Thousands of UNISON members to join Barnet UNISON picket line!

On Friday 21 June around 10 am UNISON Conference will join Barnet UNISON mental health social workers picket line.

This week is the UNISON National Delegates Conference where thousands of delegates from UNISON branches meet to debate and discuss.

UNISON Conference this year is based in Brighton but on Friday morning UNISON are wanting to show solidarity with our strikers by beaming a live link from outside Labour controlled Barnet Councils main office in Colindale.

On Friday 21 June our strikers will have taken 66 days of strike action over a ten-month period. They are currently in week six of a nine-week strike.

During the conference this week UNISON members have been queuing up to condemn the Labour controlled Barnet Council for employing agency workers for what UNISON believes is strike breaking.

We are asking our supporters to do the following.

1. Join us at our Lobby of Labour controlled Barnet Council Committee meeting on Tuesday 9 July 6pm outside Hendon Town Hall NW4 4BG

2. Sign and share our solidarity statement here https://bit.ly/barnetstrike

3. Send a message to our strikers to contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

4. Donate to our industrial action fund by emailing our branch for details contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

5. Write or email: Cllr Barry Rawlings, Leader of the Council at Email: cllr.b.rawlings@barnet.gov.uk or  Write to: London Borough of Barnet, 2 Bristol Avenue, London NW9 4EW.

6. Request a striker to speak at one of your UNISON meetings.

End.

 

 

 

 

Pay Up now – cleaners not being paid London Living Wage

Barnet UNISON had tried unsuccessfully to convince Labour controlled Barnet Council to bring back the cleaning service in-house earlier this year. If they have had brought Cleaning back in-house which is a service which is predominantly carried out by black female Barnet UNISON members they would have made a powerful statement to a workforce that is often overlooked when it comes to consideration for insourcing.

Last week Barnet UNISON spoke to some of our cleaners to check that they are receiving the correct London Living Wage increase of £13.15.

Barnet UNISON discovered that they were NOT being paid the correct rate and we have written to Norse Cleaning and Barnet Council to ask that they are paid the correct rate, and they receive their backdated payments.

We have been given an assurance that the error will be rectified. We will wait to see our members payslips later this month.

Earlier this year our cleaners were informed there were changes to their annual leave they came to Barnet UNISON to explain. The letter was not well written and difficult to understand but we finally sorted it out and made sure that none of our members were going to lose their annual leave because of the changes.

Barnet UNISON takes its responsibilities seriously and will never shirk having difficult conversations with employers it’s what we should do.

End.

Hundreds continue to sign solidarity statement to Leader of Barnet Council

The statement below is online and open for all to sign by clicking on the link below

https://bit.ly/barnetstrike

 

LABOUR CONTROLLED BARNET COUNCIL STOP STRIKEBREAKING.

Dear Cllr Rawlings

We are writing to you as Leader of Barnet Council to urge you to terminate the use of the recruitment agency Imperium Solutions and to sit down with UNISON and end this dispute.

Barnet UNISON mental health social workers have been on strike for 54 days over a ten-month period. They are currently on a nine-week strike ending on Friday 12 July.

On Friday 17 May 2024, in an email to all staff, a senior council officer acting on behalf of Labour controlled Barnet Council announced that they were going to employ social workers to carry out work which would normally be done by our strikers.

UNISON swiftly wrote to Barnet Council warning it UNISON believed that:

“should LBB procure strike cover as described in this letter, it would be procuring the services of an employment business, Regulation 7 of the Regulations would be breached and a criminal offence would be committed under the Employment Agencies Act 1973. As explained above, this would likely also mean a number of ancillary criminal offences are committed by LBB.”

UNISON also wrote to Imperium Solutions (info@imperiumsolutions.co.uk) asking them to pull out of their contract with Barnet Council.

However, as of 5 June 2024, Imperium Solutions are still providing social workers to break our lawful strike action.

We are now in a General Election and The Labour Party has consulted trade unions over their policy called: Delivering A New Deal for Working People.

This is an extract:

The rules around agency workers in breaking strikes were condemned by industry and put the safety of the public and workers at risk. It places unnecessary red tape on trade union activity that work against their core role of negotiation and dispute resolution. Over the past 14 years, the Conservatives have consistently attacked rights at work, including through the Trade Union Act 2016, the Minimum Service Levels (Strikes) Bill and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022 – all of which Labour will repeal to give trade unions the freedom to organise, represent and negotiate on behalf of their workers.

The actions of your senior officers are at odds with the above policy.

There is no place across the trade union movement for use of agency workers to break strikes. As the Leader of Labour controlled Barnet Council, we are asking you to urgently stand down the recruitment agency and enter into talks with UNISON.

Signed,

 

To sign this statement click on the link below.

 

https://bit.ly/barnetstrike

 

Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary writes to Imperium Solutions to stop strikebreaking. 

Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary writes to recruitment company Imperium Solutions to stop strikebreaking.

“Dear Imperium Solutions

I am aware that you have been contracted by the London Borough of Barnet. UNISON members are currently engaged in a trade dispute with the London Borough of Barnet. Staff at London Borough of Barnet are currently taking industrial action, in the form of strike action from 13 May to 12 July 2024.

Our dispute concerns the mass exodus of staff. It is important that you fully understand the local situation. Including planned departures, approximately 30 mental health social workers will have left the service over the course of 22 months.

I am asking you to stop providing a resource for Barnet Council. The resource you are providing is work normally provided by workers who are taking industrial action to improve their conditions at work in a bid to provide stability to service users and their families. This is a dispute about public safety. Your activity is undermining the staff members who normally provide this service. It also means that you are prolonging the pain for our communities.

It is widely acknowledged by industry as a whole that providing agency workers to undermine strike action puts the safety of the public and workers at risk. I and my members are wondering why you would want to be a part of that and have your name associated with that kind of activity.

This strike has been ongoing for ten months and is already one of the longest running strikes in UNISON’s 30-year history. This dispute is regularly reported on by Community Care (12 articles in 10 months), a publication widely read by all social workers. Whilst you may be of the view that you have nothing to do with this dispute your actions will be seen as politically motivated. Because of the national profile of this dispute your organisation risks being forever associated as an agency which specifically engaged workers to undermine a lawful strike of our members.

You may be aware that another contractor was asked to carry out the work you have been asked to do on behalf of Barnet Council. Following communication with UNISON, that organization withdrew from the contract.

On behalf of our members, I am urging you to withdraw from this contract with Barnet Council.

Best wishes

John Burgess

Branch Secretary.

Barnet UNISON “

 

End.

 

 

 

Labour controlled Barnet Council using a recruitment agency to break our strike.

The question on the lips or our members is why Barnet Labour Party is promoting anti-union tactics using Tory legislation i.e. Trade Union Act 2016, the Minimum Service Levels (Strikes) Bill and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022 whilst at the same time the Labour Party during the General Election is promoting “Delivering A New Deal for Working People.”

The Labour Party is promoting a policy called: Delivering A New Deal for Working People.

This is an extract:

As the recent period of disruption has shown, arcane bureaucratic hurdles do not prevent strikes and make it harder for unions to engage in the bargaining and negotiation that does settle disputes. The rules around agency workers in breaking strikes were condemned by industry and put the safety of the public and workers at risk. It places unnecessary red tape on trade union activity that work against their core role of negotiation and dispute resolution. Over the past 14 years, the Conservatives have consistently attacked rights at work, including through the Trade Union Act 2016, the Minimum Service Levels (Strikes) Bill and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022 – all of which Labour will repeal to give trade unions the freedom to organise, represent and negotiate on behalf of their workers.

View the full document here.

https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/LABOURS-PLAN-TO-MAKE-WORK-PAY.pdf

Last week UNISON issued a letter asking Barnet Council to stop their course of action.

“UNISON’s view LBB may be guilty of the common law offence of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring a criminal offence, conspiracy under section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 or encouraging the commission of a crime under sections 44 and 45 of the Serious Crime Act 2009. Your use of agency workers during a period of strike may also be unlawful as a matter of public law. Any employment businesses who provide workers to LBB in breach of Regulation 7 may also be exposed to civil liability.”

To date Barnet Council and Imperium Solutions are still working together to break our lawful strike.

End.

 

Thanks Holly: Barnet resident takes delivery of Barnet VOICE newspaper.

Barnet resident Holly taking delivery of Barnet VOICE newspapers which explains to Barnet residents why #BarnetUNISON mental health social workers are on strike.

Barnet UNISON, with the help of strikers and residents, has already circulated 10,000 newspapers and is now planning on delivering thousands more newspapers during a general election.

Residents are contacting Holly to collect boxes to deliver to their street.

If you want to help deliver our newspaper, please email contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

You can view our newspaper online by clicking the link below

https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Barnet-Voice-4-v08.pdf

End.

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