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

Street Scene Pension Surgery Tuesday 22 February 2022

Barnet UNISON have negotiated the provision of a Pension Surgery for staff working in Street Scene on Tuesday 22 February 2022.

The surgery will take place in the depot online in a room booked in the main office.

Jakub UNISON Street Scene Convenor will be available to accompany members.

You will receive an email and a memo from your supervisor as to how to book a meeting.

Surgeries will be from:

6- 7.30 am

11 to 1 pm

For further assistance please email Barnet UNISON on contactus@barnetunison.org.uk or leave a message on 0208 359 2088

End.

Street Scene Payroll surgery 2 February 2022

On Wednesday 2 February 2022 an online pay roll surgery will take place for staff working in Street Scene.

There will be two sessions:

 

6 am to 7.30 am.

 

11 am to 1 pm.

 

The Pay roll surgery is for staff who have any issues with their January 2022 Pay slip.

 

If you want to book a time to deal with your pay slip issue, please contact your supervisor and your UNISON rep.

 

For further assistance please email Barnet UNISON on contactus@barnetunison.org.uk or leave a message on 0208 359 2088

 

End.

 

 

 

 

NJC industrial action ballot – England and Wales result

The ballot of members for industrial action regarding 2021 NJC pay closed today in England and Wales (it remains open in Northern Ireland until 10 February).

 

The final results of the ballot are as follows:

 

70.2% of members voted YES to strike action

29.8% voted NO to strike action

The ballot turnout was 14.5%

 

It is clear that an overwhelming majority of those who voted were prepared to show their anger at the employers’ 1.75% pay offer by taking strike action. However, the turnout result is disappointing, and as you know, we can only take action if we achieve the turnout threshold of 50%.

 

UNISON’s NJC Committee meets next week, on Tuesday 18 January, and will consider next steps – as well as beginning to discuss 2022 pay. In the meantime, we would ask that branches do not post these results on social media, as this could be unhelpful in advance of the NJC Committee making any decisions. We will be writing to members and employers to inform them of the result.

 

We now have some more information about the GMB’s recent indicative ballot on industrial action. GMB have rejected the offer, but without getting the show of support necessary to give confidence that they would get the required mandate for industrial action. They are also now considering their next steps. Unite are currently balloting members for industrial action, and their ballots close on various dates from 17 February.

 

Branches and regions are thanked for all your efforts in campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote for action and maximising turnout. Despite not getting the turnout we needed, we are clear that the vote for action is something we must build on in future campaigns.

 

Contact NJCpay2021@unison.co.uk

End.

ASSIST – the 4th emergency service – to be privatised

 

ASSIST ‘The 4th Emergency Service’

The Barnet Group have put out to tender part or all the services that our colleagues at ASSIST provide.

During the pandemic, Barnet Group management were calling ASSIST the 4th Emergency Service because of the vital services they provide to the most vulnerable in our community.

The service has been starved of investment, deliberately, by both the Barnet Group and the London Borough of Barnet, making it impossible for the service to ‘bid’ for contracts that would ensure the continuation of the service and enable it to expand.

UNISON have been informed that the yearly deficit to keep ASSIST open is £300k – but £140k yearly is the amount of unbilled service that ASSIST provides to the Barnet Group – and would have to be paid to any new provider, should any decide to bid on the tender.

Now LBB and TBG have decided that a new LBB directly funded role is merited in The Barnet Group a new ‘Head of Business Development & Transformation’ in Your Choice Barnet with a salary ‘outside’ of our Job Evaluation process but will be well in excess of £60k per year.

When will The Barnet Group and The London Borough of Barnet learn that it is frontline services to the public that should have priority when it comes to funding, not overpaid consultants?

What is to ‘Develop’ or ‘Transform’ if our services are privatised?

The message to the Barnet Group and the London Borough of Barnet is:

 The only TUPE out of the Barnet Group that is acceptable to ASSIST UNISON members is a TUPE back in to LBB

where the service came from in the first place.

Please send messages of support to ASSIST

via contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Barnet UNISON negotiates HGV drivers pay increase in November 2021

After months of negotiations and feedback from our members an agreement was reached with Barnet Council back in November 2021 for all depot staff with a Class 2 HGV driving licence.

This is what was offered:

the council’s Corporate Management Team that a 10% recruitment and retention payment (based on your current core salary) will be paid to all employees required to have a Class 2 HGV driving licence for work purposes. This is to ensure your work offer and pay remains competitive and is such that you want to continue your employment with the council. This will apply for a 12-month period from 01 October 2021 and will be split into four payments. The payments will be made in your December 2021, March 2022, June 2022, and September 2022 payslips.

The first payment was made in December 2021.

 

End. 

 

 

 

 

 

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