To quote CeCe Peniston: “Finally!” (For those of us young enough to remember popular music of the 90s) https://youtu.be/xk8mm1Qmt-Y
On behalf of our members our Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary, John Burgess, has written to the newly elected Council Leader, Barry Rawlings, congratulating him on the success of the Labour Party and requesting to meet with him.
This is John making a statement to all Barnet UNISON members
For 20 years our members have had to deal with brutality of outsourcing and attacks on our time off to represent members. Our members in the Barnet Group, Capita, NSL, BELS and ISS will be expecting to see positive change for them. UNISON’s General Secretary, Christine McAnea has also been written to requesting her support for assistance in our discussions with Barnet Labour.
We’ll be providing regular updates to our members and our wider UNISON family and trade union community on our progress.
Barnet UNISON have negotiated the provision of a Pension Surgery for staff working in Street Scene on Tuesday 22 February 2022.
The surgery will take place in the depot online in a room booked in the main office.
Jakub UNISON Street Scene Convenor will be available to accompany members.
You will receive an email and a memo from your supervisor as to how to book a meeting.
Surgeries will be from:
6- 7.30 am
11 to 1 pm
For further assistance please email Barnet UNISON on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on 0208 359 2088
Tuesday 2 November 6- 7 pm
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 817 1251 5827
This is an important meeting for all our members working for Barnet Council and The Barnet Group.
We will be discussing the following:
- Update on the negotiations on Pay & Terms & Conditions and Pension with The Barnet Group.
- What do Barnet UNISON Council workers want to put onto the negotiating table with Barnet Council?
- An update on the National Strike ballot on Pay
If you have any questions please email email@example.com or ring 0208 359 2088
Monday 23 August 2021
Care staff working at Apthorp residential and day care service were told last Friday 20 August 2021 that Barnet Council had made the decision to close Apthorp.
There are approximately 93 care staff working at this location.
Apthorp provides services for vulnerable older people.
Apthorp was originally owned by Barnet Council until it was sold off with 10 other Council residential homes and day services to Catalyst Housing who contracted Fremantle Trust to take over the Council care workforce.
The current Apthorp buildings were part of a deal which meant Catalyst Housing were given all 11 real estate locations to develop for themselves and in return they would provide modern state of the art residential and day care services on four of the sites.
Only three were built.
What were the staff been told?
In a letter from their employer it states:
“the Council and Your Choice Barnet have taken the decision to vacate Apthorp Care Home by 31 October 2021. You will be aware that we have been carrying out some fire safety works in the building. Whilst all emergency works have been carried out, further surveys have taken place which highlight that significant levels of repairs are needed. The scope of works required in Apthorp Care Centre are extensive and would be extremely disruptive to residents of the home.”
At the meeting some staff responded to this devastating news by claiming that moving vulnerable residents from Apthorp to another home at this time will result in blood on someone’s hands because some of the residents won’t react well to the move.
There is documented evidence of the serious and sometimes fatal risks when moving vulnerable and elderly residents out of their homes. What is worrying about this plan is that Barnet Council are attempting to fast track the move of residents in less than two months which does not provide ample time to prepare and support vulnerable residents.
“Two decades to run down a service, wasted millions of public monies and now 93 Covid heroes are to be sacked.
The world is upside down, seriously it is less than 12 months since our members were trying to care for vulnerable residents struggling to deal with Covid. There was no vaccine back then and the lack of PPE was an issue for members who were risking their own lives and those of their own family every day they went into work.
I won’t forget the fear in the voices of care workers as Covid was letting rip across Care homes. I can never begin to understand the terror our members were going through every day and all for the magnificent sum of £8.72 per hour! So here we are now August 2021 and our members have been told their workplace is closing, through no fault of their own.
Barnet UNISON will be supporting every single one of our members at this time we will also be seeking to find out who made this decision and why, this is not over. Keep watching this space…….”
(John Burgess Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON).
“The workers at the care home and day centre will have their lives thrown up in the air some few months after banners at the care home proclaimed them as heroes for how they dealt with the pandemic. There has been absolutely NO engagement with staff, residents, their families or the trade unions at any point to consider how Apthorp could be made viable. The cornerstone of activism for people with disabilities – nothing about us without us – has been utterly and completely ignored.
The elderly and the workforce are ignored and presumably they are just furniture to be moved around as The Great and The Good see fit. They are not worthy of any consideration. They have received no apology for this shocking turn of affairs.”
(Helen Davies Branch Chair Barnet UNISON.)
“We know the Care workers are ‘fit for purpose’ – they worked through the most unprecedented times in living history giving care to the most vulnerable in our community – in many cases end of life care to the clients they obviously love while putting themselves and their loved ones in danger to deliver care for their patients.
Their reward? The Barnet Group have announced their plan to make 93 Covid Heroes redundant. To sack the very workers that a few months ago were described as ‘Heroes’ because the company they work for obviously didn’t complete any meaningful due diligence when transferring staff and buildings from Fremantle, begs the question as to who should be facing redundancy.” (Patrick Hunter Barnet UNISON Convenor Barnet Homes.)
“The planned closure of the Apthorpe care home is the latest Adult Care policy decision that will have a major impact on service users, job losses for care workers and another policy decision that will ultimately cost council taxpayers dearly.
It marks 22 years of knee-jerk decison-making by Barnet Council which havve been devoid of economic and social impact analysis and cost benefit analysis since Barnet’s care homes were privatised to a Catalyst/Fremantle ‘partnership’.
Some partnership when eleven homes left the Council and only three return twenty years later. So what has happened to the land of the other eight homes?”
(Dexter Whitfield, Director, European Services Strategy Unit)
Note to Editors: Contact details: Helen Davies Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk
Here is an update from West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF) regarding additional dates for their pre retirement workshops. These workshops are for members who are in the Barnet Fund.
“Affinity Connect our pre-retirement partner and specialist provider of financial education in the public sector are continuing to host workshops virtually due to the pandemic.
These sessions are available to all scheme members regardless of which fund they are in. The workshops are aimed at those approaching retirement as well as members in the early stages of their retirement planning.
The 2 hour virtual workshops via Microsoft Teams are proving to be very popular, we have added a couple of late afternoon slots to accommodate those who can’t attend the main morning or afternoon times.
12 August – 10.00am – 12.00pm
14 September – 10.00am – 12.00pm
15 October – 10.00am – 12.00pm
9 November – 13.00pm – 15.00pm
16 November – 16.00pm – 18.00pm
14 December – 13.00pm – 15.00pm
Please share these dates with your members who may be approaching retirement or those in the early stages of their retirement planning. Places are limited to 20 so members will need to be quick to grab a place.
These online sessions are available whilst current social distancing restrictions apply.
*Please note, guidance will provide information only and will not include or constitute financial advice.”
These workshops are not being facilitated by Barnet UNISON, if you require further details please email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Employers can no longer mistreat staff who take part in industrial action, says UNISON”
“UK law had previously prevented employers from sacking staff involved in strike action or other workplace disputes, but not from disciplining or making life difficult for them, says UNISON.
But now, disciplinary action against workers who go on strike will be unlawful. This follows today’s judgment at the employment appeal tribunal (EAT) over a case taken by care worker Fiona Mercer against the Alternative Futures Group (AFG).
She had been involved in organising, and subsequently took part in, a long-running dispute over AFG’s plans to cut payment for sleep-in shifts undertaken by its care staff.”
Read more here.