How to support Ukraine

UNISON is working with the international trade union movement to mobilise support for those affected by the war in Ukraine – and branches and members can help too

No one can fail to be moved by the scenes of terrified civilians taking shelter underground or of the hundreds of thousands of women and children desperately trying to cross the border to safety, to an uncertain future as a refugee.

UNISON immediately condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine last week and has called for Russian troops to withdraw to allow meaningful peace talks to go ahead.

The union has reached out in solidarity to public service unions in Ukraine whose members are on the frontline trying to save lives as civilian casualties rise. Workers and ordinary people in both Ukraine and Russia are the victims of this war, not the perpetrators.

It has today agreed to donate £10,000 to an appeal by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

It is also talking to our European and international union federations, EPSU and PSI, about how we can practically support those unions and Ukrainian public service workers.

Europe is facing a major refugee crisis. As most European countries have opened their borders to refugees from Ukraine, the UK’s own government is shamefully still putting up significant administrative barriers to prevent refugees arriving in the UK.

And it is not just Ukrainians who are trying to get out. Thousands of migrant workers and students from around the world are caught up in the chaos and there have been disturbing reports of racial discrimination against them by border guards, which UNISON condemns.

How you can help

UNISON branches and members have been asking how they can help. The ITUC has launched an appeal to support the Ukrainian trade union movement and ordinary workers in Ukraine.

Click on link below to find out more

https://www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2022/03/how-to-support-ukraine/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=March%20U%20digital&utm_source=Communications&utm_content=How%20to%20support%20Ukraine

UNISON Official Ballot is on for “ASSIST” Workers to take Strike Action

 

UNISON is balloting the ASSIST workers this week the result of the ballot will be announced 16 March.

  • ASSIST provides this vital support to some 5,000 residents in Barnet and in Brent.
  • For the lack of £160,000 a year the service is on notice that it is to be outsourced. UNISON has agreed to back these workers and will ballot all of them for official strike action.
  • The Assist service, amongst other things, provides and maintains equipment to 5,000 mainly elderly residents of Barnet.

The most common of these items is the “lifeline” equipment which a resident would use if they fell. The resident would pull a cord or press a button on a pendant alarm which activates in the call centre and a decision is taken about whether someone from ASSIST needs to contact emergency services, a relative or go out themselves to emergencies. This support often makes the difference between someone being able to continue living at home or having to go into residential care.

During the Covid Pandemic the ASSIST service was rightly described as the “4th Emergency Service” by senior managers in The Barnet Group.

“Last Autumn we had the debacle of 74 care workers being given redundancy due to the closure of Apthorp Care Centre and now this! This service is so cheap to run and so valuable to thousands of residents of Barnet – it beggars belief that once again the lives of key workers are being thrown up in the air as soon as the crisis is over. We want Barnet Council and The Barnet Group which are essentially one and the same thing, to do the right thing and find a way forward which benefits residents and keeps a valued service in Barnet.” (Helen Davies, Branch Chair Barnet UNISON.)

“Keyworkers who were rightly praised by their managers are now rewarded for their hard work with outsourcing. At a time when Barnet Council are bringing services back in-house from Capita how can this valued service not been treated the same. If Human Resources, Finance, Recruitment, are needed back in-house why isn’t the ASSIST service being given the same treatment? I call upon Barnet Council to take back this service in-house and provide peace of mind for the 5,000 residents and the inspirational ASSIST workers who care so much about the service they provide.” (John Burgess Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON).

“The Assist workers have the full backing of Greater London UNISON for your dispute. You provide a vital service which enables vulnerable people to stay in their homes safe in the knowledge someone will respond quickly in an emergency. It’s a no brainer that your service benefits and supports the work of social care and the NHS. We want you to win and will support you all the way.” (Tracey Dalling Regional Secretary Greater London UNISON.)

End.

Note to Editors: Contact details: Helen Davies Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Background:

  1. For more details on the ASSIST service and Barnet UNISON response click on our link below Barnet UNISON Response to Barnet Homes ASSIST Proposal

“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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