One more Christmas: Memorial vigil to the 5 residents who died after being moved hastily from Apthorp Care Centre at the end of October 2021

One more Christmas/ Lyrics by Beau King Houston to be sung to the tune of ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby.
(For the residents/Victims, friends & family, and staff members affected by the Apthorp Care Centre move 2021)
Verse 1
We were dreaming of one more Christmas
With the loved ones we used to know
But nobody listened
Then one decision
Meant we were left out in the cold
Verse 2
We were told we’d be secure this Christmas
You promised we were here to stay
Now our days just don’t feel as bright
Cos you chose to ignore our workers rights
Verse 3
We were dreaming of our last Christmas
Alas that wasn’t to be so
We were moved like cattle
No strength to battle
We lost our lives to save you dough
Verse 4
We lost the home we loved this Christmas
We miss the life we always knew
Try to affect change and be true
Know that one Christmas this could be you.

Poem for Apthorp

We received this poem some weeks ago. Many residents in Barnet were troubled by the Apthorp Care Centre closure. Following the news of the 5 deaths they are demanding a public enquiry. One resident wrote and sent us this poem:


On our doorsteps we clapped for the heroes

as the virus was killing us off

we hailed common folk’s resistance to blows

though the country was led by a toff;

now in Barnet his lackeys are sacking

the workers we stood to applaud

as there’s always some lift in attacking

the low-paid we can barely afford;

872 pence an hour

such fortunes the shirkers were paid

too much for lovers of power

whose memories are rapid to fade;

they say they shall have to close Apthorp

and dozens of jobs will be lost

such chutzpah would make a dead horse gawp

but for them there is only one cost;

their creed is that people serve money

ours is the other way round;

should we wait for the sweet Easter bunny

till some kindness on earth can be found?

Hold hands, stand together, stay solid

“We’re free people, not wage slaves,” say loud,

while they are obtuse, mean and stolid

we’ll fight till we win, strong, unbowed.

Alan Dent NEU member

Where’s my ballot paper?

Phone lines now open: 0800 0857 857 to request a replacement ballot paper
Have a look at what your pay will mean next year if you accept the 1.75% or do not vote in the ballot:
UNISON have produced a pay calculator:

The calculator asks you to enter your salary, and then shows:

1. What your new salary would be if the 1.75% offer were implemented,
2. How much of a loss of money this would be (after considering inflation).

Vote now if you haven’t already done so!

NJC Strike Ballot Member FAQs | UNISON National

Back to school news

Covid-19 guidance updates

UNISON, NEU, GMB and Unite have published several updated guidance documents to reflect changes to safety measures in school settings in England:

The Government has chosen to remove most Covid safety measures in education and early years settings in England, a decision that UNISON strongly opposes. We are concerned it may well lead to an increase in Covid-19 cases and cause disruption in schools, particularly as most pupils are not currently being offered the vaccine and community rates are high.

We are also concerned that the ‘indicative’ thresholds for numbers of infections set by Department for Education (DfE) in its contingency framework are too high and risk leading to the further spread of COVID.

We therefore urge branches to contact local schools and early years providers to seek agreement  to implementing the measures in our risk assessment checklist and guidance. The DfE guidance permits leaders to adopt these additional proportionate safety measures.

Our priority is to support schools and early years settings to put in place measures to try and avoid the disruption, lost learning, and illness we saw at the end of the last term.

Model escalation procedure for dealing with serious local health and safety failings

We have updated our model local escalation procedure and template letter, which can be used in the event of serious health and safety failings.
The escalation procedure’s aim is to seek immediate remedial action to keep pupils and staff safe in school.

Branches should liaise with their regions if they need to use this procedure or template.

Read the updated escalation procedure

UNISON letter to Secretary of State on Contact Tracing

UNISON has written to The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson MP raising urgent questions and concerns over new contact tracing procedures.

We fear these new government procedures could see many close contacts in education settings remain un-traced through the new system, meaning they will not even be identified or advised to get a PCR test.

Read the letter

Support numeracy for #Checktember!

Feeling confident in numeracy is a very useful skill that many struggle with. Brushing up on numbers can help members be more confident at work.

Please support National Numeracy’s campaign for #Checktember and encourage members to spend as little as 10 mins a day boosting their number confidence and skills though the National Numeracy Challenge.

The Challenge can help you to understand your current numeracy level and enables you to quickly improve with tailored learning resources.

Take part and share


What is a Green Rep?

These are members who will take up issues of climate change in the branch and look at ways we can shift employers to become greener. This means more than putting things in the correct rubbish container. Find out what it could mean for you here.

Click here to read UNISON’s policy on climate change, the environment and the workplace.

Have Your Say On Pay!


“Despite their courage and sacrifice throughout COVID-19, council and school workers have been offered 1.75%. With inflation at 3.9%, that’s a real terms pay cut. UNISON is launching a consultation and strongly recommend members vote to reject such an unfair offer.” – UNISON

This ballot will begin later in August. Check we have your correct details for your ballot:

      • Most importantly is your name spelt correctly?
      • Is your address correct?
      • Is your job title correct?
      • Do we have the correct employer?
      • Do we have the correct department?

Read more about this campaign here

Coronavirus (Covid 19) – Update

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Covid-19 situation all staff at the Barnet UNISON Branch office are working from home in line with the Government’s instruction.

If you are a member seeking advice or support from UNISON the quickest way to receive a response is to email us at, if at all possible. Alternatively you can call 020 8359 2088, if we are unable to answer the telephone please leave a message speaking slowly and clearly please include your name, telephone number, membership number and a brief message about the assistance you require. We will respond as soon as we can.

Alternatively you can contact UNISON Direct Call Centre by telephone 

08000 857 857 Monday – Friday 6am – Midnight, Saturday 9am – 4pm

or make an online enquiry by clicking the following link

To Join UNISON click the following link

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