Barnet UNISON: Urgent Pension information update 26 October 2018

Barnet UNISON: Urgent Pension information update 26 October 2018

Dear member

Once again our Pension Administration service has failed and had to be reported to the Pensions Regulator.

“The London Borough of Barnet Council has reported itself to the Pensions Regulator after failing to produce 447 pension benefit statements on time.”

http://www.pensions-expert.com/DB-Derisking/Barnet-in-TPR-breach-as-Capita-misses-payments

This is second year in a row that this has happened.

Barnet UNISON has never known things to be this bad.

The in-house service never had these problems.

Furthermore the article reports:

“The committee also said that outsourcer Capita, which carries out a variety of services for the council and is the pension scheme’s own administrator, has failed to make requisite deficit contributions for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 periods of more than £2m.”

What does this mean?

It means that Capita have apparently not paid any Pension contributions to their own Barnet Capita workforce (CSG and RE) for the past 18 months.

What has Barnet UNISON done?

Barnet UNISON wrote to Mark Dally and John Hooton Chief Executive on 23 October seeking urgent conformation that the pension contributions will be paid immediately and that a communication to all staff is sent confirming that all contributions have been made.

Update:

As of today Friday 26 October 2018 we have not had confirmation that any Pensions contributions to the workforce have been made.

What you can do.

Please check your payslips. You should have a section on your payslip which shows your Pension contribution for that month. Please check to see if you can see if the Employers contribution has been identified. The period that you need to check is for 2017/2018 and 2018/19 to date.

 

If you have any concerns about your Pension and would like a one to one meeting please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Taxi for Mitie: Council Housing repairs come back in-house

Hammersmith & Fulham Council is set to return its housing repairs service to council control, bringing to an end the contract with Mitie.

This follows on from winding up Hammersmith and Fulham ALMO, H&F Homes, in 2010.

“We’ve listened to what tenants and leaseholders have told us about the repairs service,” says Cllr Lisa Homan, Cabinet Member for Housing. “That’s why we will now take back direct control of the repair and maintenance for our 17,000 homes.

“We’re determined to provide a safe and secure place to live for our tenants and leaseholders. This decision is the start of a new way to deliver for our residents.”

The council will now set up a new council-run repairs service, a direct labour organisation, which will work alongside a range of new contractors to deliver repairs.

https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/articles/news/2018/10/hf-return-its-housing-repair-service-council-control

https://www.24housing.co.uk/yournews/hammersmith-fulham-to-bring-housing-almo-back-under-council-control/

Barnet UNISON have written to Barnet Group Chief Executive asking if Barnet Homes will be doing the same. The private contractor Mears currently provide Council Housing repair service.

Barnet UNISON call-out for people to give evidence at the #KickOutCapita Inquiry

Barnet UNISON call-out for people to give evidence at the #KickOutCapitaInquiry

If you are a Barnet resident or Barnet UNISON member and want to give evidence to the #KickOutCapitaInquiry  in person or want to provide evidence but remain anonymous please 
please email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Already a number of people have already registered their intention to submit evidence to the #KickOutCapita Inquiry which is being held at the

Committee Room 10,

House of Commons Westminster, London SW1A 0AA.

On Tuesday 6 November 2018 at 7pm

Please arrive early as there will be a queue for security checks.

Meeting is sponsored by Barnet Alliance for Public Services and Barnet UNISON

Chair: Aditya Chakrabortty Guardian columnist and senior economics commentator

Purpose of Inquiry

To hear evidence from residents, trade unions, politicians on what Capita has done in Barnet and elsewhere and end with a set of recommendations.

How you can help.

  1. Please join #KickOutCapita campaign from 6 pm outside Hendon Town Hall,11th December, The Burroughs, Hendon NW4 4BG.
  2. Please sign and share our #KickOutCapita petition here https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/kick-out-capita-from-barnet-council-now

Background

A Capita employee managed to steal over £2 million from Barnet Council because neither Capita nor Barnet Council had control of financial matters.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/ukengland-london-45641513l

Barnet Council felt obliged to commission Grant Thornton to identify how such a large scale fraud was possible. This project could cost up to half a million pounds of tax payers’ money.

 

The review found no proper budgetary controls, no checking of basic banking details, inexperienced managers responsible for large amounts of Council money, no written financial procedures and check-lists.

Barnet Council agreed to pay Capita £252.54 million, but has already paid Capita £352.41 million with FIVE more years to go!

Barnet Council is in financial crisis with a budget overspend of £10.3 million this financial year and a funding gap of £66.8 million over the next three years.

Front-line services such as street cleansing, waste and recycling, libraries and social care are all facing more and more cuts that are already affecting Barnet residents.

Capita is having difficulty with its own finances

Their Share Price has dropped from £13 a share to under £1.50 a share in the last two years.

On 11th December 2018, Barnet Council Policy and Resources Committee will decide on whether to end both contracts. We are campaigning that they VOTE to end both contracts and begin the urgent process of taking back control of those services.

Support:

Please join #KickOutCapita campaign from 6 pm outside Hendon Town Hall,11th December, The Burroughs, Hendon NW4 4BG.

Please sign and share our #KickOutCapita petition here https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/kick-out-capita-from-barnet-council-now

 

 

 

 

 

Another #Capita Pension failure………

Dear Barnet UNISON members

Once again our Pension Administration service has failed and had to be reported to the Pensions Regulator.

“The London Borough of Barnet Council has reported itself to the Pensions Regulator after failing to produce 447 pension benefit statements on time.”

http://www.pensions-expert.com/DB-Derisking/Barnet-in-TPR-breach-as-Capita-misses-payments

This is second year in a row that this has happened.

Barnet UNISON has never known things to be this bad.

The in-house service never had these problems.

Furthermore the article reports:

“The committee also said that outsourcer Capita, which carries out a variety of services for the council and is the pension scheme’s own administrator, has failed to make requisite deficit contributions for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 periods of more than £2m.”

For all of our members who TUPED to Capita Barnet UNISON has written to Mark Dally today seeking urgent conformation that the pension contributions will be paid immediately and that a communication to all staff is conforming that fact.

Barnet Council is currently carrying out a review of both Capita contracts.

There are three options

  1. Keep both contracts.
  2. Bring some Capita services back in-house.
  3. Bring all the services back in-house.

The obvious question from our members is how is it possible that senior officers working on the Capita contract review can seriously recommend that Pension Administration service stays with Capita.

Barnet UNISON view is Option 3

If you have any concerns about your Pension and would like a one to one meeting please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

IMPORTANT MEETING

Date: Tuesday 6 November 2018

Venue:  Committee Room Corridor, House of Commons Westminster, London SW1A 0AA.

Time: 7pm

Organised by Barnet Alliance for Public Services and Barnet UNISON

Chair: Aditya Chakrabortty Guardian columnist and senior economics commentator

Purpose of Inquiry

To hear evidence from residents, trade unions, politicians on what Capita has done in Barnet and elsewhere and end with a set of recommendations.

Details: http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2018/10/16/barnet-kickoutcapita-inquiry-6-november-2018/

 

 

Barnet #KickOutCapita Inquiry: 6 November 2018

Date: Tuesday 6 November 2018

Venue:  Committee Room Corridor, House of Commons Westminster, London SW1A 0AA.

Time: 7pm

Organised by Barnet Alliance for Public Services and Barnet UNISON

Chair: Aditya Chakrabortty Guardian columnist and senior economics commentator

Purpose of Inquiry

To hear evidence from residents, trade unions, politicians on what Capita has done in Barnet and elsewhere and end with a set of recommendations.

Background

A Capita employee managed to steal over £2 million from Barnet Council because neither Capita nor Barnet Council had control of financial matters.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/ukengland-london-45641513l

Barnet Council felt obliged to commission Grant Thornton to identify how such a large scale fraud was possible. This project could cost up to half a million pounds of tax payers’ money.

The review found no proper budgetary controls, no checking of basic banking details, inexperienced managers responsible for large amounts of Council money, no written financial procedures and check-lists.

Barnet Council agreed to pay Capita £252.54 million, but has already paid Capita £352.41 million with FIVE more years to go!

Barnet Council is in financial crisis with a budget overspend of £10.3 million this financial year and a funding gap of £66.8 million over the next three years.

Front-line services such as street cleansing, waste and recycling, libraries and social care are all facing more and more cuts that are already affecting Barnet residents.

Capita is having difficulty with its own finances

Their Share Price has dropped from £13 a share to under £1.50 a share in the last two years.

On 11th December 2018, Barnet Council Policy and Resources Committee will decide on whether to end both contracts. We are campaigning that they VOTE to end both contracts and begin the urgent process of taking back control of those services.

Support:

  1. Please join #KickOutCapita campaign from 6 pm outside Hendon Town Hall,11th December, The Burroughs, Hendon NW4 4BG.
  2. Please sign and share our #KickOutCapita petition here https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/kick-out-capita-from-barnet-council-now

 

Facility Time protecting “Your Rights At Work”

Facility Time is something most employers support that includes Barnet Council, Barnet Group, NSL, Capita, Re, ISS, Cambridge Education.

It enables Barnet UNISON to be able to provide support for individual members and group of workers across different team and or services.

Over the years the amount of Facility Time granted has been reduced. Back in 2011 it was reduced by 80% as a result of Austerity policies.

Unfortunately, Austerity Policies have increased the need for UNISON representation across all services and all employers. Here are some of the issues we are currently supporting members on:

  • Disciplinaries
  • Grievances
  • Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination in the workplace
  • Payroll
  • Pension
  • Redundancy
  • Restructures
  • Re-grading
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Privatisation.

It is not a secret, Barnet Council are in serious financial trouble as are many other Councils.

This financial crisis does mean that Barnet UNISON members will need more UNISON representation not less.

It is therefore really important that all Barnet UNISON members check their payslips in order to confirm they are still paying their UNISON subscriptions.

If you are not in Barnet UNISON you can join online here https://join.unison.org.uk/

If you have any issues or concerns please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barnet UNISON is supporting World Mental Health Day 10 October

Barnet UNISON is supporting World Mental Health Day 10 October

As the song goes: “Everybody hurts sometimes”

 

In a number of our services stress and mental health issues account for the leading reasons for sickness absence. These are often services where our members have roles looking after the wellbeing of residents they serve so it can be difficult admitting you’re not coping when you are supposed to be the “strong one”. Please view this link where our own Branch Secretary, John Burgess, gives a personal account of his own experience.

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