Barnet Responsive Repairs workers referred to UNISON’s Industrial Action Committee

‘We do physical work, our comrade was injured working for Barnet Homes, we are standing with him against an employer that feels it doesn’t have to pay him – it could’ve happened to any of us’.

(Barnet Repairs worker and UNISON member).

Barnet Homes, a subsidiary of Barnet Council’s Local Authority Trading Company the Barnet Group, is refusing to pay sick pay to a worker injured whilst at work.

The demand from Responsive Repairs workers is simple – pay a colleague who was injured at work for time off to rest and recuperate from his injury.

Barnet UNISON met with the CEO of the Barnet Group, a Local Authority Trading Company which is fully owned by Barnet Council, on Wednesday the 27th of July to try and reach an agreement.

The Barnet Group although seeing the merits of paying a worker who sustained an injury at work while working for the Barnet Group, has refused to do so.

Barnet UNISON’s and the workers we represent response to this stance is simple:

NO ONE who is injured while at work should be left without sick pay from their employer.

Barnet UNISON will now move to requesting a ballot for industrial action from London Region – and will be requesting all out continuous strike action.

Barnet UNISON sincerely hope that this will not be necessary and that Barnet Homes, The Barnet Group and Barnet Council will see sense and pay a worker who was injured while working for them.

End.

Note to Editors: Contact details: Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk

Background:

Barnet Council Repairs Operatives 100% turnout and 100% vote for strike action.

https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2022/07/21/barnet-council-repairs-operatives-100-turnout-and-100-vote-for-strike-action/

Barnet Council’s Company Refuse to Show Compassion for Injured Worker https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2022/07/13/barnet-councils-company-refuse-to-show-compassion-for-injured-worker/

Barnet UNISON National Pay Offer Grade table

We have provided a National Pay Offer Grade table to show the grade information for all Barnet Council workers.

The Barnet UNISON National Pay Offer Grade table will show:

  1. Your current grade with hourly rates
  2. Your current grade with the employer’s proposal with new hourly rates
  3. Your current grade with Joint Trade Union demand with new hourly rates

What is the Joint Trade Union demand?

The Joint Trade Union demand was £2k or RPI whichever is greater. (this was before the escalating Cost of Living Crisis had taken hold of our economy.

Retail Price Index (RPI) is currently 11.8% which means the employers offer is less than UNISONs demand for all Council grades.

However, in the news they are predicting RPI will reach 18%.

https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/rpi-inflation-forecast-cost-of-living-niesr/

On top of this bad news there is a National Energy Bill crisis. The average household energy costs are predicted to reach as much as £3,400 a year. Energy bills have tripled since the start of the year.

All the other Cost of Living Crisis pressures such as fuel, food, rent, mortgages, travel are all increasing with no sign of this ending.

It is important that UNISON secures the best pay deal for our members.

In the coming weeks we will begin a consultative National Pay ballot of our members.

In the meantime if you want any further information on the National Pay offer, please ring Barnet UNISON on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

End.

 

A Victory for common sense as Barnet Outreach workers dispute is resolved.

Last week we sat down with The Barnet Group (TBG) to try to reach a resolution and we can now report that TBG have agreed the following:

‘We have now completed the evaluation of salaries and will increase existing staff pay in line with the newly evaluated jobs – and backdated to 1st July.’

Barnet UNISON delighted to announce that although this group of workers was balloted for strike action, recording a massive 100% vote on an 88% turn out, the Barnet Group has accepted the demands of the workers, so strike action will no longer be necessary.

‘I just want to say a massive thank you to you for assisting us all outreach staff in our fight to get what we deserved our pay rise and it was successful. I also want to say if I wasn’t for me being a union member this could not have been achieved. (I have to say I was thinking about cutting costs and skipping out my membership with the union). But boy I’m so glad I didn’t it has been very worthwhile, beneficial and I am so grateful for all the important and hard work that the union do .’ (Barnet Outreach worker and UNISON member)

‘I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful job you are doing. The strength to challenge the pay inequality was tapped from Barnet Unison, knowing that you are there thick and thin was the strength that push us through. You are the pilot, we are the passenger in the plane, even during the turbulent you refused to give up rather you encouraged us to hold on, thank you so much for the safe landing. I appreciate your determination, your support and love. Where there is injustice there is a threat to justice’ (Barnet Outreach worker and UNISON member)

‘I feel there is now a better sense of job security amongst staff following the strategy our reps used and the discussion we had today. This has given us back the dignity we deserve. Keep up the good work!’ (Barnet Outreach worker and UNISON member).

End.

Note to Editors: Contact details: Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk

Background:

Out of Touch Barnet for Outreach Barnet Workers!

https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2022/07/13/out-of-touch-barnet-for-outreach-barnet-workers/

 

Barnet Outreach workers 88% turnout and a100% vote for strike action.

https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2022/07/22/barnet-outreach-workers-88-turnout-and-a100-vote-for-strike-action/

 

Barnet Security Guards not being paid correctly: Now resolved.

Several weeks ago, Barnet UNISON became aware our outsourced Security UNISON members who work for Blue Nine Security were not being paid the correct London Living Wage. The new rate is £11.05 an hour.

After speaking with the contractor and Barnet Council we can confirm that our outsourced Security UNISON members are now being paid correctly and the backdating is in the process of being paid.

Word spread of our actions, and more security workers are joining Barnet UNISON.

Our next task is to support our members by building an insourcing campaign back into Barnet Council for these key workers.

End.

Your Pay: The Tories Austerity Robbery

This information is for all Barnet Council staff who are on Unified Reward Terms and Conditions.

To find out how much money that you have lost because of the Tories Austerity Robbery you need to know which Grade you are on.

If you don’t know what grade you are on, please contact your line manager. If you are experiencing problems finding out this information, please leave a message on the UNISON voicemail on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Grade A: The Tories have held back your pay by 27.5%. What that means for a Grade A worker is that instead of earning £22,575 a year you should be on £28,783 which means the Tories have robbed you of £6,208

Grade B: The Tories have held back your pay by 27.5% what that means for a Grade B worker is that instead of earning £23,400 a year you should be on £29,835 which means the Tories have robbed you of £6,435

Grade C: The Tories have held back your pay by 27.5% what that means for a Grade C worker is that instead of earning £24,243 a year you should be on £30,910 which means the Tories have robbed you of £6,667

Grade D: The Tories have held back your pay by 27.5% what that means for a is that for a Grade D worker instead of earning £25,128 a year you should be on £32,038 which means the Tories have robbed you of £6,910

Grade E: The Tories have held back your pay by 27.5% what that means for a Grade E worker is that instead of earning £26,508 a year you should be on £33,798 which means the Tories have robbed you of £7,290

Grade F: The Tories have held back your pay by 27.5% what that means for a Grade F worker is that instead of earning £29,502 a year you should be on £37,615 which means the Tories have robbed you of £8,113

Grade G: The Tories have held back your pay by 27.5% what that means for a Grade G worker is that instead of earning £32,988 a year you should be on £42,060 which means the Tories have robbed you of £9,072

If you have any questions or queries, please leave a voicemail on 0208 359 2088 or email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

End.

Barnet Outreach workers 88% turnout and a100% vote for strike action.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now, all we are asking for is fairness and respect, equal treatment like our colleagues, it is not too much to ask.” (Barnet Outreach worker)

“Happy employees = successful organisation.  Let’s do the things right” (Barnet Outreach worker)

We noted a discrepancy in pay between new starters and staff who were TUPE transferred across in 2019.

New starters are paid significantly higher (around 10% higher) than the TUPE’d staff.

We noted that the message this gives longstanding staff is that they are worth less than the new starters and also noted that if all of them resigned from their role then they would have to be hired at the new rate of pay.

TBG is undertaking an exercise to re-evaluate the roles of the TUPE’d staff but this work may only be completed by the end of July. At the time of the Emergency JNCC we did not receive a commitment to backdate any such re-evaluation to 1st July (the date the new starters began).

Trades Dispute: Failure to agree to aligning the wages of workers in Outreach Barnet with a backdate to 1st July.

‘We are already swamped in Housing Options with our caseloads, but without the great work of Outreach Barnet, we simply wouldn’t be able to cope, they make a real difference to vulnerable peoples lives.’ (Housing Options worker)

‘Barnet Outreach workers provide a service that is essential to our most vulnerable tenants to help them sustain their tenancies.’ (Sheltered Housing worker)

Barnet UNISON carried out its own consultative strike ballot.

Indicative Ballot result

Returned Ballot – 88%

Vote for strike action – 100%

Barnet UNISON has reiterated that we are still open for talks. We have agreed to a meeting on Wednesday 27 July 2022 where we hope commonsense will prevail to avoid strike action. However, because of the outcome of our consultative ballot we will be submitting our Industrial Action request to UNISON London region next week.

End.

Note to Editors: Contact details: Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk

Background:

Out of Touch Barnet for Outreach Barnet Workers!

https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2022/07/13/out-of-touch-barnet-for-outreach-barnet-workers/

What does #Caxit mean for Barnet UNISON members working for Capita?

On Tuesday 19 July 2022, Barnet Council decided to let Capita Re (a Joint venture with Barnet Council)  expire at the end of the 10 year contract.

View Barnet Council report here https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s73533/Review%20of%20Capita%20Contracts.pdf

This means staff working for the following services will be coming back in-house to Barnet Council

  • Regulatory Services: (Environmental Health, Trading and Licensing Services, Pest Control)
  • Regeneration
  • Highways
  • Cemetery and Crematorium
  • Land Charges
  • Building Control
  • Planning and Development.

The second Capita contract is known as CSG, and it provides back-office services.

The following services are to return in-house

  • Estates (including Print)
  • Welfare Team
  • Procurement

The following services are being extended:

IT, Customer Services and Revs & Bens extended 2 years 7 months to March 20226

HR Payroll and Finance 1 year extension to 31 August 2024.

Key TUPE transfer dates for staff.

31 August 2023 for Estates (including Print) into Barnet Council.

30 September 2023 for all services in Re (see above) into Barnet Council.

31 August 2024 for HR/Core HR and Accounts Payable/Integra *

31 March 2026 for IT, Customer Services and Revs and Bens *

*Please note no decision has been made as to whether staff working in these services will come back in-house. Barnet UNISON has written to the Chief Executive to ask why they are not coming back in-house and when a decision will be made as to who will deliver these services after the contract expires.

End.

Barnet cleaners not being paid correctly: Now resolved

Several weeks ago, Barnet UNISON became aware our outsourced cleaners who work for Norse Cleaning were not being paid the correct London Living Wage. The new rate is £11.05 an hour.

After speaking with the contractor and Barnet Council we cannot confirm that our cleaners are now being paid correctly and the backdating has been paid.

Word spread of our actions, and cleaners are joining Barnet UNISON.

Our next task is to support our members by building an insourcing campaign back into Barnet Council for these key workers.

 

End.

Barnet Council Repairs Operatives 100% turnout and 100% vote for strike action.

“We worked through Covid, we were clapped and applauded by everyone for the essential Public Service we give to the Public, our reward? To be treated like this!” (Repairs worker).

“Barnet Councils Local Authority Trading Company, The Barnet Group, won’t even give sick pay to a worker who was injured at work, we shouldn’t have to strike for something so basic, but we will, if they don’t see sense.” (Repairs worker).

Barnet Councils Local Authority Trading Company, The Barnet Group, won’t even give sick pay to a worker who was injured at work, we shouldn’t have to strike for something so basic, but we will, if they don’t see sense.

Barnet UNISON noted the intention of paying sick pay to all workers in repairs by giving them the opportunity to transition to a new contract 1st August. Barnet UNISON this intention had been signaled in talks with the trade unions since last Autumn. A colleague is currently off sick following an accident at work and despite there being light duties he could have done; he was sent home with no sick pay as per his contract.

Barnet UNISON the offer of a loan as a remedy but highlight the difficulty in low paid workers being able to pay back any loans. As we are so close to these colleagues being on the new contract, we were looking for a resolution which would put money into this worker’s account to relieve his difficulty. As a new starter this worker would have had access to sick pay. The treatment he has had does not recognise his dedication to his job, residents, and other colleagues. He worked throughout the pandemic.

Barnet UNISON discussed bringing his contract offer forward.

Barnet UNISON discussed the possibility of making a payment in any other way.

We failed to agree a way forward with Barnet Homes senior management.

Our Trades Dispute: Failure to agree adequate support of an employee during their sickness.

Barnet UNISON carried out their own consultative strike ballot.

Indicative Ballot result

Returned Ballot – 100%

Vote for strike action – 100%

Barnet UNISON has reiterated that we are still open for talks. We have agreed to a meeting on Wednesday 27 July 2022 where we hope commonsense will prevail to avoid strike action. However, because of the outcome of our consultative ballot we will be submitting our Industrial Action request to UNISON London region next week.

End.

Note to Editors: Contact details: Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk

Background: Barnet Council’s Company Refuse to Show Compassion for Injured Worker https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2022/07/13/barnet-councils-company-refuse-to-show-compassion-for-injured-worker/

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