Bin worker Update 4: Victory for our members

“I am pleased to report that Barnet Council have dropped the proposed change to our members’ contracts.

The Council responded that they had listened to the views from Barnet UNISON and the views of our members in a face to face meeting which took place in the depot several weeks ago.

This is a massive result for our Bin workers.

It is the second time that we have balloted in a 12 month period and it is the second time they have delivered a solid vote for strike action.

The message is very clear for all workers facing attacks from employers – join a union and get involved in the union.

The union provides the opportunity to fight back.

I am really proud that our Barnet UNISON members can hold their heads up high along with Tower Hamlets UNISON members, SOAS UNISON members, and UNISON members who work for Wigan-Council commissioned drug and alcohol rehabilitation service ‘We Are With You’ who are currently taking 10 days strike action.

All of these UNISON members have stood together and voted to fight back.”

John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.


Breaking News: Bin workers Trade Dispute meeting with Barnet Council update 1

Barnet Bin workers dispute update 2

Barnet Bin workers Update 3

Barnet UNISON Nominated Paul Holmes for General Secretary

Barnet UNISON branch nominated Paul Holmes for General Secretary because he wants UNISON to change.

He knows UNISON nationally is not delivering for members. Paul wants half of UNISON resources directed to local branches and their members.

The Government is coming with more attacks on us. Paul has the best track-record of leadership – fighting for members and winning – whether pay, jobs, safety, racism or discrimination.

Paul will take the job on his current wage of £32,000. How can you represent members whose average wage is £27,000 if you accept the advertised salary of £138,000?

He has supported our branch.

*** Pensions: New Annual Benefit Statements to be issued by Capita.


Dear Barnet UNISON Members

Sadly the Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) issued by Capita Pensions service this September to LBB staff (not schools) was wrong.

We are urgently seeking confirmation as to when the updated ABS will be sent out as we are aware that the Pension Administration Service is being handed over to a new Company at the end of next month.

Members are understandably worried that if their ABS is wrong it will be hard chasing Capita for data once the service has been handed over to the new company.

Barnet UNISON has also been made aware of a number of other errors different to the one above and we are in contact with the Council on behalf of members to try to resolve these matters.

Lastly, it is important to note that the error that led to the inaccurate ABS being sent out to staff was a PAYROLL error.

The Payroll service is delivered by Capita out of the Belfast office. This service is not being handed to the new company.

Barnet UNISON is concerned that if pay roll errors continue then the Pension Service will not produce accurate Pension figures for members of the scheme. We have repeatedly raised this concern with the Council and will continue to do so for our members.



Passenger Transport COVID Update 1.  

Thursday 24 September 2020.

Barnet UNISON has been contacted by coach escorts and drivers about COVID safety concerns since the service began at the beginning of September.

The issues are

  1. Overcrowded minibuses which have 10 or more pupils on a bus.
  2. Overcrowded minicabs
  3. COVID Cleansing of private contract vehicles

Barnet UNISON made the point that Government Guidance was a minimum standard and that we want a higher standard of protection for our members especially in light of the fact that a significant number of this workforce had been self-isolating.

Barnet Council have agreed to look at the numbers on the vehicles and the cleansing regime for the private contractor vehicles.

We want to assure all of our members working in Passenger Transport that your safety and welfare are central to what we do.

If you have any concerns please contact the branch on 0208 359 2088 or email

Barnet Bin workers Update 3

Barnet Council depot, Bittacy Hill, Mill Hill.Unison members on strike.02/11/15

Today Barnet UNISON and GMB met with senior management to discuss the proposed changes to Bin workers’ contracts.

At this meeting senior management responded to say that after meeting with the workforce and listening to their views about the proposal they needed to go back to the Corporate Management Team.

Management said they would be responding back to the trade unions with a date for a new meeting by close of play today or tomorrow.

I registered my disappointment that management had not come to this meeting with a response as our members were waiting to hear the outcome of this meeting today. I made it clear that I did not want the added stress and pressure hanging over the workforce any longer.

Look out tomorrow for further details from Barnet UNISON.

John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.


Notes to Editors

Contact details: John Burgess Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email:

Background links:

Breaking News: Bin workers Trade Dispute meeting with Barnet Council update 1

Barnet Bin workers dispute update 2


Barnet Bin workers dispute update 2









We conducted an internal strike ballot on the management proposal to enforce a change to the contracts of Bin workers.

We had a 99% turnout and a 98% vote to reject the proposal.

This was shared with management.

Management have been told that our members feel they are being bullied by this proposal. 

They know first hand about the growing anger amongst the workforce in response to this proposal, yet they continue to pursue it.

This vote is a warning to Barnet Council that the mood within the workforce is for strike action if management seek to force the contract change through sack and re-engage.

For a period between 2009 and 2016 Barnet UNISON had strikes every year.

We know how to organise strikes and we are ready to mobilise if on Monday 20 September management persist with this aggressive act.

Messages of support for Barnet Bin Workers can be sent to

Look out for our next update on Monday



Barnet UNISON.

Breaking News: Barnet Bin workers Trade Dispute meeting with Barnet Council Update 1

Dear Member

What is happening?

At 10 am on Monday 21 September 2020, Barnet UNISON and GMB are in an emergency meeting to discuss the management proposal to impose a contractual change for all bin workers.

Barnet UNISON have for the last six months tried to convince senior Street Scene management that there is no need to adopt aggressive tactics towards bin workers who have worked through constant changes to the bin service, a depot that has been a building site for the past year and lastly COVID with all the additional stresses that brings.

We have made the point that other Council workers who work Bank Holidays and weekends do so without imposing any contractual changes.

We want our members to be treated the same as any other Council workers.

What is our proposal?

Barnet UNISON proposal is that we would sign a Bin workers local agreement for working Bank Holidays at the same rates of Pay as other Council workers with the understanding that there are no changes to the contracts.

What happens if the Council does not agree to UNISONs proposal?

If we do not reach an agreement at this meeting which we can recommend to our members then we will register a formal dispute with the Council.

What does that mean?

Immediately after the meeting Barnet UNISON will submit a report to London Region UNISON to begin the legal process of organising a strike ballot.

Barnet UNISON will be organising a mixture of online meetings and social distanced meetings down the depot to explain the process to all of our members.

Keep a look out for our next text and email messages.



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