Last week Barnet UNISON members working in Street Cleansing we called to a meeting and informed of a massive cut to overtime.The news came out of the blue, our members some who have been working for Barnet for decades were both angry and bewildered by this decision.Staff were told there was no longer a budget to cover the service and told that they shouldn’t rely on overtime payments. This did not go down well with the workforce who are the lowest paid in the Council and desperately rely on the overtime payments over the weekend.
This news follows quickly on from the recent 19% cut in the number of staff charged to keep the streets of Barnet clean just before Christmas last year.
In order to explain the cut and its impact on Barnet, Street Cleansing service for Saturday and Sundays which goes from Oakleigh Road depot.
Please note the figures below are for just one side of the borough. The other half of the service goes out from Harrow Depot (we won’t go why we have a depot outside Barnet in this post).
8 hours Finchley Central
8 hours North Finchley
8 Hours East Finchley
4 Hours East & New Barnet
4 hours Friern Barnet/Colney Hatch
4 Hours Whetstone
4 Hours Greenhill/ Mays Lane
8 Hours High Barnet
4 Temple Fortune
8 Golders Green
4 Mill Hill
4 Hendon Central
4 West Hendon
4 Brent Street
8 Hours response team x 2 = 16 hours
This makes that 92 hours for the whole of the borough.
The new service which started last weekend is a one 7.5 ton vehicle with one driver and one loader (16 hours) to cover all the above areas in Barnet.
This is a reduction of 78 hours per day.
Barnet UNISON has unsuccessfully attempted to try to restore the service for Barnet residents. We have sought clarification as to whether normal service will resume from 1 April 2018, we are still waiting. Our members were reporting increases in fly tipping before the workforce was cut, but still the Council implemented the cut. This massive cut to street cleansing at the weekends is going to have a dramatic impact on our borough.
Meanwhile we hear the Council have enough money to pay “eye watering” payments to Capita and seem to have very little control over agency/consultancy spend.
Barnet Supplier Payments – yet another reason why we need to start planning for change
But what do we know.