CALLING ALL NURSERY NURSES!

Nursery Nurse UNISON meeting

Agenda:         Your pay and terms and conditions

Venue:           Training room 2, Building 2, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, N11 1NP

Date:   23 February 2009

Time:  4pm – 6pm

For more details of the meeting click here

Barnet College update 13 February

Since the last Bulletin, the Barnet College UNISON Stewards have been working extremely hard with Human Resources trying to mitigate the number of redundancies. Currently, we are attending weekly meetings and liaising with Human Resources to answer Member’s queries on both an Individual and a Departmental basis. As you will imagine, this has been taking up the majority of our time.

However, individual Case Work is still ongoing and the Stewards have also been looking the issue of members having to take a day’s Annual Leave due to the extreme weather last week.  Quite a number of staff were either unable to get in to College due to either treacherous driving conditions and/or schools being closed. Staff had been unable to arrange for childcare at such short notice and had been expecting their children’s schools to be open. This issue is being discussed with Human Resources and when there is more news, you will be updated.

 

The Annual Leave, Religious Leave and Sickness Policy was discussed at a meeting with the Director of Human Resources last week. UNISON are still negotiating some additional benefit(s) for members in return for all staff moving on to 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay if they are on long-term sick leave. Nothing has been agreed as yet and the current policy remains in place.

 

Finally, the Stewards would like to remind you that we welcome your comments on issues around the College. Please do keep comments and suggestions coming in – especially your opinions on the PROPOSAL for the out-sourcing of the service of the Staff Lounges at GP and NLBP.

With Kind Wishes,

The Barnet UNISON Workplace Stewards Team.

Branch Annual General Meeting

Barnet UNISON members please come along

THURSDAY 5 March 2009

3.30 pm onwards

Conference Room

Building 2

NLBP

Guests

Professor Dexter Whitfield—Future Shape

Barnet College students – performing a piece aimed at first time voters and the dangers of the BNP

 

Barnet Trades Council

Future Shape – Barnet Community Campaign

At last night’s well attended AGM last night, the Trades Council announced  their campaign with Barnet residents on Future Shape. They are launching campaign at a meeting on 4 March 2009. If you are a Barnet resident we would encourage you to attend. For details of time and venue of meeting click here  

 

 

 

 

 

Adult Social Services Restructure

“To agree or not agree, that is the question…”

The bulk of the role profiles have been agreed. There are a couple of outstanding questions:

 

1)                 Should OTs (Occupational Therapists) accept that part of their role is to carry out some tasks completed by social workers?

 

2)                 Should social workers accept that part of their role is to carry out some tasks completed by OTs? Should we accept the notion of “trusted assessor” on our role profile?

 

I believe there is a consensus amongst most staff (if not all) and management we want residents in the Borough to have a service which causes the least headache for them in terms of waiting and jumping through hoops. I believe there is consensus amongst most staff and management we want service users to be safe in the delivery of that service and for staff to feel safe and confident in the assessments they have made. The question is about how to deliver on these positions. We will be having a meeting for those staff affected by the question of trusted assessor 10.2.09 10am-12pm in Barnet House to finalise our UNISON position.

 

3)                 Should Administrators accept onto their role profile they should take minutes of Adult Protection case conferences.

 

Our current administrators in Adult Social Services are paid low wages for an important job of keeping us from completely grinding to a halt with the volume of administration necessary to our roles. Adult Protection cases are notorious for producing rain forests of documentation. From a social worker point of view it would be fantastic if some of the burden of this administration could be done by someone else allowing the social worker to concentrate solely on the investigation. However, our UNISON members on the administration side of things have indicated they would not be happy to carry out this new task – with or without the training and the pay. An issue they find difficult to deal with is the emotional trauma of listening to the sometimes graphic detail divulged in some of these meetings. It’s a fair point. Management was going to consider this and propose a way forward. We believe the best way forward would be to have a dedicated team which would deal with this administration. We will keep our members updated on any developments.

 

Dignity at Work and the DDA

 

UNISON and management are working together on statements to encourage employees with a disability to come forward and inform the employer on the adjustments they need to continue carrying out their work. This is to make sure no one has to face any indignities for the lack of adequate planning following a move into a new structure. We will be putting out more info on this in due course.

 

Drive My Car?

 

Finally I have requested a statement from management/ HR regarding essential car user allowance. Some of you have pointed out this is missing from the new role profiles and are worried about what this means. I have been verbally reassured there is nothing sinister in this, although the car allowance for team managers is falling under intense scrutiny. I await the written response with bated breath.

Future Shape – Essex Council staff up for SALE

A group of Essex County Council Officers has put its services up for sale. All services have been included, and the Council is prepared to pay a private company £5.4 billion of Essex taxpayer’s money to do so. Neither councillors nor the cabinet have ever voted on these proposals.  The official notice advertising the contract asks private companies to provide “any and all council services”, and is likely to start from August 2009. They have said that “these services will include but are not limited to corporate and back office functions, environmental services, social care and school related services.”

http://www.unisonessex.org.uk/Outsourcing

Watch the story on BBC Politics Show  (the Essex sell off is in the last ten minutes of the show)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00hcrnk/The_Politics_Show_East_01_02_2009/

Barnet College update 4 February

Redundancies: an S188 Notice was issued to Union officers and representative today outlining potential posts at risk as a consequence of the anticipated shortfall in College funding 08/09 and 09/10. Details of an Accelerated Voluntary Redundancy Scheme have also been published.

 

UNISON reps at the College will be participating in the 30 days consultation process in order to seek to mitigate the total number of redundancies. We will also be representing the best interests of individual members who elect to leave under the VR scheme

 

-College financial situation: all Union reps will be briefed tomorrow morning (Friday) by the College Principal on the current situation with the College finances, which is the key driver for the present cost-saving exercises (staffing and non-staffing)

 

Montagu Road: it is now generally known that the College’s Montagu Road (ESL) site will be closing in the summer. The building is no longer fit for purpose and the ongoing necessary maintenance costs are prohibitive. Students and staff currently based at the site will be re-located to the Grahame Park site in time for September. UNISON does not anticipate significant job losses as a result of the closure, but will be involved in ongoing consultation meetings on any potential impacts of the move

The Barnet College UNISON stewards

Remember the IBM takeover in Somerset—SouthwestOne?

Remember the ITV documentary on the IBM takeover of Somerset Council? In the documentary the Somerset Chief Executive explained that he visualised other councils queuing up to join SouthwestOne. Think again! The following story was reported in the Local Government Chronicle:

 

Somerset County Council’s chief executive has accused councils in the region of “institutional chauvinism” for refusing to join the authority’s flagship Southwest One shared services venture.

Alan Jones criticised councils’ unwillingness to consider efficiency projects devised outside their boundaries after the south-west’s biggest two authorities, Devon and Cornwall County Councils , both signalled they would not join the initiative.

The chief executive admitted that no new councils were currently considering entering Southwest One , despite Somerset holding talks with many of its regional counterparts. But he insisted the project was still viable. It is hoped the back office partnership between Somerset, Taunton Deane Borough Council , Avon & Somerset Police and IBM will save £200m over a decade.

Institutional chauvinism

Mr Jones queried why councils were not seeking the savings membership offered and concluded: “The answer has got to do with institutional chauvinism. People want something that has been invented in their patch.”

He added: “Our experience is that people are too conservative and cautious — they look a gift horse in the mouth.”

Earlier, Devon County Council chief executive Phil Norrey said the authority and its public sector partners “don’t want to export jobs from Devon to get relatively marginal savings”.

He added: “Somerset set up Southwest One with IBM very much with the view of having jobs in Taunton, which is great for them and the Somerset economy. “We monitor it but one of our considerations is providing jobs in our local economy.”

Transformed

Meanwhile, Cornwall leader David Whalley (Lib Dem) said of Southwest One: “I don’t start out from the premise that we are inclined to be joining it.”

Kevin Lavery, chief executive of Cornwall, which is shortly to be transformed into a county-wide unitary, said that the council was based in a relatively low-wage area and more likely to run services for other authorities than have them provided elsewhere.

“What we don’t want to be in the business of is exporting jobs outside of Cornwall, given the economics of the area,” he said.

 

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