Let us help: Barnet UNISON plea to School Support Staff

You are worth it.

You are entitled to be treated like any other member of staff in your school.

Everyone in a school contributes to a healthy education environment in which children can thrive.

I am making my plea out of frustration.

I have spent the last six months working through outstanding grading appeals and pay issues for Barnet Council workers, but not school staff.

In the last three months I have started on my list of School Support Staff who are in need of support and advice concerning their pay.

The difference in working environments is appalling and unfair. The rest of the Council workforce have been subject to cuts and mass outsourcing, but in relation to their pay and grading the application has been without pressure.

BUT, in schools it is oh so different.

Why must some Schools always refer to budget cuts and letting staff go?

Why do some Schools complain about not being involved when they were?

Why are School Support Staff left to feel that they are wrong to challenge the grade, in most cases they are losing money, and they don’t earn much money anyway.

I have never seen equivalent fear like it in a workplace, grown women and men with huge life experience are sometimes too scared to let the union fight their corner for fear of reprisals.

Barnet UNISON will not be going anywhere and will continue to offer our fullest support for all of our support staff.

If you work in a school and need our help please contact the branch on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk


URGENT: Performance Appraisals – UNISON advice


Performance Reviews–UNISON advice

Unlike previous years Performance Reviews have taken on a much more serious meaning as the Council has linked your performance to an annual payment.

This means that your Performance Rating will have an impact on your Pay. It is therefore important that all of our members fully understand Performance Reviews.

Did you have a Mid-Year review last year?

“One to one meetings should be held on a regular basis and should be scheduled throughout the year.  These provide the manager and employee with the opportunity to ensure progress is being made against priorities and to ensure that learning and development opportunities are being taken up. A written note of the main issues and decision taken during these meetings should be recorded on the One to One Meetings form.” (Performance Review Scheme Barnet Council.)

Preparing for your Performance Review.

Barnet Councils Performance Review Scheme states:

“Before you begin preparing for your Performance Review, you should make sure you have a copy of your job description, the coming years’ team or service plan, your objectives from last year and your PDP.”

If you are unhappy with your Performance Review please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You will need to provide:

  • A copy of your current performance review
  • A copy of last year’s performance appraisal
  • Supporting documentation e.g. emails.


Unified Reward Update – Schools 3 March 2017

Dear Barnet UNISON members working in schools please note the following update:

Nursery Nurses (Early Years Educators)

Barnet UNISON will be submitting a group appeal for Nursery Nurses week commencing 6 March. More details will be provided as to what you need to do.

New contracts – Please read

It has come to our attention that staff are being pressurised to sign the contracts. Please note the following:

Last term non-school Barnet Council employees received their new contracts. Most staff had no issues so they signed their contract. There was a smaller group of workers who did have outstanding 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 still 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.

If you have any questions about the wording in the contracts please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

We will be writing to the Council with our member’s questions and will publicise their responses.

UNISON Lead school reps are:

  • Louis Smyth specifically on Monday/Tuesday.
  • Nadia Joseph on Wednesday.

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

52 Week Teaching Assistants group appeal

I am meeting with the Council negotiating team on Monday 6 March 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 read all of your paperwork before I can advise, before we go into the Stage 1 meeting.

Faith & Voluntary aided 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

You are invited to

Barnet UNISON AGM on Tuesday 7 March 4pm at Christ Church at Whetstone (Lower Hall) Oakleigh Park, North N20 9AR

 Food and refreshments provided

Barnet UNISON solidarity with PCS members in local job centres

21stFebruary 2017

Dear Sir or Madam

Please see below our Branch’s response to your call for views on the proposal to close two Job Centres in the London Borough of Barnet.

Closure of Job Centres in the London Borough of Barnet

Barnet UNISON are concerned about the proposed closure of two of the four Job Centres in the Borough.  The DWP appears to have not fully considered the impact this would have on those people working in and using Job Centres, and the wider community including our members working to provide support for those seeking work.

Instead of closing Job Centres we call on the DWP to consider the benefits and opportunities of working in partnership with local Government.  The proposal shows a failure to learn from the success of existing DWP and Local Government partnerships such as the Boost project at Burnt Oak

Barnet’s population, already the size of many UK cities, will rise from 373, 000 to over 400,000 within the next decade. To reduce Job Centre services by 50% in the face of this growth illustrates a lack of strategic planning by the DWP

Reducing the number of Job Centres will place greater strains and stresses on people who already are in the difficult and worrying situation of having to find work as travel costs and waiting times will increase.

The closure of half of the Borough’s Job Centres will put further pressure on our members working in council services such as libraries and social care who are providing support to people who are out of work; our members are already suffering from additional pressures from cuts to jobs and resources.

Barnet UNISON call for a more imaginative and socially responsible approach to providing Job Centre Services in our Borough. This to be  arrived at after a  full and real consultation with Job Centre workers as represented by the PCS, service users, the Council and other concerned organisations.

Barnet Unison – Local Government branch.

Join us – I Daniel Blake with Ken Loach

Fight Austerity


Barnet UNISON is proud to be able to screen ‘I Daniel Blake’ in our local community cinema the Phoenix in East Finchley on Tuesday 28 February.

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.

See flyer and poster for details.Flyer


Useful links

Phoenix Cinema – East Finchley


Accessibility at Phoenix http://phoenixcinema.co.uk/PhoenixCinema.dll/Page?PageID=3&SubListID=1&SubPageID=1

I, Daniel Blake trailers


I, Daniel Blake – Official Trailer I HD I Sundance Selects


Ken Loach: life in austerity Britain is ‘consciously cruel’


barnet_idanielblake_28Feb2017_A5_2ppAditya Chakrabortty https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/19/lives-torn-apart-assets-labour-privatisation-north-london-haringey

Download our poster here


Barnet UNISON sends solidarity & donations to grassroots members in struggle

Last week at our branch executive meeting our reps had a report on a number of grassroots struggles taking place across the UK.

I am proud to say that there was no hesitation in wanting to send solidarity messages and donations to these grassroots campaigns. Our branch has been in ongoing struggles for over a decade. We have had tremendous acts of support and solidarity from UNISON reps and members not just in the London region but right across our union. We have learnt the importance of solidarity.

I can say from experience just how valuable it is to be able to read out messages of solidarity from other grassroots members to members on picket lines. It imbues a feeling of confidence that is badly needed when you are under attack.

Here are the campaigns we sent solidarity and or sent donations.

  • Kinsley 3 campaign
  • Derby TAs
  • Durham TA’s
  • Glasgow UNISON members: IT workers and Janitors
  • Kirklees Social Workers
  • Aslef, RMT, TSSA workers
  • PCS members working at the Employment and Human Rights Office


John Burgess

Branch Secretary


Barnet UNISON social media channels – have a look

Stand up to RacismIt has always been important to us that we are able to communicate with our members. Technology is changing so much it can be difficult to keep up. We know a good proportion of our members are reading news on their phones which is why we are trying to ensure we keep our news up to date.

We do use all forms of communications, its never either or in Barnet it’s let do what we can.

We hold UNISON meetings, 1:1’s, produce leaflets, send out our weekly eNEWS email, regularly update our website, text messaging, Facebook and Twitter, produce videos on our You Tube account and upload our pictures on Flickr.

Have a look.

Website: http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Twitter: @barnet_unison

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/branchsec

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/cameraroll

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