Sheltered Housing Consultation

Today I attended one of the consultation meetings that LBB had set up in order to speak to residents about the possibility of removing Housing Officers from Sheltered Housing schemes.

Hanshaw Drive scheme houses 44 residents, some are housebound and so could not make the meeting, those attending included friends and relatives. 100% of those attending agreed that they wanted to keep their Sheltered Housing Officers.

One resident spoke of having epilepsy and having been found on the floor three times by the resident officer who then got medical help. One resident called it ‘abuse of the elderly’. Many had given up larger properties, three bedroom houses, in order to get the sheltered care that they needed. They now wondered why they hadn’t just stayed where they were –  ‘the council are breaking tenants expectations’, ‘they have a Duty of Care’

Many of these residents feared the future lack of security, they had been plaqued by anti-social behaviour, ‘without our resident officer, Patrick, we won’t be able to sleep at night.’’There is the social cost and the detriment to mental health.’

There was a consensus that any new scheme would ultimately cost more with greater involvement of social services and the PCT. Residents leaving hospital would have to spend time in a nursing home because there would be no-one on site to look in on them. At present residents discharged on a Friday are supported by the Resident Housing Officer who will get them their medication and food.

Residents have been sent a questionnaire to complete and an explanatory document, that are both hard to understand and extensive. What is clear is that the residents will not be accepting the removal of a service that is well established and based on need.

Anne Denison.

UNISON Convenor for Barnet Homes

23 February 2009

Barnet Council Nursery Nurses say ‘No to Term Time Pay ‘

‘Fair deal for nursery nurses campaign’  

This afternoon saw the launch of the ‘Fair deal for nursery nurses campaign’

Over the last five years schools support staff have been taking on increased roles and responsibilities as part of the governments workforce remodelling agreement.

This afternoon a joint UNISON & GMB meeting agreed unanimously to oppose the proposal to move nursery nurses to term time pay.

Our members were informed that renewed negotiations will take place on 4 March. UNISON has carried out an indicative ballot with an overwhelming vote to oppose term time pay. GMB reps explained that they would be balloting their members shortly.

Nursery nurses were clear and unequivocal that they were not prepared to be moved to term time pay.

Pay Comparisons

“Is Barnet Council the new Chelsea..oops Manchester City of Premier League of London Councils……..who next Kaka?”

Senior Officers in LB Barnet & Central / Regional Government 

Our UNISON office has been inundated by angry members reading this story in the local press

http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/4103757.Council_staff_could_earn_more_than_Obama___s_VP/ 

Our members have had to endure year year pay cuts as the cost of living continued to rise. We have requested details of the pay rise before reporting back to our members. However we thought our members would like to see our table of pay rates for some senior posts across local/regional/central government.

Barnet Chief Executive

£217,861

Prime Minister

£194,250 

Permanent Secretary

£139,740 – £273,250

Mayor of London

£143,491  

Chief Executive of the GLA

£186,544      

PCT Chief Executive

£101,524 – £144,271  

Barnet Executive Director     

£175,000

Cabinet Minister       

£141,866

Minister of State      

£104,050

Senior Civil Servant Director Gen

£135,241    

Deputy Mayor   

£127,411 

*Executive Director at GLA  Finance/Policy Director

£158,372  

PCT Executive Directors  

£76,143 – £108,203

Barnet Director up to

£175,000 

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

£94,228

Government Whip

£89,522

Senior Civil Servant  Director

£100,000

Senior Civil Servant

£84,068    

London Assembly Member

£52,756

Member of Parliament   

£63,291

PCT Directors

£60,914 – £86,563      

NB: Parliamentary Figures are in accordance with December 2008 figures. Senior Civil Service / PCT Figures are from a 2007 report. GLA figures are as listed on their website for 2008-09 and in accordance with questions asked at scrutiny committees.

 

Pay 2009/10. 10 good reasons why Barnet local government staff should have a pay rise

10 good reasons why Barnet local government staff should have a pay rise.

 

  1. Because we deserve it. (this should be enough of an argument alone)
  2. The economic situation is not of our making, we did not cause this crisis, so why should we have to pay for it.
  3. The economic situation is unstable some would say chaotic. So we need a pay rise which is not just above inflation, but has a sufficient buffer above inflation to protect our real incomes against the wild fluctuations that are coming our way.
  4. Our bills have gone up and are due to go up even more. FUEL Average household bill rose by £381 to £1,293 last year. FOOD Prices rose by 11% last year[MSN Money] COUNCIL TAX Bills could rise by 3.5% on average [Local Government Association]
  5. Government measures of inflation (CPI and RPI) systematically under-estimate real price inflation as experienced by working people. The highest price rises are for essentials such as food and utilities, and we spend much more of our income on these things than higher earners.
  6. The demands on our wages are not being ‘moderated’ because of the recession. Landlords are not saying “I’ll let you off your rent this month, what with the economic crisis”!
  7. A low pay rise would have real and distressing consequences for us. Local Government workers would/could face stress, home repossessions, debts, and will struggle to support ourselves and our families.
  8. If the government can afford billions of pounds to bail out the banks, then it can afford to pay public service workers such as ourselves a decent wage rise.
  9.  The Gordon Brown/ Government policy is to stimulate an economic revival. They want us to spend more. To do that, we need more money. Lower pay rises will work against this policy
  10. Self-sacrifice on our part will not save a single job in local government or any other industry.

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.

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