Cost of Living Crisis: London Weighting is not what it used to be!

Barnet Council grades include an element of London Weighting just like all the other London Councils.

However, times are very different. The Cost-of-Living Crisis has fundamentally changed things and now is the time for Barnet UNISON to step up.

Living and working in London is expensive. If you don’t believe me read this.

Higher living costs in London

“It has been shown that it costs at least 20% more to achieve a decent standard of living in London, compared to the rest of the UK, and in some cases it can be as high as 50%. This is mainly due to the high costs of housing, transport and childcare.*

The Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University has recently looked deeply into whether the London weighting system goes far enough. In research funded by the charity Trust for London, they showed that the London Weighting needs to be about £7,700 per year in Inner London and over £6,200 in Outer London to cover the additional minimum cost of living in the capital.”

(Source: https://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/publications/london-weighting-and-london-costs-fresh-approach/ )

To find out more join the Barnet Cost of Living Crisis UNISON meeting is on Tuesday 26 April 2022 at 6 pm.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85746035877?pwd=NFoxQWpVelZVVEVac0J4VTZpc2tuUT09

Meeting ID: 857 4603 5877

Passcode: 801 103

End.

 

Cost of Living Crisis meeting 26 April 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emergency Cost of Living facts

Don’t let anyone tell you there is no money

  • UK Big Six energy firms made more than £1bn in profit
  • £40bn profits for BP and Shell
  • Petrol and diesel prices are the highest ever and it’s likely to get higher
  • The worst financial squeeze in 60 years, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Food prices rising
  • Food banks usage increasing
  • Rent rises, council tax increases, mortgages rising, water bills increasing.

All of this and yet

  • MPs are getting a £2,200 pay rise when most of our members are only getting 1.75%
  • The Government gave £37 billion for the Covid Test and Trace.
  • The Government were handing out million-pound contracts to their mates during the pandemic
  • Finally, the Government worked from home whilst many of our frontline members had to go into work without a vaccine in order to keep public services running.
  • And let’s not forget the wine and cheese parties they were having when all of our members were risking their lives keeping public services running on poverty wages.

National Pay Bargaining

Negotiations have started for the National Pay campaign. More news on the campaign will be shared with members.

BUT Barnet UNISON believes we can’t wait, we need to act now.

But we need a Barnet UNISON Cost of Living Crisis Pay claim now.

Barnet UNISON will shortly be starting negotiations with the employer on some changes to Unified Reward Terms and Conditions. It is important that members attend our UNISON meetings on the negotiations.

The next Barnet UNISON Cost of Living Crisis meeting is taking place on Tuesday 26 April 6- 7 pm.

Please see details below for joining the meeting.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85746035877?pwd=NFoxQWpVelZVVEVac0J4VTZpc2tuUT09

Meeting ID: 857 4603 5877

Passcode: 801 103

Breaking News: Barnet Homes ASSIST Strike – VICTORY!

Credit: Anne-Marie Sanderson

Barnet Homes Assist plays the role of a fourth emergency service. They respond to the most vulnerable in our Barnet community, visiting clients in their homes or alerting the other emergency services after being alerted by an alarm call from a client.

The Barnet Group brought forward proposals just before Christmas to outsource or close this vital lifeline which serves 5,000 Barnet residents by the 1st of April 2022, all for the want of a budget shortfall of £160k.

Members requested a ballot for industrial action.

The ballot closed on the 16th of March.

77% of Assist UNISON members returned the ballot on time with 100% voting to take industrial action to ‘Save Assist’ and oppose the outsourcing or closure of this vital service.

The Barnet Group has listened and has made a commitment to look at other ways in which the service can become financially viable in the long term such as investment in new technology to allow Assist to bid for more contracts. This has gone some way to allay the fears of the dedicated staff who work at Assist and the vulnerable clients they serve. Talks are ongoing with the staff and Barnet UNISON about the future for the Assist service. But what is clear that Barnet UNISON members in the Barnet Group or in Barnet Council will stand together to fight against any proposal to outsource Public Services.” Patrick Hunter, Barnet Homes Convenor.

“UNISON members at ASSIST were and are prepared to fight against outsourcing of this vital frontline service that serves the most vulnerable residents in our community – we clapped for them during the pandemic – and I applaud them now, heroes, every last one of them.’’ Helen Davies, Branch Chair Barnet UNISON.

“Massive respect to our Barnet UNISON emergency response key worker members who work for the ASSIST service. They voted (100%) to take strike action with a 77% turnout in response to their employer seeking to outsource them. Today’s response from the employer that they are no longer pursuing outsourcing is welcome news. We are shortly to have fresh talks over the future for the service.” John Burgess Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON.

End.

Note to Editors: Contact details: Helen Davies Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Background:

UNISON Official Ballot is on for “ASSIST” Workers to take Strike Action

https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2022/03/02/unison-official-ballot-is-on-for-assist-workers-to-take-strike-action/

Barnet UNISON, Response to Barnet Homes ASSIST Proposals, 17/01/22

https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Barnet-UNISON-Response-to-Barnet-Homes-ASSIST-Proposal.pdf

 

 

 

 

How to support Ukraine

UNISON is working with the international trade union movement to mobilise support for those affected by the war in Ukraine – and branches and members can help too

No one can fail to be moved by the scenes of terrified civilians taking shelter underground or of the hundreds of thousands of women and children desperately trying to cross the border to safety, to an uncertain future as a refugee.

UNISON immediately condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine last week and has called for Russian troops to withdraw to allow meaningful peace talks to go ahead.

The union has reached out in solidarity to public service unions in Ukraine whose members are on the frontline trying to save lives as civilian casualties rise. Workers and ordinary people in both Ukraine and Russia are the victims of this war, not the perpetrators.

It has today agreed to donate £10,000 to an appeal by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

It is also talking to our European and international union federations, EPSU and PSI, about how we can practically support those unions and Ukrainian public service workers.

Europe is facing a major refugee crisis. As most European countries have opened their borders to refugees from Ukraine, the UK’s own government is shamefully still putting up significant administrative barriers to prevent refugees arriving in the UK.

And it is not just Ukrainians who are trying to get out. Thousands of migrant workers and students from around the world are caught up in the chaos and there have been disturbing reports of racial discrimination against them by border guards, which UNISON condemns.

How you can help

UNISON branches and members have been asking how they can help. The ITUC has launched an appeal to support the Ukrainian trade union movement and ordinary workers in Ukraine.

Click on link below to find out more

https://www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2022/03/how-to-support-ukraine/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=March%20U%20digital&utm_source=Communications&utm_content=How%20to%20support%20Ukraine

UNISON Official Ballot is on for “ASSIST” Workers to take Strike Action

 

UNISON is balloting the ASSIST workers this week the result of the ballot will be announced 16 March.

  • ASSIST provides this vital support to some 5,000 residents in Barnet and in Brent.
  • For the lack of £160,000 a year the service is on notice that it is to be outsourced. UNISON has agreed to back these workers and will ballot all of them for official strike action.
  • The Assist service, amongst other things, provides and maintains equipment to 5,000 mainly elderly residents of Barnet.

The most common of these items is the “lifeline” equipment which a resident would use if they fell. The resident would pull a cord or press a button on a pendant alarm which activates in the call centre and a decision is taken about whether someone from ASSIST needs to contact emergency services, a relative or go out themselves to emergencies. This support often makes the difference between someone being able to continue living at home or having to go into residential care.

During the Covid Pandemic the ASSIST service was rightly described as the “4th Emergency Service” by senior managers in The Barnet Group.

“Last Autumn we had the debacle of 74 care workers being given redundancy due to the closure of Apthorp Care Centre and now this! This service is so cheap to run and so valuable to thousands of residents of Barnet – it beggars belief that once again the lives of key workers are being thrown up in the air as soon as the crisis is over. We want Barnet Council and The Barnet Group which are essentially one and the same thing, to do the right thing and find a way forward which benefits residents and keeps a valued service in Barnet.” (Helen Davies, Branch Chair Barnet UNISON.)

“Keyworkers who were rightly praised by their managers are now rewarded for their hard work with outsourcing. At a time when Barnet Council are bringing services back in-house from Capita how can this valued service not been treated the same. If Human Resources, Finance, Recruitment, are needed back in-house why isn’t the ASSIST service being given the same treatment? I call upon Barnet Council to take back this service in-house and provide peace of mind for the 5,000 residents and the inspirational ASSIST workers who care so much about the service they provide.” (John Burgess Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON).

“The Assist workers have the full backing of Greater London UNISON for your dispute. You provide a vital service which enables vulnerable people to stay in their homes safe in the knowledge someone will respond quickly in an emergency. It’s a no brainer that your service benefits and supports the work of social care and the NHS. We want you to win and will support you all the way.” (Tracey Dalling Regional Secretary Greater London UNISON.)

End.

Note to Editors: Contact details: Helen Davies Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Background:

  1. For more details on the ASSIST service and Barnet UNISON response click on our link below Barnet UNISON Response to Barnet Homes ASSIST Proposal

Street Scene Payroll surgery 2 February 2022

On Wednesday 2 February 2022 an online pay roll surgery will take place for staff working in Street Scene.

There will be two sessions:

 

6 am to 7.30 am.

 

11 am to 1 pm.

 

The Pay roll surgery is for staff who have any issues with their January 2022 Pay slip.

 

If you want to book a time to deal with your pay slip issue, please contact your supervisor and your UNISON rep.

 

For further assistance please email Barnet UNISON on contactus@barnetunison.org.uk or leave a message on 0208 359 2088

 

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