Let us help: Barnet UNISON plea to School Support Staff

You are worth it.

You are entitled to be treated like any other member of staff in your school.

Everyone in a school contributes to a healthy education environment in which children can thrive.

I am making my plea out of frustration.

I have spent the last six months working through outstanding grading appeals and pay issues for Barnet Council workers, but not school staff.

In the last three months I have started on my list of School Support Staff who are in need of support and advice concerning their pay.

The difference in working environments is appalling and unfair. The rest of the Council workforce have been subject to cuts and mass outsourcing, but in relation to their pay and grading the application has been without pressure.

BUT, in schools it is oh so different.

Why must some Schools always refer to budget cuts and letting staff go?

Why do some Schools complain about not being involved when they were?

Why are School Support Staff left to feel that they are wrong to challenge the grade, in most cases they are losing money, and they don’t earn much money anyway.

I have never seen equivalent fear like it in a workplace, grown women and men with huge life experience are sometimes too scared to let the union fight their corner for fear of reprisals.

Barnet UNISON will not be going anywhere and will continue to offer our fullest support for all of our support staff.

If you work in a school and need our help please contact the branch on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk


*** IMPORTANT Performance Reviews – Moderation period

The Performance Review is rapidly becoming the Number 1 issue for our members working for Barnet Council.

When the Council first started talking about the Unified Reward scheme they used this slide.

As you see the colour scheme has been replaced with new ratings. However, members are reporting that whereas they had previously been rated as Green they are now being rated as Satisfactory.

It appears that managers are rating Green as Satisfactory which is not what UNISON and the staff attending the briefings were expecting.


Between April and June moderation panels will be taking place to look at the ratings. This means your rating could still change. Lastly, you do not need to sign or agree your Performance Review.

Barnet UNISON is asking members to contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk if they are unhappy with their Performance Review.

“Outsourcingitus vaccine discovered” by Barnet UNISON

“I am so proud of our branch who have effectively been working round the clock for the last 9 years and to finally have discovered the antidote to this vicious and harmful virus will bring hope to others.  I know from bitter personal experience that “outsourcingitus” is very contagious and damaging to the health and wellbeing of members and to the services this virus feeds off. As many know we had a serious outbreak between 2012- 2014 where a large number of staff were affected as were residents. We intensified our efforts and at one point the branch nearly disappeared completely, incredibly we are still here despite all the odds; which I believe is all down to the dedicated and hardworking Unison reps. Finally I must point out that we are still in the early stages of creating a vaccine, but if anyone out there would like to take part in our trials please do not hesitate to contact the branch. Solidarity.” John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.


URGENT: Performance Appraisals – UNISON advice


Performance Reviews–UNISON advice

Unlike previous years Performance Reviews have taken on a much more serious meaning as the Council has linked your performance to an annual payment.

This means that your Performance Rating will have an impact on your Pay. It is therefore important that all of our members fully understand Performance Reviews.

Did you have a Mid-Year review last year?

“One to one meetings should be held on a regular basis and should be scheduled throughout the year.  These provide the manager and employee with the opportunity to ensure progress is being made against priorities and to ensure that learning and development opportunities are being taken up. A written note of the main issues and decision taken during these meetings should be recorded on the One to One Meetings form.” (Performance Review Scheme Barnet Council.)

Preparing for your Performance Review.

Barnet Councils Performance Review Scheme states:

“Before you begin preparing for your Performance Review, you should make sure you have a copy of your job description, the coming years’ team or service plan, your objectives from last year and your PDP.”

If you are unhappy with your Performance Review please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You will need to provide:

  • A copy of your current performance review
  • A copy of last year’s performance appraisal
  • Supporting documentation e.g. emails.


Unified Reward Update – Schools 3 March 2017

Dear Barnet UNISON members working in schools please note the following update:

Nursery Nurses (Early Years Educators)

Barnet UNISON will be submitting a group appeal for Nursery Nurses week commencing 6 March. More details will be provided as to what you need to do.

New contracts – Please read

It has come to our attention that staff are being pressurised to sign the contracts. Please note the following:

Last term non-school Barnet Council employees received their new contracts. Most staff had no issues so they signed their contract. There was a smaller group of workers who did have outstanding issues. For these staff UNISON advised that they did not need to sign until the appeal/issue had been resolved. In some cases some staff still signed even though they had an outstanding issue. In which case once their appeal was resolved they received an updated contract.

It is important that members keep a copy of their new contracts somewhere secure.

If you have any questions about the wording in the contracts please contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

We will be writing to the Council with our member’s questions and will publicise their responses.

UNISON Lead school reps are:

  • Louis Smyth specifically on Monday/Tuesday.
  • Nadia Joseph on Wednesday.

It is really important that if UNISON members do have any issues or concerns they contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

52 Week Teaching Assistants group appeal

I am meeting with the Council negotiating team on Monday 6 March to discuss a proposal which I hope I will be able to discuss with members shortly.

Individual Appeals

I have a list of members who have individual appeals. It is very important that members provide the UNISON office with all documentation, and arrange for a 1:1 meeting with me in order that I can best able to provide you with support. I have been supporting non schools members for the last five months and this process has worked well.

*** If you have sent in an appeal and have not notified UNISON, we will not be able to help. It is very important that you notify the branch if you want the support.

Stage 1 appeals

These meetings are not meant to be stressful for members. They an opportunity for a discussion with the employer, employee and their UNISON rep. In the many other Stage 1 meetings for non-school staff, management have been very supportive of any of their staff who are facing a loss in pay. I have found that the approach taken for non-schools staff has been largely positive for staff. The solution to the loss in pay can often be resolved by exploring a number of different approaches.

I would hope that UNISON members working in schools would expect that they should have the same treatment.

This is why when UNISON members working in schools contact the branch for support, they will be offered a 1:1 meeting with me. I need to read all of your paperwork before I can advise, before we go into the Stage 1 meeting.

Faith & Voluntary aided schools

A number of faith schools are adopting Unified Pay collective agreement. It is important that members make sure they keep our office informed if they have any issues or concerns.

It is really important that if UNISON members do have any issues or concerns they contact the Barnet UNISON office on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You are invited to

Barnet UNISON AGM on Tuesday 7 March 4pm at Christ Church at Whetstone (Lower Hall) Oakleigh Park, North N20 9AR

 Food and refreshments provided

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