Invite to Barnet UNISON AGM with Ken and Hilda, Debbie and Anju

Dear Barnet UNISON member

I am pleased to invite you to the Barnet UNISON Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 4 March 4-6pm

The last 12 months have been the most traumatic for many of our members both in the workplace and in their homes.

Our branch has tried its best to support as many of our members as possible and will continue to do so.

I am proud to introduce our first speaker Hilda Palmer who last year was recognised as “Most Influential person in health & safety for 2020” https://www.shponline.co.uk/shp-most-influential/hilda-palmer-named-shps-most-influential-person-in-health-safety-for-2020/

Hilda work on health & safety is inspirational and she has helped out branch immensely during the COVID pandemic.

I am sure you will want to hear what Hilda has to say about safety in the Covid workplace.

Our second speaker is the legendary Ken Loach. Our branch has been working with Ken for nearly two decades we have screened several of his films and Ken has been a big supporter of our members facing mass outsourcing.

Ken is joining us to talk about the brutal inequality in the workplace that has caused untold damage to the life chances of so many.

He will introduce a clip from his most recent film “Sorry We Missed You” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysjwg-MnZao and discuss what lessons we can learn and what actions we as a branch must take to tackle inequalities in the workplace.

Our last two speakers are our very own Barnet UNISON reps Debbie & Anju both of whom work for The Barnet Group and organisation owned by Barnet Council. I’m really excited about what they have to say.

Our AGM is a really important meeting it decides what we as a branch are going to do for the next 12 months which is why we want all of our members to join us.

Due to COVID our AGM has to be online.

We need you to register to attend the meeting.

All you need to do is click on the Barnet UNISON link below to confirm you are coming to the meeting.

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcocOGvrjMsGtAYwZn7i5kEeqIy-PS8euKU

On the day before the AGM you will receive an email with the link to join the meeting.

I look forward to seeing you at our AGM.

Best wishes

John Burgess

Branch Secretary

Barnet UNISON

 

Key questions to ask your employer on ventilation in your workplace/classroom.

Dear Barnet UNISON members

In light of the Governments’ decision to reopen schools our branch want to make sure that we can provide as much support for all of our members who are going into work.

Good Ventilation is key to making a workplace/classroom safe.

I hope this briefing will provide useful for our members to be able to use for your workplace Risk Assessments which need to be updated. We have provided some questions you may want to submit to your employer.

Please let us know if you need help.

Introduction.

  • Covid Spread widely in school last term and contributed to the huge rise in overall community infection rate leading to increased restrictions and lockdown.
  • Government accepted this and closed schools to face to face teaching in January, apart from key workers’ and vulnerable children.
  • Early Years provision continued and so did the rate of infection in those age groups with many outbreaks in Nurseries and schools affecting children, staff and families.
  • New Covid variants which became common  in the Autumn are now known to be be more transmissible- maybe 30-70% more transmissible- and also more lethal.
  • It is imperative to reduce transmission of this airborne virus and measures taken last year in school need to be improved far more due to the new variants.

The Government SAGE EMG group reviewed the need for mitigations to reduce transmission of the new Covid variants and recommended that previous ventilation measures should be increased by 1.5 to 1.7 times.

Mitigations to reduce transmission of the new variant SARS-CoV-2 virus, 22 December 2020 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/948607/s0995-mitigations-to-reduce-transmission-of-the-new-variant.pdf;:

Relevant para: 12. Transmission via the air is primarily mitigated by effective ventilation vi. This is most important in workplace and public settings where people interact, and is also important in the home, especially if there are visitors from outside the household, or someone within it has COVID-19. Where provision of adequate ventilation is difficult, the use of air cleaning devices may be a suitable alternative vii . Higher viral load associated with people who have the new variant could have significant implications for transmission via the air, as previous modelling suggests that viral load is a major determinant of airborne transmission risks. As a precautionary measure it is recommended that ventilation rates stated in previous EMG papersvi are adjusted accordingly to account for the increased risk (potentially 1.5-1.7 times higher). Application of ventilation controls is currently very variable between different settings, and it is essential to ensure that all public and workplace spaces include ventilation as part of their COVID secure risk assessment, and adopt appropriate measures to ensure it is effective (high confidence).

HSE references technical guidance from the building services professional body, CIBSE.

An October 2020 CIBSE update recommends a minimum of 10 litres per second per person of outside air in offices/classrooms and repeats the importance of avoiding recirculating air.

CIBSE Version 4 CIBSE – Emerging from Lockdown https://www.cibse.org/coronavirus-covid-19/emerging-from-lockdown;

See Hazards Magazine Venting https://www.hazards.org/infections/venting.htm

  • Measuring CO2 levels is a rough proxy measurement of ventilation
  • Indoor air at 600 to 800 ppm carbon dioxide indicates a relatively well-ventilated room.
  • Over 1,500 ppm means very poor ventilation and action is needed.
  • A minimum of six air changes per hour is recommended.

Key questions on ventilation in your workplace/classroom to ask your employer.

1. What is the airflow level in the workplace/classroom when unoccupied and occupied?

2. What level of outdoor/fresh air per person per second does the ventilation system provide in each workspace/classroom? (Please note CIBSE recommends airflow of 10 litres per person per second of fresh/outdoor and the WHO recommends 6 Room Air changes per hour)

3. Is data provided from a proven competent expert?

4. What are you using to monitor safe airflow levels in each workplace/classroom? For example CO2 monitors can provide a rough proxy measurement of ventilation: 600 to 800 ppm carbon dioxide indicates a relatively well-ventilated room.

5. How regularly are you monitoring safe airflow levels in each workplace/classroom during the day before occupancy and during occupancy?

6. What is the plan of action if airflow levels are unsafe? 

 

You can contact the Barnet UNISON branch on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

BreakingNews: National Joint Trade Union Pay & Conditions claims

Dear Member

Please find enclosed details of the National Joint Trade Union Pay & Conditions claims submitted

National Joint Council Pay claim
“A substantial increase with a minimum of 10% on all spinal column points.”
Read full details click on UNISON link below

http://msgfocus.com/files/amf_unison/project_190/NJC_Pay_Claim_2021_-_FINAL.pdf

National Joint Council Conditions claim
“A reduction of the working week to 35 hours with no loss of pay, and a reduction to 34 hours a week in London. Part-time staff to be given a choice of a pro rata reduction, or retaining the same hours and being paid a higher percentage of FTE”
Read full details click on UNISON link below
http://msgfocus.com/files/amf_unison/project_190/NJC_Conditions_Claim_2021_-_FINAL.pdf

When will members be told about the outcome?
Negotiations are just starting and last year it went on until September. Whatever the outcome of the negotiations Barnet UNISON members will be consulted on the offer which will be fed back to the National Negotiators.

End.

 

UNISON SAFER SCHOOLS PLAN February 2021

 

Dear Member

In response to the Government’s announcement to reopen Schools from 8 March 2021 UNISON has issued UNISON SAFER SCHOOLS PLAN February 2021 which sets out 15 point demands to ensure schools are safe for staff and pupils.

Here are some extracts from the plan:

“2. Split classes into smaller groups to keep bubble sizes as small as possible. If necessary, give schools additional funding to hire extra staff and space to accommodate them. Small bubbles, rotas and a phased return would help to ensure 2m social distancing.

“ 4. Subject to a risk assessment, provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including medical grade masks, for staff administering first aid, medical care or personal care activities where social distancing cannot be maintained, for example in some special schools and nurseries.”

“8. As part of re-opening, the DfE should ask the government to prioritise vaccinating school staff.

“9. Provide additional national guidance on ventilation in schools and support local reviews of ventilation in all schools prior to wider re-opening. This guidance should include advice on minimum safe temperatures for classrooms. Classrooms and other school areas with unsafe ventilation should not be used.”

You can view the UNISON SAFER SCHOOLS PLAN by clicking on the UNISON link below

https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2021/02/26307_safer-schools-plan.pdf

In response to the Reopening of schools from 8 March 2021, Barnet UNISON has organized a ZOOM meeting on

Wednesday 24 February 2021

6- 7pm

To join Zoom meeting

Click on the UNISON link below

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83559121979?pwd=QklXWlJTRkdDSHhEVk5yZTJiSUdvdz09

Meeting ID: 835 5912 1979

Passcode: 348797

Annual General Meeting 4th March 2021, 4pm

 

March 4th at 4pm Time off has been requested from all employers

I don’t think we ever imagined circumstances where as trade unionists we would be facing such wide scale interventions involving potentially life or death decisions. The pressure on the whole branch, which is not an abstract thing – it’s our members and reps – has been intense and continues to be so.

Nonetheless it is you and your engagement which has enabled reps to keep on doing what they are doing and to meet with some success. There is so much more to do though…

We need you to attend our Annual General Meeting in order to make key decisions for the correct running of our branch. If we fail to meet as per rules we will fail to exist and we will not be able to continue to support you.

We have confirmed our zoom account will let in up to 500 people so there will not be a problem for those of you who wish to attend. However, this time you MUST register in advance. This is because the AGM is a member only event and for voting purposes we need to confirm those attending are our members.

You need to make sure when you attend we can identify you, therefore if you know your image in the meeting will appear with “Galaxy” or “i-phone user” rather than your name you need to change this to your real name before you enter the meeting otherwise you are likely to be denied access.

Here is a guide on how to use Zoom

How-to-use-Zoom-Guide

If you still require assistance on how to use Zoom please contact the Branch Office by email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Barnet UNISON is the 2nd fastest growing branch in the Greater London region according to last year’s figures. We welcome our new members. We have also seen a much greater number of colleagues agreeing to become reps which is incredibly important. This growth has been critical in our attempts to keep us all as safe as possible. In order to keep going we need you to attend our AGM

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcocOGvrjMsGtAYwZn7i5kEeqIy-PS8euKU

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