Barnet UNISON consultative ballot for care workers

 

13 February 2024

Dear colleague,

We want you to participate in this consultative ballot to make it clear to senior managers just how strongly you feel about your pay.

We will be letting senior managers know the results of the ballot, so this is your chance to make a difference. If enough people vote yes, then it will not be your last chance and we may progress to balloting our members officially about your willingness to take strike action.

During the COVID pandemic you put your lives and the lives of your families/ loved ones on the line to keep members of the public safe. It took a long time for you to then receive an uplift in your pay, terms and conditions….and it was not enough.

In any case the small gains you made in pay were smashed away by the cost-of-living crisis.

What can The Barnet Group afford? Perhaps we should ask the question differently – You have been identified as essential workers; can any employer afford the cost of you not doing your job?

What you must do now?

If your workplace setting has a UNISON rep, you should ask them for your ballot paper. Your rep should be checking with you that the address on the envelope matches your current home address. If we did go on to carry out an official ballot, the letter would go to your home address. We need to know we have your correct details. Complete the ballot paper and hand it back to your UNISON rep.

If your workplace has no UNISON rep, the ballot paper will be posted to you directly. Please complete the ballot paper and put it back in the pre-paid envelope and post it back to us.

Your ballot paper needs to reach us by 5pm 23rd February 2024

 

Yours Sincerely

 

John Burgess                                  Patrick Hunter                           Helen Davies

Barnet UNISON                               Barnet UNISON                         Barnet UNISON

Branch Secretary              TBG Assistant Branch Secretary                Branch Chair

 

 

 

 

Bringing Services Home – Barnet UNISON campaign

 

Barnet UNISON is proud to announce that we are promoting UNISON Bringing Services Home campaign.

As a branch we have had more than our share of outsourcing. The easy Council experiment was a spectacular failure. It cost more money (yes, we told them it would!) and it did not lead to better services.

In May 2022, Barnet Labour Party won the election with a massive majority and one of their priorities was “Review of contracted out services, in the context of the new administration’s aspiration to bring privatised services back in-house.”

Last year Barnet Labour Party brought back one of the big contracts with Capita and other services on the other Capita contract have been coming back in-house.

The Council is going through a period of healing from the badly advised outsourcing ideology which dominated our Council for over a decade.

Today Barnet UNISON has written to all senior council officers responsible for outsourced contracts seeking a meeting to discuss how and when they are going to review the outsourced service.

Barnet UNISON also want to deal with the Ethnicity Pay Gap which the outsourcing easy Council ideology promoted by always securing the outsourcing option for services which are largely provided by Black workers e.g.

  1. NSL: Parking Services
  2. ISS: Catering Services
  3. Your Choice Barnet: Social Care services
  4. Norse: Cleaning services
  5. Blue 9: Security Services.

All the above services were outsourced under the Tories.

Barnet UNISON positively supports the statement of UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“Black workers make a vital contribution to the health and care sector but are all too often at the bottom of the pay scale as care workers, porters, healthcare assistants and catering staff. They frequently face shocking discrimination, threatening their health, job security and life chances.”

This why Barnet UNISON is determined to work with the Labour Administration to bring back these services into the Council thus enabling real life meaningful changes for a workforce that is often invisible and often low paid and without occupational sick pay.

End.

 

Breaking News: Covid Heroes face the sack by Barnet Council

The Barnet Group is an arm’s length company 100% owned by Barnet Council.

On Friday 9 February 2024, Enablement Home Care workers were told that they were no longer needed.

“We are the best at what we do, that is why we look after people discharged from hospital for 8 weeks till other carers takeover.”

Care worker

“They should be expanding our service, not shutting it, what we do is vital and we do it well”

Care worker

Staff and Barnet UNISON left the meeting with the following questions:

  1. Enablement is a well-run and valued service – why isn’t TBG expanding rather than closing the service?
  2. What engagement has taken place with stakeholders – our tenants and clients?
  3. When will we know if this is a TUPE or a Closure?
  4. What are they consulting staff and UNISON on? UNISON is clear that TBG need to provide more details before commencing with 121’s?
  5. When will ‘consultation’ begin and how long will it last?

 Background:

This service was handed to TBG after senior officers working for Barnet Council spectacularly failed over the procurement of Aquaflo a private contractor who had been given the contract by Barnet Council to deliver home care for Barnet residents.

‘Disaster’ – Aquaflo Care company’s takeover from Housing 21 goes badly wrong.” 15th September 2016.

https://www.borehamwoodtimes.co.uk/news/14745911.disaster-aquaflo-care-companys-takeover-from-housing-21-goes-badly-wrong/

Covid: How quickly senior officers and councillors forget

It is only a few years ago that these workers were called heroes as they went into Barnet residents’ homes to provide care and support whilst many of the senior managers and councillors issued instructions from the safety of their homes.Barnet UNISON will be providing support to all of our members.

Barnet UNISON will be providing support to all of our members and in the meantime, we are calling on Barnet Council to reverse this decision and bring it back in-house to the Adult Social Care directorate where it belongs. The decision by senior officers is at odds with the Labour Party position on creating a National Care Service which is something UNISON supports. “Unison’s general secretary, Christina McAnea, told the Observer: “Care is in crisis and the need for a national service has never been greater.”

More news later.

End.

 

A shift of a care worker in Barnet: The London Living Wage is not enough!

Barnet UNISON is in negotiations with The Barnet Group (TBG) about improving Pay and Terms and Conditions of our members.

One of our members, a care worker put together a list of work she does each day.

 

The list is enormous but it’s a critical service. The impact on the quality of life of residents is determined by the skill and professionalism of the care worker.

 

Whilst politicians will queue up to say that care workers are central to the delivery of care in the community they still refuse to commit to dealing with the ‘elephant in the room’ which is Pay.

 

Care workers have been subjected to outsourcing which has seen the pay and terms and conditions sink.

 

Considering the care work workforce is largely female it could be said that  outsourcing of care work is an example of institutional misogyny within procurement and commissioning of care services.

 

Look at this list of tasks and ask yourself whether you think that care workers should be paid more.

 

As a Carers we do:

  1. Personal care
  2. Make bed and tidy up bathrooms and rooms.
  3. Put water in the jug.
  4. Give bedtime tea.
  5. Serve tea after personal care.
  6. Take all clothes, bed linens, towels to laundry to wash.
  7. Assist residents to go to the dining area.
  8. Support residents to walk with jimo frames. or in a wheelchair.
  9. Assist residents to sit on the chair.
  10. Serve breakfast and prepare tea and toast.
  11. Assist residents to go the toilet.
  12. Assist residents as required.
  13. Assist residents to go to the lounge or in their room.
  14. Make sure they have everything as needed.
  15. Take Covid Temperature and record.
  16. Clear dining area and set up for lunch time.
  17. Wash all dishes and serving pots and pans.
  18. Clear and sweeping floors.
  19. Medication administered.
  20. Assist and respond when is needed.
  21. Do daily logbook and record.
  22. Served 11 am tea or juices choices if residents.
  23. Change bed linen.
  24. Dealt with residents as different needs.
  25. Escort residents to their hospital appointment.
  26. Take samples of residents to GP.
  27. Support residents with hearing aids, glasses, dentures.
  28. Weigh residents regularly.
  29. Take BP regularly.
  30. Admin work monthly based filing all documents.
  31. Everyday take fridges temperatures and food temperatures.
  32. Daily logging and administration medication.
  33. Assist residents to go to toilet before lunch.
  34. Assists residents to sit on their chair to eat lunch.
  35. Bring food trolly from kitchen to dining area.
  36. Get ready to serve lunch.
  37. Served lunch and dealt with individual’s needs.
  38. Again scraped all dishes and take to the small kitchen to wash.
  39. Clear, sweep, collect and wash.
  40. Support and assist residents needs to go toilet, lounge, in their room.
  41. Empty bin and take to waste bin outside.
  42. Do daily logging book.
  43. Laundry to put way and hang in the wardrobe in the resident’s room.
  44. Teatime 3pm prepare tea and served tea and coffee and cakes.
  45. Take Covid Temperature.
  46. Do Menu for next lunch and supper ask individual what they would like to eat and explained to residents what is in the menu.
  47. Do shopping list for next day.
  48. Collect all cups and plates and wash them.
  49. Set up tables for suppers.
  50. Do daily logbook.
  51. Administration medications.
  52. We do behaviour chats, fluids records, bowels records, oral care records everyday morning and evening.
  53. Serve suppers bring trolly to the dining area.
  54. Do personal and oral care individuals.
  55. Scraped dishes and wash and clear dining area.
  56. After all personal care done take clothes and towels into laundry room and put them in the washing machines and clean kitchen.
  57. Medication administered.
  58. Serve bedtime’s tea.
  59. Put residents in beds.
  60. Empty dishwasher and put cutlery way.
  61. Collect all cups and mugs and put in washing.
  62. Do daily logbook.
  63. Check resident before finish shifts and handover.
  64. Go home.

 

64 reasons why £11.95 (London Living Wage) is not enough Pay for care workers.

 

End.

Breaking News: UNISON President & Vice President are joining the mass lobby at Hendon Town Hall Tuesday 1 November

News in that our UNISON National President Andrea Egan and UNISON National Vice President Amerit Rait are attending the mass lobby outside Hendon Town Hall on Tuesday 1 November from 6 pm in support of the Barnet Strikers.

“I want to thank both Andrea and Amerit for taking time out of their busy schedules to come down and support our Barnet Strikers. This is what leadership means. It’s what workers want to see from their union. Our branch is 100% behind our Barnet Strikers also known as the “Barnet Ten” and so is the leadership at the top of UNISON. I can’t wait to hear the message they will be bringing to the employer the Barnet Group who defending the indefensible at the expense of Barnet Council housing tenants. 200 repairs jobs a week are being cancelled it’s a disgrace.” (John Burgess Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON).

Directions to the lobby: Nearest tube is Hendon Central on northern line. Turn right out of the station. It’s a 10 minute walk to the top of the hill. Turn right and 200 yards on the left is the Town Hall.

 

End.

 

 

Breaking News: Barnet Strikers are going to Parliament

News in that the Barnet Strikers have been invited to Parliament early next week.

The invite confirms that the news of the Barnet Strikers is beginning to spread beyond the boundary of the London Borough of Barnet.

The first response when we explain the dispute is always the same.

Complete disbelief that an employer would want to defend a position of refusing to pay the first 3 weeks sick pay to a low paid manual worker who was injured at work.

More on this news story later this week.

End.

 

 

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