Barnet UNISON begins two indicative strike ballots.

Barnet UNISON attended a JNCC meeting with The Barnet Group on Wednesday 7 July 2022.

We submitted a full list of agenda items and made clear that if a resolution was not agreed at the meeting, we would have to register a trade dispute. A number of interventions took place before the meeting in order to try and avoid these disputes, but they were unsuccessful.

As of Thursday 14 July 2022, Barnet UNISON has begun two indicative strike ballots of two sets of workers:

·       Council Housing repairs workers

·       Outreach Barnet workers

If the ballots are in favour of strike action Barnet UNISON will approach UNISON London Region to begin the official strike ballot.

In the meantime, the door remains open for the employer to reach a resolution with Barnet UNISON that our members would accept.

Please see the list of the trade disputes

1. Repairs

We noted the intention of paying sick pay to all workers in repairs by giving them the opportunity to transition to a new contract 1st August. We noted this intention had been signalled in talks with the trade unions since last Autumn. A colleague is currently off sick following an accident at work and in spite of there being light duties he could have done, he was sent home with no sick pay as per his contract. We noted the offer of a loan as a remedy but highlight the difficulty in low paid workers being able to pay back any loans. As we are so close to these colleagues being on the new contract we were looking for a resolution which would put money into this worker’s account to relieve his difficulty. As a new starter this worker would have had access to sick pay. The treatment he has had does not recognise his dedication to his job, residents and other colleagues. He worked throughout the pandemic.

We discussed bringing his contract offer forward. We discussed the possibility of making a payment in any other way. We failed to agree a way forward.

Dispute: failure to agree adequate support an employee during their sickness.

2. Outreach Barnet

We noted discrepancy in pay between new starters and staff who were TUPE transferred across in 2019. New starters are paid significantly higher (around 10% higher) than the TUPE’d staff. We noted that the message this gives longstanding staff is that they are worth less than the new starters and also noted that if all of them resigned from their role then they would have to be hired at the new rate of pay. TBG is undertaking an exercise to re-evaluate the roles of the TUPE’d staff but this work may only be completed by the end of July. At the time of the Emergency JNCC we did not receive a commitment to backdate any such re-evaluation to 1st July (the date the new starters begin).

Dispute: failure to agree to aligning the wages of workers in Outreach Barnet with a backdate to 1st July.

3. COVID payments

We noted LBB has not changed its arrangements around COVID. With the exception of care home staff all other staff in TBG have been told effectively COVID  is a sickness like any other and will be treated as such in relation to sick pay and absence management monitoring. We note TBG is not saying there is currently a significant problem with COVID absence. We note the rise in COVID infections generally and the prevalence of Long COVID which is now recognised as a disability. We were not able to secure a commitment to simply follow LBB policy in this regard.

Dispute: failure to agree to revert back to the sick pay and other associated arrangements with respect of the management of COVID in existence prior to July 1st.

4. Payment for Home Testing

We note the home testing and registering for COVID regime to which residential care workers are subject. We are looking for this to be recognised as work time (much the same way as workers who have to take out a vehicle for work purposes and do their vehicle checks and are paid as work time). We have suggested this would total the equivalent of 2.5hrs per week, per worker. This has not been agreed.

Dispute: failure to agree to recognise and remunerate COVID testing for workers in care homes.

End.

Breaking News: Capita contracts update in easyCouncil Barnet

Good news

One of the Capita contracts a joint venture known as Re is to come to an end next year.

The following services will be returning in-house 2023:

•         Highways

•         Regeneration

•         Regulatory Services

•         Planning (Development Control)

•         Land Charges

•         Building Control

•         Cemetery and Crematorium

Not so good news: Barnet Council have agreed a fudge to second contract.

Capita will continue to deliver the following services until March 2026

Information Technology (IT)

Revenues and Benefits

Customer Services

Capita will continue to deliver the following services until 31 August 2024

·       Finance*

·       Human Resources*

* (elements of these services returned to the Council in 2019)

The following services will be returning in-house

·       Procurement & Welfare Team will return in Autumn 2022.

·       Estates (including Print) in 2023

You can read all the Council Committee reports online here https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=692&MId=11225

“It is good news that Barnet Council has accepted that outsourcing Regulatory Services was never going to make money and that it must be delivered in-house. Whilst I am happy for the current staff, I can’t help but reflect on the wasted resources poured into the One Barnet Programme; millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money was spent on consultants who took the money and ran. As for the CSG contract I think the Council has missed an opportunity to take back control of the Council. Many other Councils have managed the transition back in-house when a 10-year contract expires, look at West Sussex, Southampton all of whom had contracts with Capita. As of 17 June 2022, Capita have been paid £590 million to deliver services for Barnet Council which is £229 million more than Barnet Council had agreed to pay Capita for the two contracts with still another year left of the two 10-year contracts.” John Burgess, Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON.

End.

Cost of Living Crisis Claim Update 6 July 6-7 pm

UNISON NEC members, Unison Central, London UK

Guest Speaker: Andrea Egan UNISON President

Wednesday 6 July 6- 7pm

To join click on link below

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81186125559?pwd=T3JpL1JWNTcvRkdyUEVrSEQ5dHR6QT09

Meeting ID: 811 8612 5559

Passcode: 850826

 

National Pay Award 2021/22: Are you owed back pay?

Barnet Council paid all their existing staff their backdated pay (1.75% National Pay Award for 2021/22 in March 2022.

What happens to Barnet Council staff who have left employment?

If you worked for Barnet Council and left during the period between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022 you may be owed back pay.

What should I do?

Barnet UNISON members should send an email to this address: HRAdmin@barnet.gov.uk requesting their backdated pay. Please copy in Barnet UNISON at contactus@barnetunison.org.uk and let us know if there are any issues

Have you retired and taking your Pension?

For those who have recently retired it is important that you mention in your email that you are in receipt of your Pension as this payment needs to be added to your Pension pot.

What about school staff?

If you worked in a school and have recently retired or left employment period between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022 you may be owed back pay.

You need to urgently contact your school request your backdated pay.

Please copy in Barnet UNISON at contactus@barnetunison.org.uk and let us know if there are any issues

What about TUPED staff?

If you have been TUPED to another employer e.g. Capita, BELS, NSL, ISS and have recently retired or left employment period between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022 you may be owed back pay.

You need to urgently contact your employer and request your backdated pay.

Please copy in Barnet UNISON at contactus@barnetunison.org.uk and let us know if there are any issues

End.

 

Cost of Living Crisis meeting 26 April 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emergency Cost of Living facts

Don’t let anyone tell you there is no money

  • 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 they were having when all of our members were risking their lives keeping public services running on poverty wages.

National Pay Bargaining

Negotiations have started for the National Pay campaign. More news on the campaign will be shared with members.

BUT Barnet UNISON believes we can’t wait, we need to act now.

But we need a Barnet UNISON Cost of Living Crisis Pay claim now.

Barnet UNISON will shortly be starting negotiations with the employer on some changes to Unified Reward Terms and Conditions. It is important that members attend our UNISON meetings on the negotiations.

The next Barnet UNISON Cost of Living Crisis meeting is taking place on Tuesday 26 April 6- 7 pm.

Please see details below for joining the meeting.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85746035877?pwd=NFoxQWpVelZVVEVac0J4VTZpc2tuUT09

Meeting ID: 857 4603 5877

Passcode: 801 103

Street Scene Pension Surgery Tuesday 22 February 2022

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 contactus@barnetunison.org.uk or leave a message on 0208 359 2088

End.

“All you need to know and more about the Capita contracts with Barnet Council.”

Guest Speaker: Barnet Blogger Mr Reasonable  

Tuesday 30 November 7- 8 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83430400093?pwd=SVcwRTF4Y0Z5bG11NG9PWFZNeVNRZz09

Meeting ID: 834 3040 0093

Passcode: 177260

Background information:

Barnet Council awarded Capita two ten-year contracts in 2013

Barnet Council are reviewing both of their Capita contracts which were due to expire in 2023 ten years after they were awarded details of the progress of the review https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s68820/FPC%20Contracts%20Review%20Report.pdf

The Capita contracts have been subject to widespread concern from the local community and trade unions.

Two local films were made and screened at the local Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley with introductions from Ken Loach.

A Tale of Two Barnets: https://youtu.be/b3Z6Llu1tks

A Billion Pound Gamble https://youtu.be/rpoTSAV5efQ

Council under fire over contractor’s £2m fraud

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-45641513

Is this the end of Capita in Barnet – Grant Thornton’s report is a devastating critique of Capita’s dismal performance.

https://reasonablenewbarnet.blogspot.com/2018/09/is-this-end-of-capita-in-barnet-grant.html

Barnet UNISON call-out for people to give evidence at the #KickOutCapita Inquiry in House of Commons.

https://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2018/10/25/barnet-unison-call-out-for-people-to-give-evidence-at-the-kickoutcapita-inquiry/

 

Capita to pay more than £4m compensation to Barnet Council over contracts performance

https://www.publicsectorexecutive.com/Public-Sector-News/capita-to-pay-more-than-4m-compensation-to-barnet-council-over-contracts-performance-

Just what we pay Capita – How they billed £555 million to one council

http://reasonablenewbarnet.blogspot.com/2021/09/just-what-we-pay-capita-how-they-billed.html

Man working for Capita in Darlington carried out £70,000 fraud

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/18222301.man-working-capita-darlington-carried-70-000-fraud/

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