STOP the BNP

Dave Prentis, general secretary

It is crucial that members turn out and vote in the local and European elections this week. The BNP are peddling their politics of hate, and mobilising all their forces to take advantage of voter apathy, disillusionment and fear. 

Do not let the BNP gain ground through the recession by exploiting people’s fears over jobs or because of the row over MPs’ expenses.  

As public sector workers and service users we know that without the dedicated service of migrant workers many hospitals, schools and local government services would grind to a halt. We must work together to find a way out of the current financial crisis.  

Make your voice heard on 4 June – get out and vote. 

Take action to stop the BNP

UNISON loses a great branch secretary

“An empty seat at UNISON Conference, Stamford Bridge, Tolpuddle”

On Monday 27 April I took a call from Jon Rogers to say that Malcolm Campbell had died. I don’t have the sufficient literacy skills to articulate how I feel and describe how special Malcolm was. My heart goes out to his partner, family and friends because there is going to be a big hole in everyone’s lives now he has gone. Malcolm was a mentor as well as a friend to me. Being a branch secretary is not an easy role to take on, but Malcolm seemed to be able to maintain a calm, which sometimes I find difficult. He was good to sound ideas off and you always knew he would give his honest opinion. He was staunch, a real trade unionist. I feel angry at his loss. There are not enough Malcolm Campbells in UNISON.

I am also sad that he did not get elected as Regional Convenor. He would have made a bloody brilliant convenor. He would have done the work, he was member led he wanted to see things done.

I could see the social worker in his approach to issues. He would always look to see what could be done rather than look at how or why things couldn’t be done. He demonstrated an empathy towards others that was natural not trained. Malcolm was able to fit in so much into his life, when he wasn’t busy in his UNISON role he was active in his Trade Council, or off to follow Chelsea, drinking awful real ale! I know he would have been so happy at the result last night. In fact when I was with him last Friday he was considering putting a bet on Chelsea to do the treble, FA Cup, League and the Champions League! 

But he was also mad about live music, I remember talking to him about the Ting Tings……a couple years ago, I had never heard of them, but that was Malcolm he just liked music. The Festival season is about to start and I know there will be a lot of sad people who would have been going to festivals with him this year. 

Croydon and Barnet are as far apart as you can get. I used to joke with him that I would like to work in Croydon because he seemed to be so organised. You just felt if Malcolm was representing you, you were not alone, you were safe. 

Well Malcolm, I said that you were leaving a big hole, but just from speaking to so many of your friends, I think there will be more than enough stories regaled about you to help go towards filling our loss.

Malcolm was a big supporter of our Fremantle Care Worker Campaign , I have put together a short tribute to him and you can hear and see him speaking about Fremantle here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig2e8CXusFc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXcEfRoNrOU

UNISON colleagues have set up a BLOG

http://remembermalcolmcampbell.blogspot.com/

John Burgess  Branch Secretary Barnet UNISON & Friend

Join the G20 march – Put People First

 

On 28 March thousands will march through London as part of a global campaign to challenge the G20 ahead of their summit on 2 April.

 

Even before the banking collapse, the world suffered poverty, inequality and the threat of climate chaos. The world has followed a financial model that has created an economy fuelled by ever-increasing debt, both financial and environmental.

Our future depends on creating an economy based on fair distribution of wealth, decent jobs for all and a low carbon future.

There can be no going back to business as usual.

People from all over the country will join the march on March 28.

Be one of them. 

Listen to UNISON General Secretary on why members need to turn up and support the rally on Saturday 28 March.

click here http://www.unison.org.uk/video/video.asp?did=8381 

For more information on the march go to Put People First website http://www.putpeoplefirst.org.uk/

 

The ASSEMBLY point for the march is now confirmed. Barnet UNISON members should gather (look out for our banner) from 11am on Victoria Embankment by Temple tube station on March 28th. The postcode is WC2R 2 PP. This is a link to a google map.

The nearest tube is Temple, but Embankment, Blackfriars and Waterloo are short walks away.

Save the Planet – Listen to the talking Fridge

This week, European regulators will start setting new efficiency standards for fridges, TVs, and other products. Strong rules could massively cut Europe’s climate pollution, but industrial lobbyists are pushing to weaken the proposals.

Please read and listen to an unusual message: a video sent back in time from the future … by a talking fridge named “Coldy.” Click the picture to watch the video and take action now:

Full Council report….Life of Brian

“What did the Roman’s Council do for us?”

I was minded of the scene from the Life Brian as councillors lined up to give their view on what Barnet Council does for Barnet residents. Barnet staff your ears should have been burning as councillor after councillor stepped to say what a fantastic job you do. The Leader stating we have the most efficient, low cost back office service (barring Bexley) in London.  

It struck me that I hope the Future Shape report going to Cabinet reflects not only the efficiency and expertise of the current council workforce but their ability to respond to ever changing face of local government.  

The usual banter between the parties ensued as ever, I wonder when we will start filming these meetings. It seems a natural progression. Technology is moving at a hermetic pace, to try and engage residents the council needs to look at the ways it consults.  

The Leader Cllr Mike Freer opened up with the proposed Budget followed by an alternative budget from Labour Group Leader Cllr Alison Moore, followed by Lib-Dem Leader Cllr Jack Cohen.  

Minutes from the meeting will be online but here are a few comments  

Cllr Freer “Year on year starved of funds. 5th lowest grant in London.  £272 per head, Islington £800. Most efficient back office cost in London only Bexley is cheaper.”

Cllr Moore:“In a time of recession Council Tax increase is unacceptable…other boroughs are going for a council tax freeze. Fees and Charges above inflation. This Budget is going to have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable, elderly and disabled.” 

Cllr Cohen:“Spoke about the Icelandic Bank which he felt had not been sufficiently explained. He believed there was a real possibility the tax payer will have to pay. He mentioned the purchase of Plasma TV screen, lap tops which were now hidden away as example of waste.”

He then thanked Barnet Bloggers

Roger T Barnet Eye http://barneteye.blogspot.com/

Don’t call me Dave http://www.notthebarnettimes.co.uk/

Statler and Waldorf  http://www.barnetcouncil.net/ 

From the reaction of the councillors, these BLOGS were well known. 

 

What about the Public?

 

The public gallery was full of angry residents, they were here about two issues in the budget. The deletion of the sheltered housing service and the withdrawal of funding for the Stable Project for adults with Learning difficulties.  

As they heard their issues being discussed you could not help but feel their anger & frustration about the lack of engagement and understanding of their concerns. Unfortunately for those unfamiliar with the current bureaucratic rules governing public involvement in local democracy these meetings will often be the first and last they will want to go to. If government really wants to reflect the views of communities it needs to seriously look at resident access to local politicians.

The decision about the Future of the Welfare Rights Unit and the Sheltered Housing Schemes will be made at a future Cabinet meeting.

 

Stop Press – Barnet Elect a New Mayor

 

There were two nominations this evening

Brian Coleman (Con) & Linda McFadyen(Lab)

 

Brian Coleman was elected Mayor 

 

 

 

Barnet Council Nursery Nurses say ‘No to Term Time Pay ‘

‘Fair deal for nursery nurses campaign’

This afternoon saw the launch of the ‘Fair deal for nursery nurses campaign’

Over the last five years schools support staff have been taking on increased roles and responsibilities as part of the governments workforce remodelling agreement.

This afternoon a joint UNISON & GMB meeting agreed unanimously to oppose the proposal to move nursery nurses to term time pay.

Our members were informed that renewed negotiations will take place on 4 March. UNISON has carried out an indicative ballot with an overwhelming vote to oppose term time pay. GMB reps explained that they would be balloting their members shortly.

Nursery nurses were clear and unequivocal that they were not prepared to be moved to term time pay.

Pay 2009/10. 10 good reasons why Barnet local government staff should have a pay rise

10 good reasons why Barnet local government staff should have a pay rise.

 

  1. Because we deserve it. (this should be enough of an argument alone)
  2. The economic situation is not of our making, we did not cause this crisis, so why should we have to pay for it.
  3. The economic situation is unstable some would say chaotic. So we need a pay rise which is not just above inflation, but has a sufficient buffer above inflation to protect our real incomes against the wild fluctuations that are coming our way.
  4. Our bills have gone up and are due to go up even more. FUEL Average household bill rose by £381 to £1,293 last year. FOOD Prices rose by 11% last year[MSN Money] COUNCIL TAX Bills could rise by 3.5% on average [Local Government Association]
  5. Government measures of inflation (CPI and RPI) systematically under-estimate real price inflation as experienced by working people. The highest price rises are for essentials such as food and utilities, and we spend much more of our income on these things than higher earners.
  6. The demands on our wages are not being ‘moderated’ because of the recession. Landlords are not saying “I’ll let you off your rent this month, what with the economic crisis”!
  7. A low pay rise would have real and distressing consequences for us. Local Government workers would/could face stress, home repossessions, debts, and will struggle to support ourselves and our families.
  8. If the government can afford billions of pounds to bail out the banks, then it can afford to pay public service workers such as ourselves a decent wage rise.
  9.  The Gordon Brown/ Government policy is to stimulate an economic revival. They want us to spend more. To do that, we need more money. Lower pay rises will work against this policy
  10. Self-sacrifice on our part will not save a single job in local government or any other industry.

Branch Annual General Meeting

Barnet UNISON members please come along

THURSDAY 5 March 2009

3.30 pm onwards

Conference Room

Building 2

NLBP

Guests

Professor Dexter Whitfield—Future Shape

Barnet College students – performing a piece aimed at first time voters and the dangers of the BNP

 

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