When is a Council Worker not a Council Worker?
The Barnet Group is a Local Authority Trading Company [LATC] fully owned and funded by the London Borough of Barnet to provide Housing and Care Services on behalf of Barnet Council to Barnet Residents.
Barnet Homes Contracted staff [pre 2016] – Have nationally agreed Terms and Conditions and access to the Local Government Pension Scheme.
Your Choice Barnet [YCB] Contracted staff – were forcibly opted out of nationally agreed pay which included a 9% cut to their wages.
YCC – Your Choice Care – consists of staff [many of them originally LBB employees] TUPE into the Barnet Group are not even paid the London Living Wage.
TBG FLEX – an employment company within the Barnet Group – Was initiated in 2016 to drive down T&Cs for new starters working for Barnet Homes and Your Choice Barnet.
It has been a success!!!
TBG Flex employees have:
No access to the Local Government Pension Scheme. [But do have access to a much inferior pension scheme….Thanks!]
Work longer hours that their colleagues in Barnet Homes or LBB.
Are paid less than colleagues in Barnet Homes or LBB.
Have less Annual Leave than colleagues in Barnet Homes or LBB.
Have no continuation of service should they wish to work for another Local Authority.
YCB workers and TBG Flex contracted workers in YCB or YCC have the added bonus that they do not even get the cost of living yearly increase which TBG Flex contracted staff receive in Barnet Homes.
So when is a Council Worker not a Council worker?
When they work in the Barnet Group in YCB or YCC or have a TBG Flex Contract
Help us to stamp out the inequality in the Barnet Group
Join us in campaigning for all Barnet Group staff to have access to the Local Government Pension Scheme, have the same pay and grading, sick pay, annual Leave and Terms and Conditions as our colleagues in Barnet Homes.
HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD!!!!
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It has come to my attention that due to the short timescale imposed on the TUPE to the new company the usual checking of personal data that always takes place when staff transfer under TUPE is not happening.
What should happen?
In TUPE consultation the current employer will send a copy of the data they are going to send to the new employer to the employee in order that the employee can confirm it is accurate.
What is happening in this TUPE?
I have been advised that staff are not being sent a copy of their personal data to check. They are being advised via an email to check their personal data themselves.
What is UNISON’s advice?
As a UNISON member you are entitled to support and advice.
In this case the advice from UNISON is very clear.
Please check that your personal data which is currently being held by Cambridge Education is accurate.
At some point in the future you may need copies of your personal data which is why it is important that you check your personal data is accurate.
UNISON has had too many experiences of dealing with the consequences of inaccurate personal data especially where there have been multiple employers.
What can you do?
You can request to have all of your personal data sent to you by Cambridge Education via a secure email.
If you have any questions please email email@example.com
To view guidance click on link below
“Barnet Council’s draft Equality Impact Assessment is fundamentally inadequate because it does not assess the impact of the two options on the equality groups and assumes no negative impact. But there is a world of difference in terms and conditions, particularly pensions, between being transferred to the Council and being transferred to a Local Authority Controlled Company which currently does not exist and will be modelled on other Council arms length companies that have inferior terms and conditions. Therefore the Equality Impact Assessment must be rewritten.”
“Why, why, why are Barnet Council making this crisis worse? The contractor is dumping the contract through no fault of the staff. All the staff want hear from Barnet Council are these two little words “Welcome Back”. The evidence for returning the hard working Education and Skills workforce is contained within the Joint Trade Union report written By Dexter Whitfield.”
John Burgess Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.
It is clear that the best option is for Education and Skills to return the council. Employment will be less attractive with an LACC resulting in it being harder to recruit and retain the experienced staff required and this can only mean an inferior service for schools and the young people of Barnet.
Keith Nason, Secretary Barnet NEU.
“The comparison of key criteria in this report makes it clear to the advantages of an in-house option and I encourage GMB members’ to read this detailed report.
Outsourcing has been bad news for Barnet staff. Time and time again, we have seen private providers fail to deliver while members’ terms and conditions and national agreements have been undermined.
GMB are clear that it is better value for services such as this to be brought back in-house.”
Mary Goodson, GMB Barnet Branch Secretary & Krissy O’Hagan, GMB London Region Organiser.
The following Trade Unions representing workers from Cambridge Education have worked together with their members and Dexter Whitfield to produce a report to Barnet Council.
- Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP)
Summary of the report
The two options of in-house provision or establishing new Local Authority Controlled Company (LACC) are examined using 12 key criteria (see Table 1) with in-house provision having significant advantages over the latter.
1.The Council’s draft Equalities Impact Assessment is significantly flawed because it concludes there is ‘No Impact’ for any of the equality groups when in fact there is a Positive Impact for all equality groups with the in-house option but a Major Negative Impact for all equality groups with the LACC option.
2. We have examined the ability of Education and Skills to retain and recruit qualified and experienced staff and conclude that the continuity of service and quality of pension schemes are fundamentally important. The LACC option fails on both these criteria.
3. A sustainable motivated workforce to provide the range and quality of services required by schools, parents and children for their physical and mental health is dependent on the retention of the existing staff and the recruitment of new qualified and experienced staff is critically important to ensure high quality services for Barnet Schools.
4. A divided, demoralised workforce as a result of a differential in terms and conditions combined with an inability to retain and recruit qualified staff is inherent in the LACC model and will have a long lasting negative impact in education and the community.
5. The Council has failed to prepare a full Equality Impact Assessment for the consultation process.
6. The Council has stated that the Equality Impact Assessment and the full business case will only be completed after the consultation feedback deadline of 4pm 3 July 2020. This contradicts Government policy set out in the Green Book, and ignores over a decade of established custom and practice in Barnet and is likely to fail to take full account of key and other unforeseen emerging issues.
7. The multinational Mott MacDonald’s use of the Force Majeure contract clause raises many questions given that Barnet’s Education and Skills contract represented just 0.23% of the company’s £771m annual turnover in 2019. The fact that all local authorities with education responsibilities, teachers and parents are confronted by the same impact of COVID-19 raises questions over the real motives of this decision.
1. We strongly recommend that Barnet Council transfers Education and Skills staff from Cambridge Education back to direct employment in the Council.
2. We recommend that the contract management functions of the ISS catering contract, which is going to be novated to the Council, are established in the Education Department.
To View the Full report click on link below
Notes to Editors.
Contact details: John Burgess Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
History of the outsourcing of Schools Meals and Education & Skills services
Catering Services: “Jewel in the Crown”: Privatisation of Education & Skills and Catering in Barnet
Education & Skills and Catering: Threat of large-scale subcontracting
Baffour Ababio Clinical Lead, Nafsiyat
Tuesday 14 July 12.30 – 1.30
Meeting ID: 820 1122 3257
Guest Speaker: Baffour Ababio Clinical Lead, who works for Nafsiyat
“Nafsiyat is an intercultural therapy centre, committed to providing effective and accessible psychotherapy and counselling services to people from diverse religious, cultural and ethnic communities in London. Our team is made up of experienced, fully qualified psychotherapists and counsellors from diverse backgrounds who are sensitive to the particular therapeutic needs of cultural minority groups.
We provide short-term intercultural therapy in over 20 different languages, via referral, to individuals, groups, and couples. We also offer long-term, privately funded therapy via our Nafsiyat Choice service.”
Barnet UNISON comment.
The recent traumatic events, both the murder of George Floyd, yet another reminder of systemic racism, and reports that BAME communities are at a greater risk of dying from COVID-19, which only serves to highlight existing health inequalities, calls for greater support for our BAME members.
These recent events have bought to surface many unresolved traumatic events, in so many BAME individuals, therefore it is important that we recognise how deeply ingrained emotional traumas are imbedded.
Studies have shown prenatal and early childhood experiences have lasting emotional and psychological effects. A 3 year study recognised the link between childhood experiences; known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and current health status in adults.
Whilst ACEs explored the impact of traumatic childhood events, there is an emerging line of research exploring the impact of transgenerational transmission of traumatic events onto the next and subsequent generations.
Also known as ‘intergeneration trauma’, this research is illuminating how historical and cultural traumas affect survivors’ children for generations to come, passing the symptoms and behaviours of trauma survival along the family line.
Racism and inequalities are often addressed from a surface layer, but now is the time for the physiological and psychological impact of enduring global and systemic racism and discrimination, to be at the forefront of beginning the journey towards healing, health and wellbeing.
Cultural specific counselling should be provided by employers to facilitate better understanding of an individual’s background, ethnicity and belief system in order to empower and support ‘all’ people to improve their health and wellbeing, without fear of biased views and stereotypical beliefs about them.
We have Clinical Lead, Baffour Ababio, from Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre, who will provide a 1 hour presentation about the service provided at Nafsiyat on Tuesday 14th 12.30- 2pm; short term intercultural therapy for a range of issues, from day-to-day worries to complex psychological conditions.
Apart from dealing with COVID there is also the very really threat about funding for Maintained Nursery Schools.
This is your opportunity to join the campaign by joining the online meeting tomorrow evening.
MAINTAINED NURSERY SCHOOLS NATIONAL CAMPAIGN
ONLINE PUBLIC MEETING
Tuesday 30 June 2020, 5-6pm
Please click on the link below to register your place at this meeting.