BREAKING NEWS: Barnet UNISON motion: More money for our members

This branch notes that in 2016 we had 2570 members at the year end.

This branch notes that in 2016 UNISON received total subscriptions of £365,691.

This branch notes that in 2016 of the £365,691 received by UNISON head office we received £95,147.

This represents 26% of the total income provided by our members.

In 2017 our branch carried out a consultation on branch funding.

92.86% of members voted for a change to our current funding arrangement.

Our branch notes that our national union recorded surpluses of approximately £10million and £3million in the 2015 and 2016 accounts respectively, and holds reserves of over £200million.

Our branch has been fighting Barnet Councils ideological obsession with outsourcing for over a decade.

Our branch represents members working for 189 employers (as per WARMS on 24th November 2017).

Our branch receives no resources to represent a significant number of our members working in the private and voluntary sector.

Our branch believes it is wrong to take members’ money if our branch is not able to provide basic support and representation.

Our branch notes that National Pay bargaining has continued to fail our members.

Our branch notes that it is simply unacceptable to expect our members to wait and hope for a change in government in order to end the public sector pay freeze.

We want our branch to be able to use all of our resources for the many not the few.

The fact remains that the overwhelming bulk of this work is done in our branch.

It is our view that the current funding formula for our branch is out of date and does not effectively support our members who are paying their subscriptions.

Our branch proposes

  1. That branches receive all of our members’ subscriptions, without any deductions, into their respective UNISON branch bank accounts.
  2. UNISON branches will commit to purchasing support services from UNISON Regional, UNISON National or a third party to demonstrate value for money to our members.
  3. For this motion to be presented at the Regional Council AGM 2018 and if it is successfully voted on at the AGM for it to be considered as a regional motion at National Delegate Conference (NDC).

4. For this motion to be presented at Barnet UNISON’s AGM for consideration and if successfully voted on, for it to be a branch motion going through to NDC.

Level Two Teaching Assistant (TA) miss out on a possible 6% pay rise: read on

Frustration does not suffice to explain how I am feeling at the news that of the 604 workers balloted by Barnet Council only 243 voted.

The total ballot figures for the two Level 2 TA posts are as follows:

Staff in Favour            233

Staff voting against    10

Staff did not vote        361

It is important to understand this was not a strike ballot called by the Trade Unions.

It was a TA schools grading group appeal carried out by Barnet Council.

Group appeals are for posts in where there are multiple workers in the same job role.

Because there is a potential for the grade to go down, all post holders get a vote on whether to go ahead with a vote.

In June this year Nursery nurses working in Barnet faced similar challenge, delivered a mass YES vote in the ballot. It is a fact that 80% of Barnet Council Nursery Nurses are in Barnet UNISON. This meant when we campaigned for the YES vote, members worked with the branch to ensure all Nursery Nurses voted YES.

GOOD NEWS: Nursery Nurse Grading Appeal success

What went wrong this time?

Barnet UNISON does not have a high percentage of TAs in Barnet Council Primary schools, we estimate less than 15%.

This means that without a trade union making the case to vote YES all TAs have now missed out on the opportunity of a 6-7% pay rise.

What can we do?

It is important that Barnet UNISON has details of every single Barnet UNISON TA who may have a 3.4% pay cut on 1 April 2018.

If you are at risk of a 3.4% cut on 1 April 2018, please contact (with all your details) the Barnet UNISON branch on 0208 359 2088 or email

Best wishes

John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Barnet UNISON issues warning to members about the Pension Service provided by Capita.

Barnet UNISON Press Release: Friday 1 December 2017

“The final straw for me was when I was sent copies of letters issued on London Borough of Hounslow letterheads with London Borough of Hounslow email contact details to our members by Capita Pension Service in response to their own Barnet Pensions queries. Barnet UNISON has been monitoring an ongoing catalogue of serious errors made by the Capita Pensions Service operating out of Darlington. Not only am I unhappy with Capita, but also with the Council, which agreed this outsourcing model. This fragmented model, where you have two pay roll departments running out of Belfast and Carlisle and Pensions running out of Darlington was agreed by senior Barnet Council Officers in 2012. They have long gone and left us with a service in which we have no confidence. Our Pension, is our members’ single biggest financial saving for their future. It is also their deferred earnings. The Pension service our members’ are having to endure is unacceptable. My concern is that there is an “Emperor’s New Clothes” culture in our Council. No criticism is tolerated, well Barnet UNISON will not stay silent the service needs to be brought back in-house.”  John Burgess Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary 


We advise all Barnet UNISON members who are in the

Local Government Pensions Scheme

to read this Press release and take up our offer below.


1.  Please find a brief explanation of the serious issues we have found over the past two years

  • 2015 Annual Benefit Statements not sent to all by statutory deadline
  • 2016 Annual Benefit Statements not sent to all by statutory deadline
  • 2015 Annual Benefit Statements not all correct – CARE benefit incorrectly based on taxable pay rather than pensionable pay
  • 2016 Annual Benefit Statements not all correct – CARE benefit incorrectly based on taxable pay rather than pensionable pay
  • 2017 Annual Benefit Statements not all accurate – missing previous LGPS membership, more than one statement, CARE benefit based on part pensionable pay
  • Barnet Pension communicated on another local authority’s letterhead showing two different e-mail addresses for communication with them
  • Insufficient details provided for pension calculations to check accuracy

2. What HAS Barnet UNISON done so far?

  • Raised issues at meetings with Chief Executive in December 2016, January 2017 and September 2017
  • Asked LBB to inform breaches to the Pensions Regulator
  • Issues raised at Local Pension Board meetings
  • Issues raised at regular monthly meetings with Council officers and Capita Pensions staff.

3. What YOU can do


Notes to Editors.

Contact details: John Burgess Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email:


Below are a few links of the post transfer consultations with Capita which resulted in wholesale cuts to the local workforce.

1. The Pensions Regulator fines Barnet Council for failing to submit pension documentation

2. Capita consultation on proposed sacking of Barnet Council Pension workforce as jobs move to Darlington (2013).

3. Barnet UNISON Press Release: “From hard working families to ‘scroungers’ – Capita redundancies


“But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.

“Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”

“But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.


URGENT: More School grading ballots: VOTE YES

Barnet UNISON has just been informed that Barnet Council has sent another batch of grading ballot letters  to all community schools.

The next roles going forward for a Grading Appeal are as follows:

  • Teaching  Assistant  3 Mainstream
  • Teaching Assistant  3 Special
  • Teaching Assistant  4
  • Teaching Assistant 4 Special
  • Learning Mentor
  • Breakfast /After school Club  level 3

We need everyone to vote YES in order that Barnet UNISON can submit the Appeal.

If you have not had your ballot letter, please contact Barnet Council by email at or post to The Unified Reward Team, London Borough of Barnet, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London, N11 1NP.

Closing date Friday 15 December 2017. 


John McDonnell sends message of hope and solidarity

BREAKING NEWS: Shadow Chancellor sends message of hope and solidarity to Barnet UNISON and grassroots Labour Party members.

“I fully support the Barnet UNISON policy statement For A Better, Fairer, Democratically Accountable Barnet. The branch has mounted an inspirational decade long battle with a right wing ideological driven Tory Council determined to outsource all of its services. I send solidarity message to the branch and to Barnet Labour members who together will deliver a Labour Council to implement this policy statement. ” John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor

“I’m absolutely delighted that in his busy schedule John McDonnell has the time to send a message of Hope & Solidarity to Barnet UNISON members and grassroots Labour Party members who against the odds have delivered three marginal seats in Barnet. Our policy statement is a signal of intent to begin to address the damage done to our public services and the staff made redundant. Outsourcing has delivered in Barnet, but not in the way it was spun by consultants who grew rich on the millions paid by Barnet residents in the name of austerity. Hope for the many is within our grasp, austerity lite policies are not welcome here.”
John Burgess, Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary

For A Better, Fairer, Democratically Accountable Barnet.

For A Better, Fairer, Democratically Accountable Barnet.

End the Council’s over reliance on agency staff and consultants, replacing these with Council employees.
Review Unified Reward and consider returning to GLPC.

Adopt UNISON ethical care charter.


Address and alleviate the problems caused by the forthcoming relocation of Barnet Council and Partner organisation staff to the new Colindale Office building.


Bring all the Council’s Health & Safety responsibilities back in to in-house control and monitoring.
Review Health & Safety arrangements in the Borough.


TBG Flex employees to be employed on Local Government T&C’s, Pay with access to Local Government Pension Scheme.
The Barnet Group to be brought back in-house.
End short term 2 & 5 year tenancies and reintroduce secure life time tenancies for all tenants.
End or limit Right to Buy and the subletting of Right to Buy properties
Increase Council home building.
Widen the availability of social housing within the Borough.
Resource the monitoring of housing where necessary to ensure it is fit for habitation.


Restore the pre-April 2017 level of staffed opening hours, with sufficient Library workers (in numbers, qualifications and experience) and resources.
Review the use of lost Library space with a view to returning to Library use.
Bring the Partnership Libraries back in-house.
Work with all stakeholders in the Library Service to produce a strategy that will maintain and improve the quality and accessibility of Barnet Libraries.


No more Council services to be outsourced.
Work towards bringing services already outsourced back in-house including NSL.
Review Capita and other contracts with the aim of bring services back in-house.
Ensure that while outsourcing contracts are running they are properly overseen and these services are provided to the contracted level without incurring further cost to the Council.

7. PAY

Support the Trade Union (UNISON, GMB, Unite) NJC PAY CLAIM 2018 – 2019
Ensure that Council, partner organisation and contractor employees are paid at least the London Living Wage.
End Performance Related Pay.


52 week contracts for TAs and other support workers.
Oppose the establishment of academies.


Instigate a search within the Borough for a site (or sites?) for a depot (depots?) suitable for all Street Scene’s long-term needs?
Commit to the retention of Street Scene services in-house.
No more Council services to be outsourced.
Work towards bringing services already outsourced back in-house including NSL.
Review Capita and other contracts with the aim of bring services back in-house.
Ensure that while outsourcing contracts are running they are properly overseen and these services are provided to the contracted level without incurring further cost to the Council.


Capita Re: What is EG Works Manager?

Dear Barnet UNISON Capita Re members

We have had a growing number of worrying reports about EG Works Manager.

We understand it is a new programme designed to monitor everything that you do.

It sounds very much like what was known back in the mists of time as a “Time and Motion” survey.

A ‘Time and Motion’ survey woul


d involve an employees following a worker around the workplace all day, recording everything, and I mean everything, including when they went to the toilet.

Barnet Unison understand that staff are going on training in order they are able to use it as early as December 2017.

A question for Barnet UNISON members working for Re

“What do you think about EG Works Manager?”


If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Barnet UNISON office in confidence.

TAXI 4 Housing For Islington

Taxi for ALMOs?

Councillor James Murray, executive member for housing, Islington Council, said:
“The decision about housing management in Islington has been finely-balanced. We have decided that bringing HFI in-house will allow us to invest as much as possible in new council housing, whilst protecting our tenants and existing stock from changes the government might make.

“It is vital that we continue to give our tenants and leaseholders the best possible service from our committed staff who currently work for HFI.

“We will also use this opportunity to expand tenant and leaseholder involvement in housing management and we will be consulting next month on how this should be done.”


The decision follows a three-month consultation with tenants and leaseholders this summer – with thousands of residents responding to a questionnaire survey and taking part in discussion groups run by an Independent Tenants Advisor.

The council’s consultation heard a wide variety of residents’ views on what they want for the future of their housing services. Common themes emerging were the need for new housing, more council accountability and a bigger say in the issues that affect all residents – including tackling poverty, anti-social behaviour and saving money.

If confirmed, the decision means the council will negotiate an early termination (April 2012) of the housing management agreement with Homes for Islington which currently runs until 2014.

The arrangements are expected to save the council £1.7m a year.

Between November 2011 and March 2012 the council will carefully prepare for the changeover to minimise disruption to services and maintain the high quality of services residents have come to expect from HFI.

Street Scene workers update restructures


As a result of the Council agreeing to go ahead with the three restructures in Street Scene, there is a need to ensure that our members are fully supported whatever the outcome.

It is important that members understand that they have the right to representation in their one to one meetings.

If you need support/advice please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email

Or contact the Barnet UNISON reps on site at Oakleigh or Harrow Depots.

Teaching Assistants (TA) – Call to action by Barnet UNISON

Barnet UNISON has just sent out letters to every TA working in a community school.

The letter explains the Group Appeal process and asks all TAs to complete a short form about the work that they do.

It is critically important that TAs complete the form and send back in the business reply envelope provided.

The other day I was asked by a TA the following question.

What might they gain or lose

1) If they vote for the appeal?

2) If they vote against the appeal?

My response was swift and clear.

If TA’s don’t vote for YES for an appeal they miss out on a 6/7% pay increase.

The Budget yesterday has confirmed there is no chance of a break in the PUBLIC SECTOR PAY FREEZE.

Barnet UNISON has looked at the TA grades and believes there are grounds to Appeal.

We want to give TAs in Barnet a chance to get a pay rise.

Barnet UNISON Nursery Nurses won their Grading Appeal because they responded to our call for action, they provided the critical information that delivered a pay rise for Nursery Nurses.

Here is a quick reminder of what their UNISON reps had to say about their Group Grading Appeal.

“Barnet Nursery Nurses won their appeal! This would not have happened without the support and dedication of John Burgess and Unison. Thank you from us all.”

Beverley (UNISON Nursery Nurse rep).

“Barnet unison remained resolute in their commitment throughout this appeal. Showing the importance of working together to ensure ever member has a voice, this was paramount to secure this momenta’s positive conclusion for Barnet Nursery Nurses.”

Elaine Thompson Unison Nursery Nurse Rep.

“Unison has provided steadfast support to the nursery nurses since as far back as 2009. John Burgess in particular advised and guided the three nursery teams that went through the federation process, resulting in a much better staffing structure than had originally been offered. Throughout every occurrence Unison has kept their members informed and updated so much so that when Unified pay come over the horizon we all had every confidence that our best interests were at the heart of any negotiations they were involved in.  The confidence and determination/ tenacity shown by the Unison team was infectious and made us all the more determined to at least have our say. Knowing John Burgess had championed others and been successful gave us hope and spurred us on to do our homework, galvanise as workers and put our case to the powers that be. Happily we were successful and I’m sure that with Unison on your side any workers have a fighting chance. Good luck comrades!”

Ruth Kevin (UNISON rep)

If you have not had a letter please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email



“Here to Help”- Barnet UNISON’s position

In the last few months Senior Library Managers, consultants and other Library staff have been in Barnet Libraries during Self-Service hours wearing green T-shirts bearing the words “Here to help”. The Council is employing them to encourage the public to use self-service machines and people to sign up for access to unstaffed opening hours. Many members of the public are under the misguided impression these are the volunteers as described by the Council in various statements concerning the Library changes. This situation has arisen because the Council has failed to recruit volunteers for Libraries.


In June this year Barnet UNISON raised objections to the Council imposing Here to Help duties on Library workers. We did this because our members had informed us of their concerns around this issue.

To continue reading this document click below link

Here to Help – UNISON’s Position

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