Breaking News: Government threat of funding cut to Heads of Nursery Schools and Early Years

URGENT: Please read the document issued by the Department of Education yesterday evening.

You can read the full report by clicking on the link below.

Coronavirus-related support for submitting an Early Years Census 2021 return


This report is an attempt to:

  1. Defy the science by forcing all Nursery Schools and Early Years to re-open
  2. Bully the Nursery Schools and Early Years with threats of serious funding cuts if they don’t fully reopen immediately
  3. Pick a fight with the Trade Unions.

Summary of the report as follows:

This report changes things seriously for Nursery Schools and Early Years setting because it states that unless they fully reopen they will not get the funding they have had for the previous terms.

As we all know thee above settings are opening for pupils of key workers and vulnerable children.

The Government in this report are saying that is not good enough and that they need to fully reopen.

Nursery Schools and Early Years settings need all of our help. Most parents and members of the public will not be aware of this latest attack.

Please help share this post.






Looking after your mental health

Whether you have been working throughout the pandemic, been furloughed, working from home, self-isolating or something else, Barnet UNISON understands the impact this may be having on your or a colleagues mental health.

Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. Below are details about websites and organisations to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Able Futures

Able Futures can help you manage your mental health at work so you can enjoy more good days. If eligible they provide you nine months advice and guidance from a mental health specialist who can help you learn coping mechanisms, build resilience, access therapy or work with your employer to make adjustments to help your mental health at work.

Call Able Futures free on 0800 321 3137 from 8am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday or apply online.


Nafsiyat is an intercultural therapy centre, committed to providing effective and accessible psychotherapy and counselling services to people from diverse religious, cultural and ethnic communities in London.

We currently offer intercultural therapy to people living in the London boroughs of Camden, Islington, Enfield and Haringey. This therapy is short-term only, but available at no charge.

To access this therapy, you need either to be referred to us, for example by your GP, or you can apply to refer yourself.


NHS Every Mind Matters

Visit the NHS Every Mind Matters website:


Urgent support

If you are having thoughts of suicide, are harming yourself or have thought about self-harm, it’s important to tell someone.

These thoughts and feelings can be complex, frightening and confusing, but you do not have to struggle alone.

If you cannot wait to see a doctor and feel unable to cope or keep yourself safe, contact one of the organisations below to get support right away. Or see further NHS advice on dealing with a mental health crisis or emergency.


Free 24-hour listening support

When life is tough, Samaritans are here to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that’s troubling you, no matter how difficult.

Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website

Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.

Text “SHOUT” to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line


Urgent, non-emergency medical advice

If you need help urgently but are not at risk of death or serious illness, use the NHS 111 non-emergency advice online.

NHS 111 advice online

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

People with hearing problems can use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) service.


Crisis support for young people

If you are under 35 and feel that life is not worth living any more, call Papyrus’s HopelineUK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends.

Call HopelineUK on 0800 068 41 41

Text 07786 209697

Visit the Papyrus website



CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason.

Call 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Free, anonymous webchat with trained staff

Visit the CALM website


Dial 999

In a life-threatening emergency, phone the emergency services and ask for an ambulance.

When to call 999


When to get help from your GP

It’s important to seek help from your GP immediately if you are experiencing the following symptoms for the first time or are not already receiving care from mental health services/

If you live in England, in most areas you can also refer yourself for free, non-urgent NHS psychological therapy services, also known as IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services, which provide evidence-based treatments for depression and anxiety.

Services remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, so do seek professional help if you think you need it.

UNISON guidance for members working in Special Schools and Colleges

UNISON guidance for members working in Special Schools and Colleges

Context: With the new variant of the virus shown to being considerably more transmissible than the version prevalent in 2020 the previous risk assessment will no longer be fit for purpose. As a matter of priority, specialist schools and colleges focus on:

  • Revisiting and improving the previous risk assessments and building time into the beginning of term for this to take place
  • Risk assessments should be updated for the premises as a whole and for individual children and young people with more complex needs
  • Time must be built in for extra training of staff in adopting the new measures identified.
  • Allowing time for pupils and their parents/carers to be inducted into the new processes

Read more – click this link:

First Branch Meeting of 2021

Happy New Year! – Good Riddance to 2020!
Barnet UNISON holds first Branch Meeting of 2021

Barnet UNISON Emergency Branch Meeting 6th January
Barnet UNISON should have increased its zoom account so that more than 100 people could join!!!

Our apologies to all those trying to get onto the call but couldn’t because we only had a capacity of 100. We will be holding another meeting and we will increase the capacity!

We believe the intention of this lockdown is to stop people circulating more than necessary in order to radically reduce the rates of infection. Therefore any work being undertaken which is not absolutely necessary will contribute to the spread of the infection and puts us all at risk.

The Government’s message is being interpreted in all kinds of ways which means, for example, that School A only has a handful of children attending and School B has 60 children attending. We want to help you ensure the wider community stays safe by stopping the more generous interpretation of what the Government is saying.

Key messages from the meeting:

  1. If your workplace feels unsafe or the work you are being asked to do is not critical then please do contact the UNISON branch:
  2. Almost all of those workplaces which have moved quickest to successfully challenge practice which is dangerous and contributes to the rising infection rates have had a rep / health and safety rep and a WhatsApp group. These have enabled colleagues to clarify their views and alert the branch in an organised and collective manner. If your workplace does not have any of these in place then contact the branch to set them up.
  3. Where there are a couple or more colleagues in a particular setting, or carrying out similar duties, who want to have an online meeting to clarify more quickly what stance they want to take, should contact the branch. We have the facility to set up a zoom meeting for your area of work if this will help you.
  4. All risk assessments – site ones and personal ones – have to be revisited in light of the new situation. If they are not being revisited then you cannot be assured your work environment is safe.
  5. We will support anyone who does not feel safe at work.
  6. We are asking for an urgent review of PPE guidance. We believe the FFP2 and FFP3 masks should be issued for people to wear as these actually do offer much greater protection from inhaling COVID particles. This is particularly important for those who have to work with COVID positive residents in our community.

The levels of COVID infection rates means that the NHS is on the brink of breakdown. This means anyone who becomes critically ill may not get the care and attention they could have expected during the summer and further risks people being exposed to life changing disability or death. Both of these outcomes are significant not just for the individual concerned but for their family and friends. This is the context against which we have arrived at our position.

We began the meeting with one minute silence in memory of our members who have died during this pandemic and those who have suffered bereavements.

We acknowledged that the lockdown probably would not have happened by Monday had the trade unions – notably the education trade unions – begun organising their members to send in section 44 letters stating that their workplaces were not safe.

Locally Barnet UNISON had a zoom meeting for nursery workers on Sunday 3rd January and half an hour after the end of the meeting the head teachers of the maintained nurseries were announcing closure of those sites due to receiving letters from staff expressing their concerns and stating they would not be attending their place of work.
Nationally at the same time the NEU held an online meeting with an attendance of 400,000 to get the same message across to its membership.

Those who participated in those actions can be proud of the role they played in getting the Government to act more swiftly to protect all of us.

Breaking News: Monthly sessions with Payroll starts February 2021.

Dear Members

Barnet UNISON has had too many cases of members contacting us about payroll issues.

It is really important that you get the correct pay for the work you have done.

One of the biggest issues is understanding the pay slips.

I am pleased to announce that Street Scene are introducing monthly sessions with Pay roll.

These sessions will be run by the Capita HR Payroll Team.

The first session will take place on 10 February in the Pacific Room between 12:00pm and 14:00pm by appointment only.

The sessions will be for individuals to speak directly to payroll via a private video call.

Appointments will be available in 15 minute slots.

How to book a session?

You can book a session in advance by:

  • Requesting via your supervisor
  • Provide them your details, and
  • Provide them with any information you can about the question or issue you want to discuss.

Your supervisor will then make your booking on your behalf and let you know the time.

Now is the time to make sure you take up this opportunity to get answers to some of the questions you have about your pay and your pay slip.

If you want a UNISON rep with you please let us know what time your session is booked in order we can sit down with you in the meeting.

Telephone 0208 359 2088 or email


John Burgess

Branch Secretary





UNISON – There For You – COVID-19 response fund

COVID-19 response fund

The COVID-19 response fund reopened on Monday 16 November, offering grants of up to £500 to help members whose household incomes have been affected in any of the following ways:

  • You and/or your partner are currently furloughed
  • You and/or your partner are currently receiving Statutory Sick Pay and are either shielding, self-isolating or off sick due to other COVID-related reasons
  • You and/or your partner have been made redundant or lost your job due to coronavirus
  • You and/or your partner’s employer have reduced your working hours, including loss of regular overtime (applicable also where partner is self-employed and loss of earnings can be proven)

Please note that applicants must be a UNISON member with savings of less than £2,500 and have paid at least two months’ subscriptions.

We want to make this fund go as far as possible and help as many members as we can. Therefore please only apply if you are in financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19.

Depending on your situation, help will be awarded as follows:

  • £350 living costs for applicants who are furloughed or have a salary reduction due to COVID
  • £500 loss of employment grant due to redundancy
  • Up to £500 housing costs grant – towards rent, mortgage, or council tax arrears that have accrued since March 2020

In addition to There for You funds, we are very grateful to have received generous grants from UNISON and CHSA (the COVID-19 Healthcare Support Appeal) which enable us to support members who are struggling at this time.

Apply now

You can also download an application form to print and post back to us. Details are on the form.

Nafsiyat Reflective Sessions

Nafsiyat Reflective Sessions by London Borough of Barnet

While 2020 has been a momentous year for many reasons, the death of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter movement has been seen by many as a turning point that has encouraged people to speak out, call out discrimination when they see it, and fight for a more equal and just society. Here in Barnet, the council has also made a series of commitments to ensure equalities and diversity are at the forefront of our decision making, for residents and for staff.

And we know that so many of you have a lot that you want to say, and share with colleagues. That’s why we have begun a new partnership with Nafsiyat, an organisation established in 1983 to ensure that the diverse religious, cultural and ethnic communities in London could access culturally appropriate psychotherapy and counselling services. It was the first therapy centre in the country to take account of the cultural background of the patient and therapist and recognise its importance.

So we are introducing, from next week, a series of ‘reflective sessions’. These will be group sessions for up to 10 people. Their aim is to allow staff to reflect, particularly on the Black Lives Matter movement and how it may have affected them, but also more widely on the society in which we live and discrimination that they may have faced. The sessions are open to staff from any ethnic, cultural or religious background and should be considered a ‘safe and confidential space’ to talk about anything.

Book your place on one of the session times below here. All sessions will be run on Zoom:

Monday 7th December 12:30-13:45

Friday 11th December 11:00-12:15

Friday 22nd January 11:00-12:15

Monday 25th January 12:30-13:45

Friday 19th February 11:00-12:15

Monday 22nd February 12:30-13:45

To book a session please click on the below link

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