“Heart-breaking and infuriating”: Outsourcing hurts workers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“John, I didn’t realise what it meant to be outsourced, I remember you warning us about it and calling for strike action. I know now and I absolutely hate working for them.”

I’ve had to represent many outsourced workers here in Barnet. The other day I had a long and upsetting conversation with a member. She reminded me of one of the many campaign meetings I had held with Barnet Council members before services were outsourced. In all of the meetings I would keep repeating the message that in spite of what senior managers were saying, workers would notice a difference if outsourced.

It doesn’t help to say I told you so, because our member need support from us.

It should serve as a warning to any workers under the threat of outsourcing such as Knowsley or the Four Health branches Bradford, Calderdale and Huddersfield, Leeds and Mid Yorkshire Health who are about to be balloted or the 600 hospital caterers, cleaners, porters other staff at three hospitals in Lancashire are planning to strike for 48-hours later this month over plans to transfer their jobs from an NHS trust to a private company it plans to set up as a wholly owned subsidiary. The proposed action on 23 and 24 May follows an 89% vote for strike action in a ballot which saw 73% of eligible members cast a vote.

https://www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2018/05/wwl-strike/

I send solidarity greetings and this warning, if you don’t fight you have already lost, if you fight, you may win and avoid what will inevitably follow with outsourcing, which will be an attack on your pay and terms and conditions.

John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barnet Alliance is back – Guest speaker John McDonnell & Mr Reasonable

On Tuesday 22 May Barnet Alliance return to the Barnet Politics.

To mark the occasion, Barnet Alliance have arranged for Mr Reasonable to provide a short overview on Capita and their relationship with Barnet Council.

As an added bonus they have incredibly managed to secure John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, he is speaking at PCS conference earlier that day but has said that he hopes to drop in at some point during the two hour meeting. John along with Jeremy Corbyn have a long association of supporting Barnet Alliance campaigns. Both them still talk about the Barnet Spring march that took place in a blizzard.

Barnet Alliance, will be both organising and supporting local campaigns in Barnet.

If you want to get involved in positive campaigning here in Barnet to help fight to support and save public services then start making plans to attend the weekly Barnet Alliance meetings.

Barnet Alliance meetings will be taking place every Tuesday from 6.30 to 8.30 at the Greek Cypriot Centre, 2 Britannia Rd, London N12 9RU

 

 

 

 

 

Grenfell: “The fight for justice goes on.”

On Monday 14 May 2018, Barnet UNISON continued our pledge made at our AGM to send our banner in solidarity to each Grenfell Silent march which take place on the 14th of each month.

I have been on hundreds of marches but I’ve not attended a silent march before.

It is hard to explain just how powerful it is unless you are there.

Once it begins no one speaks, no mobile phones, the traffic stops, even the birds in the trees seem subdued. I could hear the wind in the trees, it was so quiet I could hear the Barnet UNISON banner poles squeaking.

Half way through the march there is a touching scene where residents shake the hands of the firefighters who are lined up in respect alongside of the march.

I spoke to a number of people and they do welcome the unions providing solidarity.

This collection of campaigns are having to fight tooth and nail for justice.

Whilst they have won a victory to have people on the panel alongside the Judge there is so much to fight for.

Today we heard news that the Government won’t ban combustible cladding.

That is impossible to comprehend after what has happened at #Grenfell.

History tells a story. We know, from #Hillsborough and #Orgreave just how long working class communities have to wait for justice.

#Orgreave are still waiting.

It’s important that trade unions do what trade unions have been doing for over a hundred years. We offer solidarity in whatever form is acceptable.

Barnet UNISON will continue to support #Grenfell residents in order they don’t have to wait 20 years for justice.

The next #Grenfell Silent march is on Thursday 14 June, 6.30.

If you would like to join the Barnet UNISON banner on the march simply contact the branch on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

For those unable to make the 14 May, there is a protest organised by the Fire Brigades Union on Saturday 16, June, 12 noon assemble outside Downing Street, SW1A 1AA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barnet Council Street Cleansing workers ballot

For over a decade Barnet Town centres have been cleaned by Barnet Council Street Cleansing Team.

Over that time the workforce has been cut along with the Town Centre keepers.

Last November (2017), the Council voted to cut the street cleansing workforce by 19% and reduce the number of town keepers

In February 2018 overtime for weekend working stopped by senior management without any consultation with staff or the Trade Unions. The reason given was that the overtime budget was overspent. Workers were informed that the overtime would return to normal as of 1 April 2018.

A week later the decision was reviewed and only some hours returned.

As from 1 April 2018, the overtime has not returned as promised. Furthermore, more changes have been imposed on weekend working without discussion with the staff and Trade Unions.

Barnet UNISON fully supports our members and recognises that the established weekend overtime which has been in place for over a decade formed a vital part of our members pay.

The removal of the overtime without meaningful consultation with staff and trade unions is placing unacceptable hardship on an already over-worked and under-resourced workforce.

Barnet UNISON has had a meeting with senior management to discuss overtime for the Street Cleansing workforce. Unfortunately, they have rejected our proposal to restore the weekend overtime.

Barnet UNISON is carrying out an indicative strike ballot which closes Tuesday 29 May 2018.

Links

Barnet UNISON Street Cleansing overtime cut meetings (Feb 2017)

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2018/02/16/barnet-unison-street-cleansing-overtime-cut-meetings/

Barnet UNISON speaking against the cuts to Street Cleansing (Nov 2017)

https://youtu.be/-aUnR6SBC7Y

 

 

 

 

 

Ten years of ‘Future Shape’, ‘easyCouncil’, ‘One Barnet’

On Tuesday 6 May 2008, two things happened that changed my life.

The first was my meeting with the Chief Executive Leo Boland and Nick Walkley (later to become Chief Executive) where they informed me about their next project they called ‘Future Shape’.

The second was the Cabinet meeting which met that night and rubber stamped the ‘Future Shape’ proposal.

Click here to view the Cabinet report

https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/Data/Cabinet/200805061900/Agenda/Document%203.pdf

It’s been a roller coaster emotionally, mentally and physically the last ten years.

I don’t know how I am still here, but I do know that I am lucky to have an incredible team of office staff and activists all of whom strive hard to do all that they can for our members.

To mark this anniversary since the birth of Future Shape the branch enlisted the services of Dexter Whitfield to write a report on the last ten years.

I am proud to announce that the report was published today Monday 30 April, 2018 at 8 a.m.

As an added bonus, Jeremy Corbyn took time off his busy schedule to come along to meet some of the Barnet campaigners who have been active this last ten years in a very hostile environment of relentless outsourcing and cutting public services.

It is a very detailed report, but there again it had to be because there has been so much going on in our Council.

You can read our Press Release here

Damning report into EasyCouncil, Outsourcing including forward by John McDonnell

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Barnet-UNISON-Capita-report-2018.pdf

Below are three short video messages from Dexter Whitfield on his report.

Dexter Whitfield on campaigning against outsourcing

 

https://youtu.be/zDt8VKKQ-Vs

Dexter Whitfield on outsourcing failures

https://youtu.be/IiD17Pt7OwY

Dexter Whitfield on true costs of Barnet easyCouncil

https://youtu.be/V0SytYCj1HA

Finally  I am proud to see so many UNISON reps across the UK issue the following message:

UNISON reps across the UK call on public bodies to end contracts with Capita

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/?p=6109&preview=true

 

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