What is happening in your workplace: Please read

If your employer is not listening to the government following the lock down announcement as a worker you do have some legal rights to protect your health and safety.

If you are a Barnet UNISON member please let us know immediately by emailing the branch at

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Already some workers have walked out by using this legislation

Employment Rights Act 1996 Section 44 (Health and safety cases).

(1) An employee has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by his employer done on the ground that—

(d) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger persisted) refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work, or

(e) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, he took (or proposed to take) appropriate steps to protect himself or other persons from the danger.

Barnet UNISON statement:

Please let the branch know what is going on with your employer by sending an email to

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You can keep up to date with Barnet UNISON here on our

Website here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

Twitter https://twitter.com/barnet_unison

Barnet UNISON: Public Health guidance for Social Care workers

Dear Members

If you work in social care we want to make sure that you are being kept safe.

Below are links to Public Health England guidance for workers in Residential, Supported Living and Home Care.

Please read the information carefully. If you are not getting Personal Protective

COVID-19: guidance on residential care provision

Updated 19 March 2020

“Care home providers will routinely be procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and aprons. In addition, there will be a free issue of PPE to support adult social care providers to support compliance with the updated advice. This will be issued from the pandemic influenza stockpile. Arrangements will be put in place for adult social care providers to access further PPE as necessary.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance/covid-19-guidance-on-residential-care-provision

 

COVID-19: guidance for supported living provision

Updated 19 March 2020

“Personal protective equipment

The risk of transmission should be minimised through safe working procedures. Care workers should use personal protective equipment for activities that bring them into close personal contact, such as washing and bathing, personal hygiene and contact with bodily fluids.

Aprons, gloves and fluid repellent surgical masks should be used in these situations.

In particular cases, if there is a risk of splashing then eye protection will minimise risk.

New personal protective equipment must be used for each episode of care. It is essential that personal protective equipment is stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.

These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within the room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin for disposal.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance/covid-19-guidance-for-supported-living-provision

 

COVID-19: guidance on home care provision

Updated 19 March 2020

“Personal protective equipment

Care workers should use personal protective equipment (PPE) for activities that bring them into close personal contact, such as washing and bathing, personal hygiene and contact with bodily fluids.

Aprons, gloves and fluid repellent surgical masks should be used in these situations. If there is a risk of splashing, then eye protection will minimise risk.

New personal protective equipment must be used for each episode of care. It is essential that personal protective equipment is stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.

These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within the room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance/covid-19-guidance-on-home-care-provision

 

Barnet UNISON statement:

Please let the branch know if you are not being provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

by sending an email to

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You can keep up to date with Barnet UNISON here on our

Website here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

Twitter https://twitter.com/barnet_unison

 

Who are the Key Workers who need to have child care provided by Schools?

See below
Key Workers:
· Health and social care – includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
· Education and childcare – includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
· Key public services – includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
· Local and national government – only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
· Food and other necessary goods – includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
· Public safety and national security – includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
· Transport – includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
· Utilities, communication and financial services – includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

Barnet UNISON members if you have any questions please email the branch at contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

UNISON in relation to Coronavirus, all workplaces including schools.

Dear Member

I thought I would share the latest update from UNISON in relation to Coronavirus, all workplaces including schools.  

“What is UNISON nationally is doing now?

We are seeking to work with national government, local government and education employers to draw up additional guidance. We have raised a range of issues with them including:

  • Which workers we believe should be defined as essential staff and have access to education facilities;
  • Closures and full pay – the need for reassurance around full pay for all staff including contractors (catering, cleaning etc), agency staff and sessional workers;
  • Health and safety – need for risk assessments, protective equipment, schools fully stocked with all necessary cleaning products and testing;
  • Postponement of redundancies/restructures/TUPE transfers/ disciplinary hearings etc during this period;
  • Joint working with unions and employers locally and nationally to help schools and pupils and staff through crisis with employers and unions recognising the need for flexibility. Asking for volunteers first when employers are seeking to re-deploy staff;”

More details here.

https://www.unison.org.uk/at-work/education-services/key-issues/covid-19-closures/

I have submitted the above to Barnet Council and requested that I need a response which I can share to all of our members.

Please note:

If you have any questions please email

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

 

Barnet UNISON submission to Barnet Council about #Coronavirus

Dear Barnet UNISON members
The follow proposals have been submitted to Barnet Council today.
The following applies to all Barnet Council workers (Barnet Council workers includes all staff working in Barnet Community Schools.) during the period of the current #Coronavirus Pandemic.
• All sickness absence monitoring to cease.
• Full sick pay to be paid to all staff regardless of length of service or where their entitlement has reduced or expired.
• No reduction in pay for staff who are self-isolating or caring for someone who is at risk.
• No reduction in pay for any worker having to take time away to look after their children.
• No redundancy consultations.
• All restructures to go on hold.
• Disciplinaries where no risk to life and limb or others to be postponed.
• All other grievances/disciplinaries/capabilities/and Appeals to only go ahead on a case by case basis in agreement with the trade unions.
• For those workers who would be considered to be vulnerable to Coronavirus e.g. workers over 60 and those with underlying health conditions are to be allowed to self-isolate and/or work from home if they so wish.
• Barnet Council to seek information from their workforce as to what skills, expertise they can volunteer in order to assist the Council to be able to redirect resources to socially useful activities and offer training.
• Any worker volunteering to work at a higher grade will be paid at that rate.
• No worker will suffer a financial detriment from volunteering.
• Communication to go out on a daily basis giving clear guidance about what the Council is doing across all services. This communication should go out in a number of formats e.g. Email, flyers, Council website (not just intranet). This communication will be done in such a way as to demonstrate we understand the workforce will be the ones passing on information about the Council’s response and can play a useful role in carrying out and reinforcing these messages.
• Business continuity meetings to include representatives from the trade unions.
• Urgent reviews/risk assessments to be carried out with the involvement and collaboration of all staff to determine what work must be done and what can be done differently or postponed in order to reduce unneccesary contact with public e.g. telephone assessments instead of face to face meetings.
• Provision of counselling services for all staff to be promoted in all future communication in order to look after the mental wellbeing of the workforce
• To ensure adequate supplies for handwashing is provided for mobile workers.
• End hot desking.
• Where possible allow workers to vary working hours to reduce risk of infection on congested public transport.
• Bring the outsourced cleaning services back in-house.
Contractors
Barnet Council to seek confirmation from all contractors whose staff work alongside Barnet Council workers that they are also providing full pay for their staff who are off sick or self-isolating or needing to look after children.
Agency
Barnet Council to seek confirmation from all agency organisations supplying staff to work alongside Barnet Council workers that they are also providing full pay for their staff who are off sick or self-isolating or needing to look after children.

Corona Virus: Barnet UNISON update

Dear Members

As the Corona (Corvid-19) virus has spread it has become the main issue of concern in our workplaces.

The main responsibility for dealing with the virus lies with the UK Government and national and regional agencies. But Barnet UNISON believes, along with the rest of the Trade Union movement, that unions and employers, working together, can make a significant difference to ensure that the effects of the outbreak are minimised.

Over the last few weeks Barnet UNISON have been trying to engage with Barnet Council about the Corona Virus. We want to work with the Council in a cooperative way to inform and protect our members, other colleagues and the public, so that measures taken in response to the virus are appropriate, sufficient, and fairly applied.  We also believe that working this way will help prevent irresponsible behaviour and panic.

UNISON members have raised their concerns with us on obtaining information on the level of risk, the lack of precautionary measure such as sanitisers at some work sites, and the repercussions of not being at work because of illness, self-isolation or other result of the outbreak.

The Council have been relaying information from the Government, the NHS and Public Health England on the intranet or through work emails, but not all Barnet workers have easy access to these, and are missing important communications. Further guidance specific to our workplaces is also needed.

The Council have tried to supply sanitisers and wipes, but they have informed that we problems with supply of these items have proved a major obstacle.  At a service and local level some mangers and staff have been procuring items for the protection of colleagues, but UNISON hold that these should have been planned for and provided at the Council Corporate level before now.

In response to our members concerns we have raised a number of issues with the Council. These include

  • Guidance and information
  • Provision of protectionary items and procedures
  • Risk Assessments
  • Specific arrangements for colleagues at greater risk from the virus such as those over 65 or those with underlying health problems.
  • Procedures for Council buildings open to the public
  • Actions to take at worksites if people with confirmed cases of the virus have visited or worked there.
  • Procedures for Home visits to service users
  • Sick Leave
  • Working from home
  • Absence reporting
  • Service cover for high levels of absence
  • School closures and child care responsibilities
  • Appraisal targets and deadlines

At the time of writing we still await a full response from the Council and but have been informed that the issues will be discussed at meeting next week.  Barnet UNISON welcome this but such discussion and information should have already   been provided.  But we hope that this signals the Council’s willingness to truly engage with UNISON and the other trade unions in protecting the health of our colleagues and the public.

In the meantime please use the following links to get further information on the Corona Virus.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

If you have concerns or questions please contact your local UNISON reps, or the Branch at

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

The Corona virus requires a collective response.  Acting together to protect ourselves is the cornerstone of trade unionism. Working together and looking out for our colleagues, friends, family, service users and the wider community will be a major factor in reducing the damage caused by the virus.  Selfish individualist actions, such as panic buying, profiteering on in-demand items or stealing sanitisers from work places threaten all of us, including those committing these acts.

 

Stay safe, stay healthy.

 

In Solidarity

Hugh Jordan

Branch Health & Safety Officer/Libraries Convenor

Barnet Unison

 

Tel: 0208 359 2088

http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/

 

Barnet UNISON welcomes the publication of the Barnet Council’s commissioned Library review.

British Library, Kings Cross.
March to protest about cuts to libraries, museums and the arts.
Barnet Unison were on the march along with striking Barnet library staff.
05/11/16 BP AMS

Barnet UNISON welcomes the publication of the Council’s commissioned Library review.

It is a thorough and detailed body of work and while we are not in total agreement with its findings or recommendations, we commend those who worked on it for its evidence based and independent approach. This included a willingness to engage with UNISON and Library workers.

This is an initial response from Barnet UNISON, focusing on the salient concerns to us a trade union.  Further and more detailed responses will follow as we consult with our members working in Barnet Libraries.

Much of the Review concurs with our warnings to the Council before and since the implementation of the current structure and operation of Barnet Libraries. We have been raising these concerns, which focus on the accessibility and the quality and breath of service since 2014.  However   the Council proceeded on their course and the resulting public dissatisfaction and restriction of access (particularly for children and people with disabilities) are plain to see in the Review’s findings.

Barnet UNISON is glad to see the professionalism and hard work of Library staff, at all levels recognised in the Review but   the continuing achievements of these workers is despite the Library Restructure of 2017 not because of those changes. Barnet Library workers have had to overcome significant challenges, including a reduction in numbers of almost 50%, the loss of public and work space, a disruptive working schedule and having to deal with the often justified but misdirected frustration and anger of the public.

Barnet UNISON fought a long campaign to defend the jobs of Library workers from 2014 to 2017.  This involved considerable effort and self-sacrifice by UNISON members working in Barnet Libraries. This campaign was not only about defending our members but a bid to maintain the quality and availability of libraries for the people who live, work, study and visit in Barnet. But regrettably many library workers lost their jobs in April 2017. In many cases this was a sad and premature end to decades-long careers.  These Library workers were sacrificed to the Council’s belief that their skills, knowledge and experience could be replaced by machines and volunteers

Nearly three years after this loss the   Review has found:

“The reduction in staffed opening hours has gone too far, particularly given the low number of volunteers. The reductions act as a deterrent to many library users from using the library and act as a particular barrier to young people who cannot access the library on their own during SSO hours if they do not meet the minimum age requirements.”

And

 

“The loss of staff and the fact that they move between libraries more makes it harder for users to develop positive relationships that support library use for all ages. This is not a criticism of staff. It is a loss for the community”

To help redress this the Review advises that the Council;

“To increase staffed opening hours by increasing staffing resources in the short to medium term at least until adequate numbers of volunteers can be recruited and the use of volunteers stabilised

UNISON support the increase in staffing resources but on a permanent basis. Even if “adequate numbers of Volunteers” are found they are not suitable replacements for Library staff

The Review also calls on the Council;

“To review the extent of budget reductions and explore the scope for additional investment in the service given the relative decline in the take-up of the service”

While the Council have published no plans for further cuts to the Library Service, the implementation of the Review’s recommendations would require additional funds being allocated to the Service. Attempting to implement the changes described without additional resources will result in further burdens and stress on an already overstretched work force.

 

Barnet UNISON ask the Council;

  • When and how will staffing resources be increased?
  • What additional funds will be allocated to the Library Service?
  • How will the Libraries be made more accessible to the public?
  • What measures will be put in place to more accurately record library usage?

 

Barnet UNISON hope the Review will spur the Council to at least begin to repairing the damage done to Barnet Libraries in 2017. Damage which our Union and others warned the Council would result from their Library strategy.  We call on the Council to truly engage with us and those who know the service best, Library workers, in making our Libraries truly fit for the 21rst Century.

 

Barnet UNISON begins work to seek backdating Pay and Pension for members working in Barnet Council schools.

Earlier this year Barnet UNISON submitted 52 collective grievances on behalf of our members working in 52 Barnet Schools.

What is this about?

It is about the calculation used to ensure that part-time workers are not being discriminated in relation to their pay.

UNISON believes that this contract term is unfair and inherently discriminatory. We believe that this contract term results term time only workers receiving less than their pro-rata leave entitlement compared to their full time equivalent (FTE) colleagues.

UNISON believes that this contract treats part time workers less favourably than full time staff and is therefore discriminatory. We also believe that the approach is potentially discriminatory on sex grounds as the workers affected are overwhelmingly female.

UNISON is seeking a recalculation of the pay and leave of these staff and a payment of back pay of any historical underpayment from their date of appointment.

We would also seek a recalculation of any pension entitlement under the LGPS resulting from any underpayment or understatement of pensionable service.

What are we doing now?

We are now busy arranging meetings in these schools to explain the reason for the claim for backdated pay and a payment for underpayment of their Pension. Only one of the Schools is a Barnet Schools the rest are Academies/Foundation Schools.

We are beginning to lodge our legal claim against the Schools in order to protect our members claims.

What about Barnet Council Schools?

As news spreads about our campaign, our members working in Barnet Council Schools are asking about their claims.

Our members were never informed by Barnet Council that they were being paid incorrectly and that they had a claim for back pay and a payment towards the underpayment of their Pension. Our members are angry to hear they have not been paid correctly and are demanding that Barnet Council pay up.

Today, Barnet UNISON has written to Barnet Council seeking a meeting to discuss our claim on behalf of our members. We are calling on Barnet Council to do the right thing and reach a collective agreement which will address the backdating and the underpayment of the Pension.

This is a massive issue for our members and we are continuing to keep all of our members briefed as to their rights at work.

If you are on a Term Time Pay contract and worried if you are being correctly paid please contact the branch on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

More to follow…….

End.

 

Term Time Pay Drop-in meetings

Barnet UNISON is hosting drop-in sessions for our members working in schools which have Term Time Pay issues.

Drop-in sessions will take place on

  1. Monday 17th February 11- 3pm
  2. Tuesday 18th 11 -3pm
  3. Thursday 20th February from 11- 3

Drop-in sessions are held at the Barnet UNISON office, Barnet House, 1255 High Road, Whetstone, London N20 0EJ

Members please note you will need the following information.

Your monthly take home pay figures, payroll number which is on your pay slip, your membership number.

End.

Local Barnet Rabbi to speak at Barnet UNISON AGM

“We are in the process of enormous catastrophic breakdown and if takes an arrest to try to find ways of helping to galvanise public opinion then it certainly worth being arrested.” (Rabbi Jeffrey Newman 14th October 2019.)

Rabbi Jeffrey Newman is guest speaker at Barnet UNISON AGM on Tuesday 25 February 2020 at 4pm Barnet House. All member welcome.

https://youtu.be/Ski8LcjvwVo

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