NEC Nominations

Why Barnet UNISON Made Its Nominations for UNISON’s NEC

The nominations we made were of reps who supported the Paul Holmes for General Secretary Election campaign. We want our union to be more outspoken in its strategy for winning against the Government. Solidarity should be offered without people having to ask first. We want to win better terms and conditions for our members, to keep our members safe and to fight discrimination. This means being more accountable to the ordinary member with more resources going to the branches. The reps we nominated have a track record of supporting that outlook and acting on it. It’s time for real change.

Barnet UNISON Nominates Reps for UNISON NEC

The National Executive Council is made up of 63 delegates which members vote on based on their relevant constituency in the union. Each member of UNISON is likely to belong to a number of constituencies and so will have multiple votes. Please use your vote when it comes.

Barnet UNISON Branch Executive met on 9th of February and agreed on a number of nominations so that these people can stand in the NEC elections.

Barnet UNISON nominated:

Greater London (Regional) seats

Helen Davies (female seat)

Liz Wheatley (female seat)

Anju Paul (low paid reserved female seat)

Amerit Rait (male seat)


Local Government (Service Group) seats

Jane Doolan (female seat)

Andrea Egan (female seat)

Paul Holmes (male seat)

Diana Leach (general seat)


Community (Service Group) seats

Saoirse Fanning (female seat)

Kevin Jackson (male seat)


Black Members (Self Organised Group) seats

April Ashley (female seat)

Hugo Pierre (male seat)

Julia Mwaluke (reserved low paid female seat)


Disabled Members (Self Organised Group) seats

Paula Carlyle (female seat)

Sharron Nicholl (general seat)


Young Members (Self Organised Group) seats

Lilly Boulby (female seat)

Kiera Hilder (general seat)

Breaking News: London Living Wage a good start but we want more for our members.

The Barnet Group has just announced that as from 1st April it wants to pay the London Living Wage to all its staff as the 250 staff who TUPE transferred from Fremantle two years ago were on lower rates of pay. More than 100 are still on the legal minimum wage only. The London Living Wage is a good start but it is also long overdue.

“Sometimes we do 14 hour shifts and the overtime is what we do in the afternoon/ evening. We do this to make up the money. Then we’re back on shift the next morning.” (A Barnet Group care worker).

Even before the transfer was completed Barnet UNISON made it clear to management that we would need these workers to be moved onto the London Living Wage as soon as possible. We did not envisage it would take 2 years to achieve this goal. A lot has changed. These workers have risked their lives and the lives of their own families by working through the pandemic. They have grieved over the excessive death rates of those they care for. None of this was part of what they had signed up for when they became care workers.

“You see these chair people – I bet they have never gone round someone’s home and done a repair themselves; or given someone a bed bath or held someone’s hand while they were dying…But they get all the money!”

(A Barnet Group care worker).

In order to part fund this rise in pay the same staff will have to give up their weekend and bank holiday enhancements. Overall this still leaves them with a significant increase in pay (yes that’s how miserable their pay was before!) but as a trade union we will never accept that colleagues working nights, weekends and bank holidays are just working normal days like the rest of us. Night shift work is known to be a health hazard. Those working weekends and bank holidays should receive additional compensation for sacrificing some of their family life or time with friends. Otherwise we end up in the kind of society we have now where employers show little regard for workers’ down time.

 “It might be the London Living Wage but it’s not the London Living standard, is it?”

(A Barnet Group care worker).

Helen Davies, UNISON Branch Chair says: “There is another aspect to the London Living Wage and it is this: The work done by the majority of the workforce is skilled work. It is done by a predominantly female workforce and yet their skills are being rewarded with what is the merely adequate minimum wage. They are being paid similarly to refuse loaders in the Council. There is no doubt if their jobs were evaluated against schemes run in the Council then the London Living Wage simply does not cut it.”


Note to Editors: Contact details: Helen Davies Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email:


Barnet Care workers update: London Living Wage decision delayed due to General Election


Barnet Council: The London and the Barnet Living Wage story continues……..


Be afraid. Barnet London Living Wage campaign is……..


Sign Barnet care workers London Living Wage Petition


John McDonnell supports London Living Wage for our care workers


Barnet Care Workers deserve the London Living Wage




Breaking News: Government threat of funding cut to Heads of Nursery Schools and Early Years

URGENT: Please read the document issued by the Department of Education yesterday evening.

You can read the full report by clicking on the link below.

Coronavirus-related support for submitting an Early Years Census 2021 return


This report is an attempt to:

  1. Defy the science by forcing all Nursery Schools and Early Years to re-open
  2. Bully the Nursery Schools and Early Years with threats of serious funding cuts if they don’t fully reopen immediately
  3. Pick a fight with the Trade Unions.

Summary of the report as follows:

This report changes things seriously for Nursery Schools and Early Years setting because it states that unless they fully reopen they will not get the funding they have had for the previous terms.

As we all know thee above settings are opening for pupils of key workers and vulnerable children.

The Government in this report are saying that is not good enough and that they need to fully reopen.

Nursery Schools and Early Years settings need all of our help. Most parents and members of the public will not be aware of this latest attack.

Please help share this post.






Looking after your mental health

Whether you have been working throughout the pandemic, been furloughed, working from home, self-isolating or something else, Barnet UNISON understands the impact this may be having on your or a colleagues mental health.

Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. Below are details about websites and organisations to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Able Futures

Able Futures can help you manage your mental health at work so you can enjoy more good days. If eligible they provide you nine months advice and guidance from a mental health specialist who can help you learn coping mechanisms, build resilience, access therapy or work with your employer to make adjustments to help your mental health at work.

Call Able Futures free on 0800 321 3137 from 8am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday or apply online.


Nafsiyat is an intercultural therapy centre, committed to providing effective and accessible psychotherapy and counselling services to people from diverse religious, cultural and ethnic communities in London.

We currently offer intercultural therapy to people living in the London boroughs of Camden, Islington, Enfield and Haringey. This therapy is short-term only, but available at no charge.

To access this therapy, you need either to be referred to us, for example by your GP, or you can apply to refer yourself.


NHS Every Mind Matters

Visit the NHS Every Mind Matters website:


Urgent support

If you are having thoughts of suicide, are harming yourself or have thought about self-harm, it’s important to tell someone.

These thoughts and feelings can be complex, frightening and confusing, but you do not have to struggle alone.

If you cannot wait to see a doctor and feel unable to cope or keep yourself safe, contact one of the organisations below to get support right away. Or see further NHS advice on dealing with a mental health crisis or emergency.


Free 24-hour listening support

When life is tough, Samaritans are here to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that’s troubling you, no matter how difficult.

Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website

Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.

Text “SHOUT” to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line


Urgent, non-emergency medical advice

If you need help urgently but are not at risk of death or serious illness, use the NHS 111 non-emergency advice online.

NHS 111 advice online

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

People with hearing problems can use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) service.


Crisis support for young people

If you are under 35 and feel that life is not worth living any more, call Papyrus’s HopelineUK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends.

Call HopelineUK on 0800 068 41 41

Text 07786 209697

Visit the Papyrus website



CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason.

Call 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Free, anonymous webchat with trained staff

Visit the CALM website


Dial 999

In a life-threatening emergency, phone the emergency services and ask for an ambulance.

When to call 999


When to get help from your GP

It’s important to seek help from your GP immediately if you are experiencing the following symptoms for the first time or are not already receiving care from mental health services/

If you live in England, in most areas you can also refer yourself for free, non-urgent NHS psychological therapy services, also known as IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services, which provide evidence-based treatments for depression and anxiety.

Services remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, so do seek professional help if you think you need it.

UNISON guidance for members working in Special Schools and Colleges

UNISON guidance for members working in Special Schools and Colleges

Context: With the new variant of the virus shown to being considerably more transmissible than the version prevalent in 2020 the previous risk assessment will no longer be fit for purpose. As a matter of priority, specialist schools and colleges focus on:

  • Revisiting and improving the previous risk assessments and building time into the beginning of term for this to take place
  • Risk assessments should be updated for the premises as a whole and for individual children and young people with more complex needs
  • Time must be built in for extra training of staff in adopting the new measures identified.
  • Allowing time for pupils and their parents/carers to be inducted into the new processes

Read more – click this link:

First Branch Meeting of 2021

Happy New Year! – Good Riddance to 2020!
Barnet UNISON holds first Branch Meeting of 2021

Barnet UNISON Emergency Branch Meeting 6th January
Barnet UNISON should have increased its zoom account so that more than 100 people could join!!!

Our apologies to all those trying to get onto the call but couldn’t because we only had a capacity of 100. We will be holding another meeting and we will increase the capacity!

We believe the intention of this lockdown is to stop people circulating more than necessary in order to radically reduce the rates of infection. Therefore any work being undertaken which is not absolutely necessary will contribute to the spread of the infection and puts us all at risk.

The Government’s message is being interpreted in all kinds of ways which means, for example, that School A only has a handful of children attending and School B has 60 children attending. We want to help you ensure the wider community stays safe by stopping the more generous interpretation of what the Government is saying.

Key messages from the meeting:

  1. If your workplace feels unsafe or the work you are being asked to do is not critical then please do contact the UNISON branch:
  2. Almost all of those workplaces which have moved quickest to successfully challenge practice which is dangerous and contributes to the rising infection rates have had a rep / health and safety rep and a WhatsApp group. These have enabled colleagues to clarify their views and alert the branch in an organised and collective manner. If your workplace does not have any of these in place then contact the branch to set them up.
  3. Where there are a couple or more colleagues in a particular setting, or carrying out similar duties, who want to have an online meeting to clarify more quickly what stance they want to take, should contact the branch. We have the facility to set up a zoom meeting for your area of work if this will help you.
  4. All risk assessments – site ones and personal ones – have to be revisited in light of the new situation. If they are not being revisited then you cannot be assured your work environment is safe.
  5. We will support anyone who does not feel safe at work.
  6. We are asking for an urgent review of PPE guidance. We believe the FFP2 and FFP3 masks should be issued for people to wear as these actually do offer much greater protection from inhaling COVID particles. This is particularly important for those who have to work with COVID positive residents in our community.

The levels of COVID infection rates means that the NHS is on the brink of breakdown. This means anyone who becomes critically ill may not get the care and attention they could have expected during the summer and further risks people being exposed to life changing disability or death. Both of these outcomes are significant not just for the individual concerned but for their family and friends. This is the context against which we have arrived at our position.

We began the meeting with one minute silence in memory of our members who have died during this pandemic and those who have suffered bereavements.

We acknowledged that the lockdown probably would not have happened by Monday had the trade unions – notably the education trade unions – begun organising their members to send in section 44 letters stating that their workplaces were not safe.

Locally Barnet UNISON had a zoom meeting for nursery workers on Sunday 3rd January and half an hour after the end of the meeting the head teachers of the maintained nurseries were announcing closure of those sites due to receiving letters from staff expressing their concerns and stating they would not be attending their place of work.
Nationally at the same time the NEU held an online meeting with an attendance of 400,000 to get the same message across to its membership.

Those who participated in those actions can be proud of the role they played in getting the Government to act more swiftly to protect all of us.

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