Cabinet report on the Future of Barnet Council published today

Just 7 days to go before the Cabinet meeting on 3rd December.

To view the full report click here

A detailed response will be provided shortly.

The report asks Council Officers to report back to 10 June Cabinet committee after completing a business and options analysis of the proposed new model of Barnet Public Services.

This report does not mention in house services.

We are asking residents, staff, service users and trade union members to turn up for the rally outside barnet House at 6 pm and attend the Cabinet Committee meeting at 7 pm 

Protect YOUR Pension!

Read it… sign it… pass it on! Barnet UNISON has created an ePetition to Gordon Brown. It is important that you sign it and pass it on to your colleagues to sign. Protect YOUR Pension To view and sign the petition click here

Future Shape – Barnet residents, staff and trade unions say YES WE CAN!

A Big thank you to all of you who turned up at the meeting last night. Over 300 plus staff took the time and effort to attend the Barnet Public Services meeting last night. 

The event was resounding success and demonstrated that both staff and local residents are concerned about the future of public services in Barnet.

The meeting watched the ITV West documentary Private Gain, Private Profit in two parts to show that the threat to jobs and services is real and the need for staff to engage in the consultation with the Council.

Professor Whitfield gave a broad assessment of what this could mean to residents, service users, staff and the local economy.

Stan Davison from 55 plus spoke followed by Secretary of Barnet Trades Council Austin Harney and John Burgess Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON.

It was followed by a number of useful contributions from the floor. It was clear residents, service users, staff and the Trade Unions are ready for the consultation to start. The Trade Unions have already produced 6 Briefings which raise issues about the process. Until now we have not had a response.

On 3 December the Chief Executive in what might be his last presentation (he has secured the post of Chief Executive of the GLA working for the London Mayor Boris Johnson) to the Cabinet Committee will present his report on the Future of Public Services in Barnet.

The Trade Unions are asking ALL their members to attend a rally on 3 December at 6 pm outside Barnet House before going into the meeting to hear what is being recommended for Barnet residents and the 4,000 Council workers. 

A more detailed report will follow.  

Remember, remember the 3 December!

 

Icelandic banks – what YOU can do!

Petition the Prime Minister to protect local authorities from losing millions of pounds of council taxpayers’ money held in failing Icelandic banks.

The government cannot stand by and allow local authorities to lose millions of pounds of council taxpayers’ cash. The government have stepped in to secure the banking system, and we need the same bold and principled action to protect local councils. Local authorities have a crucial role to play in protecting individuals, families and communities from the effects of an economic downturn. They are also crucial to rebuilding stability and confidence in our communities.”

We are asking UNISON members to sign the petition by following this link http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Aid-for-councils/#detail

What’s Going On in Adult Social Services?

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of meetings in order to organise a major restructure and transform the way services are delivered to the public. So far we have been consulted on the general outline as to the future model of the care management end of the service. We had a good attendance in August at the UNISON meeting which resulted in a statement being put out from UNISON to the first stage consultation.

 

The next stage is proving trickier. Workshops looking at the way a member of the public would get an assessment and what kind of support would be needed from individual social work/ OT teams… (In other words: Who does what when and for how long)… has predictably proven to be less straightforward.  Draft Job Profiles are about to be shown to the union and we will be consulting closely with staff members about these to make sure some of the disgraceful exploitation of staff and their goodwill does not continue.

 

What is the Future Shape of Adult Social Services?

The commissioning side of our service is being increased. Consultations around this service are still ongoing, although the bulk of the consultation has been dealt with.  Even before the economic crisis we had discussed the sense of having in-house services to guarantee service delivery. Given the facts that banks have come crashing down bringing some businesses with them and the fact we know already some providers of home care are struggling to find home careworkers to cover the West of the borough we think it makes all the more sense to have in-house provision. We will be taking this up with the Commissioning team.

There have been no statements from the senior management team to say there is no intention to outsource the social work side of Social Services to date. We have asked for them and so far…

 

 

 

Community Care Officers: Highly valued – or simply highly exploited?

These are people who carry out the same tasks as social workers, in Adult Social Care. Without their input the service delivery in the Borough would collapse. They are mostly very experienced, highly thought of and respected within their teams and by their team managers. When they work with a member of the public they stay with that person to work through the issues (health, housing, care, working with family members and more) no matter how complex. The only difference is they would not investigate Adult Protection matters and they do not have a social work qualification. Their pay grade implies that where their work ends the social worker takes over and yet this is far from the practice and far from what is specified in their Role Profiles.

At a meeting with councillors on 7 October 2008, the unions were given to believe there would be movement in a further negotiation around acknowledging there needed to be an overlap in the grades. Regrettably at the negotiation there has been no movement. There is no acknowledgment there needs to be an overlap in grades. Our Community Care Officers have already indicated they are prepared to take industrial action if their pay is not increased in recognition of the complexity of the work they do.

They are far from being alone within Adult Social Services, as people who do complex work which is not recognised in pay. This is very demoralising for our members and all staff across Barnet Council in general.

This is all happening in context of the revolutionary changes to ALL of our jobs that is inherent in the Future Shape project.

 

 

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