Insourcing win at Barnet council
Over 300 staff in a variety of services like trading standards, environmental health and other regulatory services, will now be transferred back in-house
Staff at Barnet council are due to be transferred back to council employment thanks to a decade-long campaign by UNISON.
The 330 affected workers are currently employed by outsourcing multinational conglomerate, Capita, and are being brought back in house after the council was used as a test case for the outsourcing of local government services.
The staff who work under a joint venture called ‘Capita Re’ in a variety of areas like trading standards, environmental health, planning highways and other regulatory services, will be TUPE transferred back in house on 1 April this year.
In 2012, much of the service provision at the council was outsourced to Capita on decade-long contracts by the Conservative-controlled council, with the intervening 10 years marred by several controversies including a multi-million-pound fraud and contracts running vastly over budget.
Barnet’s UNISON branch has campaigned for services to be brought back in-house since the contracts were initially handed to Capita and there have already been major in-sourcing successes at the council.
In May last year, Labour won control of the council after 20 years of Conservative leadership and, though the contracts had already been due to end next year, the new council has fast-tracked plans by six months to bring some services back in house.
John Burgess, Barnet local government branch secretary, said: “This is good news for staff, good news for residents and good news for the services. I welcome the decision and look forward to welcoming back all the services back into Barnet Council where they all belong.
“For a decade, our branch has campaigned for local government services at Barnet to be brought back in-house and, while we are happy that this latest has been fast tracked, there are still many issues to address for our members who are being TUPE’d.
“These include workplace inequalities such as staff being paid differently for the same role. Barnet UNISON is already seeking discussions with the council about harmonisation of the terms and conditions of the TUPE’d workforce.
“During the worst cost of living crisis in 75 years it is imperative that our branch does it best to look after the interests of our members transferring back into the council.”
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.
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.