Guest Speaker: Barnet Blogger Mr Reasonable
Tuesday 30 November 7- 8 pm
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Meeting ID: 834 3040 0093
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
Is this the end of Capita in Barnet – Grant Thornton’s report is a devastating critique of Capita’s dismal performance.
Barnet UNISON call-out for people to give evidence at the #KickOutCapita Inquiry in House of Commons.
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
Man working for Capita in Darlington carried out £70,000 fraud
It’s coming, it’s really coming to YOUR post box: #UNISONStrikeBallot #VoteYes
4 key things for #UNISON members to do to win this StrikeBallot on #PAY
Read details here
What does it say about our society when 93 care workers are sacked and barely a mention is made in the media or by politicians?
This week consultation closed on the decision to sack 93 care workers.
Barnet UNISON has submitted our report into the shocking sacking of 93 care workers in what has been a shameful consultation.
To understand our anger and sadness at what has happened I encourage readers to read our report which is online here or Barnet UNISON Response to Apthorp Consultation 22.10.21 FINAL
“Throughout the negotiation it emerged that the decision to vacate Apthorp had been taken by Barnet Council with no consultation with any other stakeholder other than Your Choice Barnet (YCB). The rationale for this has been stated over and over but the information underpinning this decision has been withheld. This has limited the trade union engagement to one of simply negotiating the redundancies rather than avoiding them. Consequently we have unanswered questions and we dispute the view that this discussion is not relevant to the trade unions.
The decisions around Apthorp directly affect the staff who are trade union members. Furthermore there is the potential for a significant knock-on effect in terms of the budget. As a result Barnet UNISON has been denied the opportunity to consider alternatives which may have ended up being less costly both on a financial and a humane level than the only option presented.” (An extract from the report)
What is deeply troubling is that this happened in the week of the CQC report “The State of Care”
Some of the headlines in the report are below.
- “The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says health and care staff are “exhausted and depleted” and working under intense levels of pressure.
- Urgent action is needed to stop a “tsunami of unmet need” rippling across essential services this winter, the care regulator has warned.
- Desperately needed social care staff are quitting their jobs to work in the tourism and hospitality sector because they are ‘burnt out’, the sector has warned.
- Exhausted staff are leaving the key worker roles to fill shortages in other sectors, as pubs and restaurants struggle to find enough staff.
“We have Covid infection levels increasing daily, an overworked and under resourced NHS staff, a deliberate lack of action/leadership by this government and lack of leadership from the political opposition in Parliament and a negligent national media, it looks like we are sleep walking into a health and social care crisis of biblical proportions. We will continue to do what we always do for Barnet UNISON members which is providing public support and standing side by side with them whatever is happening to them.”
(John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.)
Background to the Save Apthorp campaign
1.Update: 93 Covid heroes face the sack
2. Barnet UNISON request the right to speak on behalf of 93 Covid Heroes
3. What happened to the 11 Barnet Council Care Homes and day centres in 1999?
4. What is going on, just who owns Apthorp care home?
5. Update on Apthorp consultation: Save Apthorp
6. Join our We Are Barnet Save Apthorp lobby in person and online
7. A Tale of Two Priorities
8. Is Apthorp care setting closing or not?
9.Going, going gone, sold to…….what is going on at Apthorp?
Barnet UNISON notes:
- The suspension by Labour-led Kirklees Council of UNISON Branch Secretary Paul Holmes in December 2019
- That Kirklees Council has had almost two years to carry out an investigation
- That Paul has been a Nalgo and then UNISON steward for 46 years, and Branch Secretary for 32 years, and is currently the President of UNISON
- That Kirklees UNISON is one of the largest branches in the country and had 3 live strike ballots and one pending when Paul was suspended
- On hearing that Paul Holmes had been suspended the Council’s Deputy Leader said at the time, “There is a Father Christmas”.
Barnet UNISON believes:
- That an injury to one is an injury to all – employers must not be allowed to get away with attacking our union organisation and our union activists, reps, branch and national officers.
- The Deputy Leader’s statement shows that UNISON and Paul have been a thorn in their side, and critical to resisting cuts and closures of public services – delaying any investigation for so long indicates the aim was more to undermine union organisation in the Council.
Barnet UNISON resolves:
- To campaign for Kirklees Council to end the suspension of Paul.
- To write to both the Chief Executive and the Council Leader calling on them to lift Paul’s suspension.
- To affiliate to the Defend Paul Holmes Campaign and publicise and mobilise for campaign events and activities.
Barnet UNISON Branch Executive unanimously passed this motion on 8 September 2021.
On Tuesday 24 August 2021 Barnet UNISON wrote to the Cllr Rajput Sachin Chair of the Adults & Safeguarding Committee
“ I am writing to you today on behalf of our members who provide care services at Apthorp care home.
On Friday 20 August 2021, 93 staff were informed that as a result of a Council decision to close Apthorp residential home on 31 October 2021 they are all at risk of redundancy.
This decision has understandably left our members devasted especially considering their hard work looking after vulnerable residents during the height of Covid when there were no vaccines available.
I must profess I am also concerned about the speed in which the home is to close. These are vulnerable residents and the consequences of moving can sometimes be fatal.
Our members want to know the real reason as to why the home is closing.
For your information these are the questions we submitted to Your Choice Barnet and we are seeking answers:
- Who made the decision to close Apthorp?
- When did the meeting on the future of Apthorp take place?
- What information about Apthorp was provided to the decision makers?
- Please provide copies of the information provided to the decision makers.
- Please provide a copy of the minutes of the meeting and the actions agreed.
I note that there is an Adults and Safeguarding Committee meeting on Tuesday 14 September 2021 at 7 pm.
Our members have asked that we seek permission from the Chair of this Committee in order we can make our case for this decision to be delayed.
I am formally requesting that UNISON is allowed to make representation to this committee.
Our members will be attending this meeting it would be helpful if they could see that this committee will do the right thing and provide these care workers with an opportunity to put their case against closure.
As of Thursday 26 August 2021, we have not yet had a response to this request.
“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.