahead, did the Senior Management back down and now these workers will transfer with their usual wages including the R&R.
It is unlawful to inflict a detriment on workers changing their terms and conditions due to a TUPE transfer. This was absolutely the line our Family Services Senior Management were pursuing.
It pays to be in a trade union. These workers went through a difficult time for several weeks and months not knowing what their income was going to become or where they would end up working. However, they stuck it out and acted together patiently waiting for positive news which did in fact come.
Solidarity to those workers!

Homeless: Barnet UNISON quest to find an office

Dear Members

Since the formation of Barnet Council in 1965 there has always been an office for our members to visit and meet with their reps first when it was NALGO and now Barnet UNISON.

Barnet UNISON has moved a few times over the last decades. We were based in an old mortuary in Hendon until the Council moved services “lock, stock and barrel” to North London Business Park (NLBP).

We remained in NLBP until the Council began its new accommodation strategy.

We were moved to Barnet House and we are still here.

It is really important for our members that they have access to their trade union.

Currently we have large numbers of members at Oakleigh Road depot, NLBP, Colindale.

Over the last 12 months we have been in discussions with the Council to find suitable accommodation that is accessible and provides confidentiality.

Why are we not at Colindale?

The set up in Colindale is open plan and the Council were unable to secure an enclosed office where we could meet, greet and discuss issues with our members. It is important that members are able to access Barnet UNISON without others knowing.

Subsequently we have been looking at some other properties. Originally we were going to return to Building 2 NLBP for a limited amount of time but that has not materialised.

Time is running out.

At the moment we are still in Barnet House because the building is still open for Housing Needs service which has not moved to Colindale. At some point Barnet House will be closed and we will be out on the streets hence the need to find something suitable.

We are still hoping to find a solution with the Council but we need to be prepared for potentially being homeless.

How you can help?

We are calling on all members to keep a look out for anywhere they think might be suitable for a Barnet UNISON office.

It’s important that members understand that the branch does not have funding for an office and therefore any costs would have to be taken out of our existing budget. This is a real concern because we have a large and diverse membership and we struggle to live within our budget each year. We will of course be contacting our union to ask if they are able to provide extra funding for accommodation and we will report back to our members the outcome of that request.

 

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