Election Time: “Who has the back of Barnet UNISON members?”

As we approach Council elections, our members are asking if there will be a political change here at Barnet Council and if so, what it would mean for them.

It is now 20 years since Labour handed back power to the Tories in Barnet Council. Back then it was a very different time, and the Tories were not keen on outsourcing. They appeared to enjoy running the services themselves.

Things changed around 2008.

This is when easyCouncil was presented as the future for delivering Council services. This approach was promoted by a succession of consultants who were richly rewarded with lucrative contracts. It would be fair to say Barnet Council was “consultant dependent”, no decisions could be made without first paying a consultant 100’s of thousands of pounds of public money.

“The One Barnet Consultant’s bill hits £6.3 million” http://reasonablenewbarnet.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-one-barnet-consultants-bill-hits-63.html

Easycouncil became One Barnet, which enabled the mass outsourcing sausage machine to churn out report after report, all extolling the virtues of outsourcing and undermining the hard work of the in-house staff.

Fast forward 14 years and there appears to be growing anger towards the Government over the alleged breaches of Covid rules at its heart. There is even speculation that previously safe Tory Councils could be at risk.

If there was political change in Barnet would it be a Labour or Lib- Labour Coalition?

And if so what would that mean for our outsourced members all of whom are desperate to return back under direct management of Barnet Council?

What will a change in political leadership mean for our Barnet UNISON members working for NSL the Parking Services contractor?

What will a change in political leadership mean for our Barnet UNISON members working for Capita and the two contracts?

What will a change in political leadership mean for our Barnet UNISON members working for the Catering Contractor ISS? 

What will a change in political leadership mean for our Barnet UNISON members working for Barnet Education Learning Skills (BELS)?

What will a change in political leadership mean for our Barnet UNISON members working for Housing workers working for Barnet Homes? 

What will a change in political leadership mean for our Barnet UNISON members working for 600 care workers working for Your Choice Barnet?

What will a change in political leadership mean for our Barnet UNISON members working for the cleaning contractor Norse? 

What will a change in political leadership mean for our Barnet UNISON members working for the security contractor Blue Nine? 

All the above services used to be provided by Barnet Council and many of the outsourced services are frontline services run by key workers clapped as heroes during the pandemic.

UNISON policy is for all these services to be run in-house and that they will publicly support Barnet UNISON to try to campaign to bring these services back under direct control of the Council.

The other big concern for Council workers and the low paid is PAY. 

The National Pay Campaign was a failure and whilst UNISON begins the work to address the massive deficit between the union and its membership nationally what does this mean now?

Our low paid members are facing serious financial hardship and do not have the luxury of waiting for another national pay campaign.

What is low pay in our depot based Street Scene Services ? 

A Street Cleansing operative earns between £11.31 to £12.03 and hour annual salary £22,575  

A Bin worker loader or a Gardener earns between £11.82 to £12.47 and hour annual salary £ 23,400 

A Passenger Transport Driver, Gardener Driver, Town Keeper earns between £12.24 to £12.91 and hour annual salary £24,245

A coach escort, skilled gardener driver, tractor driver earns between £12.69 to £13.39 and hour annual salary £25,128

A LGV driver operative, LGV Tractor drive earns between £13.15 to £14.12 and hour annual salary £26,508

A Bin worker driver earns between £14.12 to £15.72 and hour annual salary £29,502 

 

Barnet UNISON had its first Emergency Cost of Living Crisis meeting on 30 March 2022. The meeting agreed to progress the claim and bring the full proposal to a vote of the second Cost of Living Crisis meeting on Tuesday 26 April at 6 pm.  

What will a change in political leadership mean for our low paid Barnet UNISON members working for Barnet Council? 

The question on the lips of these workers is which political party will publicly join UNISON in advocating the return of outsourced services back into Barnet Council and to meet to discuss how to end pay poverty for low paid workers?

End.

 

Emergency Cost of Living Crisis meeting

Dear members

The Cost Of Living Crisis is real and it we need a plan to defend and support our members.

 

  • UK Big Six energy firms made more than £1bn in profit
  • £40bn profits for BP and Shell
  • Petrol and diesel prices are the highest ever and it’s likely to get higher
  • The worst financial squeeze in 60 years, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Food prices rising
  • Food banks usage increasing
  • Rent rises, council tax increases, mortgages rising, water bills increasing.

All of this and yet

  • MPs are getting a £2,200 pay rise when most of our members are only getting 1.75%
  • The Government gave £37 billion for the Covid Test and Trace.
  • The Government were handing out million-pound contracts to their mates during the pandemic
  • Finally, the Government worked from home whilst many of our frontline members had to go into work without a vaccine in order to keep public services running.
  • And let’s not forget the wine and cheese parties.

Barnet UNISON is calling a meeting of all of our members to listen to our members and discuss and agree a plan of action.

We want to hear real live experiences from our members.

  • What is worrying you?
  • What do you think your employer should be doing to help you?

The meeting is on Wednesday 30 March from 6- 7pm

Please see details for joining the meeting below.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85415771085?pwd=aWVmVEdTcHdaT2hHa3BPZzV4UEQ0dz09

Meeting ID: 854 1577 1085

Passcode: 876061

End.

Barnet UNISON

Pay, Workload and Anti Casualisation claim to Barnet & Southgate College

Barnet UNISON: Barnet and Southgate College. 
Local Claim: Pay, Workload, Anti-casualisation

The attached three-point claim is submitted on behalf of business support staff employed at Barnet and Southgate College.

This claim relates to issues of concern to UNISON members in Barnet and Southgate College and UNISON is seeking to reach a collective agreement with Barnet and Southgate College management.

UNISON seeks College agreement on measures related to:

 

  1. Pay 2020/21 and 2021/22
  • Implement a significant percentage consolidated increase on all salary scales backdated to 01 August 2020 that represents a significant move towards the full restoration of college pay levels to where they would have been had the college pay kept pace with inflation since 2009.
  • UNISON demand; for the academic year
    • 2020/21, an additional 4% pay increment backdated to 01 August 2020.
    • 2021/22, a 5% pay increment backdated to 01 August 2021.
  • London Weighting allowance to be set at no less than £2,350 per annum.

 

  1. Workload

UNISON demand

  • the expedited resolution and implementation of agreed strategies and actions to demonstratively reduce staff workload, which have been collectively devised in the current workload committee.
  • the Risk/Impact Assessment of all new as well as changes to work practices.
  • a radical change to systems, structures and processes to reduce repetitive and duplication of administrative duties.
  • The completion and agreement of a College Stress Policy and staff survey.

 

  1. Anti-casualisation

UNISON demands that all staff who work for the college for over two years on a causal or fixed term contract are automatically converted to permanent fractional business support contracts, on a commensurate payscale.

Provision of specific facilities time

 

Undertaking effective negotiations concerning this claim will require a time commitment from UNISON representatives beyond their normal duties and responsibilities.

The claim therefore includes a call for agreement on a specific allocation of paid time for UNISON branch negotiators to participate fully in the negotiation process on behalf of the staff they represent.

UNISON Barnet and Southgate branch submits this claim as a matter for negotiation. This is a matter pertaining to the terms and conditions of business support staff at Barnet and Southgate.  As such, we seek negotiations between representatives of the UNISON and College management alone.

We seek to conclude negotiations in a reasonable timescale with the objective of reaching agreement in time for implementation of an agreement in December 2021.

 

Implementation, monitoring and review

The provisions of any agreement should be disseminated in a manner that provides for uniform application across the College.

Managers should be provided with full relevant training on the provisions of any agreement. The terms of any agreement shall be reviewed jointly after 12 months.

UNISON Barnet and Southgate branch looks forward to negotiating with a view to reaching agreement on the matters contained within the above claim.

Christalla Tsattala – UNISON Senior Steward/Convenor

John Burgess – UNISON Barnet Branch Secretary

Tuesday 16 November 2021

 

 

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