Solidarity statement 4 John Burgess

Standing up against Bullies of People with Mental Health Issues

We know John made it public knowledge that he suffered a serious mental health breakdown last year. Whatever anyone may think about such a revelation surely it should not attract a vindictive attempt to undermine his mental health.

Unfortunately John has recently received an email seemingly calculated to undermine his mental health. We will not stand by in silence whilst someone in our movement is bullied in this way.

By signing this statement we are expressing our solidarity with John Burgess and our disgust at this opportunistic and calculated attack on someone recovering from a serious health condition.


Please go to this link to read a fuller story about this attack:

Name, Position,  Organisation or branch

  1. John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor
  2. Mark SERWOTKA PCS General Secretary
  3. ‪Ian Hodson President BFAWU ‬
  4. Helen Davies Branch Chair Barnet UNISON
  5. Hugh Jordan Libraries Convenor Barnet UNISON
  6. Patrick Hunter Convenor Barnet Unison
  7. Maggi Myland Barnet UNISON Retired member
  8. Chris Jobson Barnet UNISON Rep
  9. Sid Ronayne Barnet UNISON Rep
  10. Claire Locke Chair London Metropolitan University UNISON
  11. Claire Dixon Branch Secretary, UNISON Whittington Hospital branch
  12. John Harris Ex Chair UNISON Whittington Hospital branch
  13. Alex Lines Chair UNISON Whittington Hospital branch
  14. Jackie Taylor UNISON Whittington Hospital branch
  15. Sonya Howard Branch Secretary, UNISON Kensington & Chelsea, NEC
  16. Phoebe Watkins Branch Co-Chair Camden UNISON
  17. Hugo Pierre Schools Convenor Camden UNISON , NEC
  18. Amerit Rait Shop Steward UNISON Whittington Hospital branch
  19. Brian Debus Chair Hackney UNISON
  20. Alex Tarry Branch Secretary London Metropolitan University UNISON
  21. Tony Phillips Branch Secretary UNISON London Fire Authority
  22. Diana Swingler UNISON rep Homerton UNISON
  23. Tanya Murat Convenor Greenwich UNISON
  24. Sandy Nichol SOAS UNISON Branch Secretary
  25. Philip Lewis, Camden UNISON Vice Chair & Branch Health & Safety officer & Convenor supporting people directorate, UNISON Regional Health & Safety Comm. Vice Chair Unison NHSC
  26. Paula Peters DPAC activist, member of Mental Health Resistance Network and Equalities Officer SE London Unite Community
  27. Esther Rey Hounslow UNISON joint branch secretary
  28. Floyd Codlin, PCS Arms, PCS Culture GEC
  29. Tim O’Dell, Libraries shop steward, Lambeth
  30. Linda Burnip, DPAC co-founder and UNISON member
  31. Karen Raynor, Customer Support Assistant, Unison Steward for Bradford Libraries.
  32. Dave Honeybone, Doncaster District and Bassetlaw health steward.
  33. George Binette, Camden UNISON Branch Secretary & Chair, Camden TC
  34. Dean Ryan: Shop Steward Islington Unison.
  35. Sasha Simic, Shop Steward USDAW C133 Central Books branch.
  36. Ruth Cashman, Branch Secretary Lambeth UNISON.
  37. Brad Charteris, Psychotherapist.
  38. Gareth Lane BFAWU community organiser.
  39. Ben Sellers, Secretary, County Durham Trades Union Council.
  40. Dave Auger Wolverhampton deputy branch sec
  41. Sara Wright, Middlesex University Branch, Branch Chair.
  42. Roger Hutt, Doncaster and Bassetlaw steward
  43. Alan Wylie, Unison member & campaigner
  44. Bob Ellard, DPAC
  45. Arthur Nicoll, Communications Officer – Dundee City Unison, Scottish LG Cttee
  46. John Sullivan parent of an adult daughter with learning difficulties , John has spent years fighting for along with her peers and her support staff.
  47. Andy Squires Doncaster and Bassetlaw Health Branch.
  48. Jenny Compton-Bishop Middlesex University Retired Member
  49. Caroline Powls Member Brent Unison
  50. Janette Evans secretary Barnet Branch Unite community , member Mental Health Resistance Network.
  51. Sid Ronayne Barnet UNISON steward.
  52. Adrian Kennett Hull Unison
  53. Jon Rogers, UNISON NEC.
  54. Candy Udwin PCS National Gallery.
  55. John McLoughlin Branch Secretary/SGE Tower Hamlets UNISON
  56. Dan Sartin Branch Secretary West Sussex UNISON
  57. Ron Cohen CWU member
  58. David Ball Steward Barnet UNISON
  59. Theresa Musgrove Broken Barnet Blog
  60. Derek Dishman blogger “Mr Mustard”
  61. A.M. Poppy Barnet Activist
  62. Dave Knight Retired Waltham Forest UNISON
  63. Sarah Littlewood Deputy Branch Secretary Hull LG Branch
  64. Janet Bryan NEC Branch Treasurer Convenor Bolton UNISON
  65. Paul Couchman Deputy Branch Secretary Surrey County UNISON
  66. Sherril Johnston NSL steward Barnet UNISON
  67. Rebecca Call Women’s Officer Wirral UNISON
  68. Ian Davies Community Member Scunthorpe
  69. Ian Thomas Health SGE UNISON Wales
  70. Tony Staunton UNITE member
  71. Raymie Kiernan NUJ member
  72. Mike Calvert Deputy Branch Secretary Islington UNISON
  73. Martin Clark FE college steward Glasgow City UNISON
  74. Mark Evans Branch Secretary Camarthenshire County UNISON
  75. Florence Hill Retired Branch Chair Bolton UNISON
  76. Jane Doolan Branch Secretary Islington UNISON
  77. Steve Day Branch secretary BFAWU
  78. Kevin Ward Labour Link officer Middlesex University UNISON
  79. Ben Jackson Branch secretary pc Manchester Community and Mental Health UNISON
  80. Barry Blinko retired member Westminster University
  81. Karen Reissmann member/ NEC pc Bolton Salford Trafford UNISON
  82. Liz James steward Barnet UNISON
  83. Stephen Wood Hillingdon UNISON
  84. Osman Ahmed Sade ULR rep UNISON
  85. Suzy Franklin honorary President Plymouth Trade Council 2017 – former UNISON Health branch secretary (Plymouth Derriford Hospital Health branch before it was killed off by region) NEC southwest and staunch John Burgess supporter
  86. Keith Wilcox Hillingdon UNISON
  87. Raymundo Obedencio Barnet Green Party
  88. Philippa Whitecross
  89. Petros Elia General Secretary United Voices of the World
  90. Matt Ratcliffe Branch Secretary Hillingdon UNISON
  91. Sharon Benjamin Assistant Branch Secretary Hillingdon UNISON
  92. Jo Cardwell Vice Chair Islington UNISON
  93. Gary Padgett Lincolnshire County UNISON
  94. Lorna Solomon Branch Chair Homerton UNISON
  95. Megan Charlton Secretary Durham Teaching assistants UNISON
  96. Liz Wheatley Assistant Branch Secretary Camden UNISON
  97. Roger Lewis Assistant Branch Secretary pc Lambeth UNISON
  98. Shirley Franklin Chair Defend Whittington Hospital coalition
  99. Theresa Rollinson Health SGE pc Doncaster and Bassetlaw UNISON
  100. Keith Martin Former chief accountant NALGO
  101. Jenny Leow Homerton UNISON
  102. Jordan Rivera Branch Secretary Homerton UNISON
  103. Jim Board Branch Secretary Doncaster UNISON
  104. Yunus Bakhsh formerly branch secretary Newcastle City Health UNISON; Northern region NEC and Health SGE 25 years a psychiatric nurse
  105. Sharon Campion Joint branch secretary/ SGE Sandwell UNISON
  106. John Woods Branch Chair Portsmouth City UNISON
  107. Tirza Waisel Adult social worker Chair Barnet Communities UNITE
  108. George Shaw Barnet Communities UNITE
  109. Phil Fletcher Barnet Communities UNITE; Friends of the Earth; Barnet Green Party
  110. Kathy Smith Bromley Unite rep
  111. Paul Gilroy Branch Secretary Newcastle City UNISON LG & UNISON NEC
  112. Max Watson, Unite the Union, SE London Community Branch (previously UNISON NEC, 2010-2015)
  113. Tracey Leith, Shetland Branch, Chair
  114. Jennie Haswell, Branch Health and Safety Officer, Wakefield District Branch of Unison
  115. Trish Fay member of County Durham Teaching Assistants Action Committee
  116. Louis Smyth Barnet Schools Officer – solidarity John
  117. Clara Paillard PCS President
  118. Professor Dexter Whitfield Director, European Services Strategy Unit
  119. Graham Eddy ex unison branch sec Northumberland lg and asst branch sec tower hamlets unison.
  120. Gemma Short, Workers’ Liberty. My solidarity.
  121. Ruth Nyman Barnet UNISON Retired member.
  122. Jonathan Dunning, UNISON NEC and Norfolk Branch Secretary. 
  123. Sandra Greenyer, Children’s Centre Manager
  124. Alphonsa M.K. Alby, Barnet social worker
  125. Hilary Price Barnet UNISON member.
  126. Tracey Lowe, Barnet UNISON Retired member.
  127. Tracy Cumberbatch, Underhill School and Children’s Centre.
  128. Izzi Azgadj
  129. Jan McLachlan.
  130. Steve North Branch Secretary, Salford City UNISON.
  131. Mary Beer-Cleasby, small business owner, BECTU member &Save Barnet Libraries.
  132. Andrew Travers, Joint Branch Secretary, Unison Medway Health.
  133. Vicky Perrin school steward Calderdale Branch, YH NEC member (pc)
  134. Craig Martin, schools convener, UNISON Dorset County.
  135. Eddie Rowley london met uni unison steward.
  136. David Summers London Met Unison Asst Branch Secretary. 
  137. John McDermott UNISON steward. Bradford.


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).”

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” #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” #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.”

#IDanielBlake #BarnetUNISON


4 March – National “Save Our NHS” demo – Barnet UNISON #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.

#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. #StandUptoRacism #BarnetUNISON


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

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


“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

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”.


7 March Barnet UNISON AGM – “Fighting Apartheid to Fighting Austerity”

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.

For more details about Paul please download our flyer here 2017.02.02 AGM leaflet


“Giving With One Hand And Taking With The Other”

Barnet Council Giving With One Hand And Taking With The Other

On January 23rd Barnet Council’s Adults and Safeguarding Committee voted to make cuts of £458,373 to Early Intervention and Prevention Services. These include ending the funding  to Inclusion Barnet (a local charity) to provide peer support planning and brokerage, which the Council claim will save £73, 261.5.

The Council’s reason for this is that there is lower level of use for this service than anticipated, and that this work can be done by Barnet Social workers.

This is despite  83% of those consulted, disagreeing with the move.

Yet this is the same Council that is giving Inclusion Barnet between £25, 000 and £35,000  a year to take over  the running of  East Barnet and South Friern Libraries, despite opposition to this voiced in consultations, petitions  and protests since 2014.

Barnet Council are  withdrawing funding to a  local charity with the necessary expertise. to provide a service well regarded by the public. Yet are giving this organisation, that has no experience of running libraries, funding to replace experienced and qualified library workers. Inclusion Barnet are losing funding to provide a service because of “low level of use” but the libraries the Charity will run will only be open 15 hours a week which will certainly reduce level of use.

There is little logic in this decision but reason is something not to be expected from an administration hell-bent on cutting services and reducing the quality of  life of  the people of Barnet.


One Day Without Us – 20th February #1DayWithoutUs

2017.02.02 One day without us flyer
Barnet UNISON is asking all of our members (and non-members) to wear the colours (purple and green) to show solidarity with our migrant colleagues and the fantastic work they do with us.

On 20th February we would like also teams and schools to spend some time together to collectively acknowledge our colleagues and show we value our colleagues who have come from other counties to build their lives with us.

Hashtag on Twitter is 

You can watch this short video explaining about One Day Without Us

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