Barnet College update


The Barnet UNISON workplace representatives have started off this year by attending the Joint Trade Union Council Meeting with the Senior Management Team. Once again, the main focus of this meeting was the financial state of the College in light of the FE Pay Award. Along with ATL and UCU, UNISON is continuing to push for the pay award and have stated that it is not right for college staff to always be paid their award late. The pressure is continuing to be put on for the staff to receive the pay award.


Staff Governor Elections

The position of Staff Support Staff Governor is coming up for election around the Easter period. Please, please, please ensure that you use your vote to elect a UNISON candidate. The current candidate is not a UNISON member and we need to ensure that we are represented at this level. We will keep you posted as to when the actual election date is and you will be seeing flyers in your Staff Rooms and around the College on notice boards etc. to remind you to vote in your favour!!



On a slightly lighter note, there will be opportunities coming up in the near future for staff to train for and attain the E2 Level Qualification in Literacy and Mathematics. So, if you missed your chance last year and regret it, UNISON recommends that you try for it this year. It will give you a sense of achievement and is not in any way threatening to your current job prospects – it is encouraging that there is a way of improving your skills for free! Plus, this also means that Support Staff can accrue hours for their CPD Portfolio – this is an issue that we are ensuring the support staff is not being left out of. Your Union Learning Rep, Kirsty Watson will be updating you shortly when more information is available.


Finally, we are still trying to negotiate the Annual Leave/Religious Leave/Sickness Policies and are hoping to tie this up agreeably by the end of this month.

Should you have any ideas, comments or things that you would like help or advice on, please feel free to contact your Workplace Reps in confidence and as always, we will do our best to help you.

What happened at the General Functions Committee 14 January?

General Function Committee is a committee which looks at staffing issues.

We submitted a number of reports

To view our Adult Social services report click on the link

Strangely this report was not discussed in the public part of the meeting so we do not know what councillors thought of our report. 

The Welfare Rights report and our budget briefings which we had discussed at committee the previous meeting were not accepted onto the Agenda for this committee. This has never happened before! 

Bizarrely, some of the councillors that sit on this committee had accepted the same report the previous evening!  

We are seeking an urgent meeting with the Director of Corporate Governance as there maybe be implications for those facing redundancy. More details to follow…

What happened at the trade unions meeting with councillors 13 January?

The Joint Trade Unions presented the Welfare Rights budget report and a budget briefing to the committee.


The councillors voted to accept receipt of reports in order we could discuss the content.


Welfare Rights/Sheltered Housing


·        How will the existing work of the Unit be covered if the unit is closed?

·        What approaches have been made (or are going to be made) to the third sector to cover the work of the Unit?

·        Has a disability impact assessment been carried out to determine affect of closing the Unit?

·        Has any consultation with service users been undertaken?

·        how will the views expressed be incorporated into the budget consultation process


Agency figures

We have asked for details of agency staff in order to ensure that there are opportunities for redeployment of staff vulnerable to redundancy.


Consultants spend

We have asked for consultancy spends across the directorates


Children’s Services

On the proposals affecting staff working in Children’s Services we were informed that talks on the restructures would be taking place with the trade unions. Reports on the outcomes of these consultations will follow.

Budget consultation – process

Understandably members are confused between the statutory 30 day notice period and the consultation process.


The statutory process started on 7 January which means some staff could receive redundancy notices on 7 February. However others could receive them later as their restructures move at a different pace.


Consultation has begun across the service areas, further updates will be provided by our Officers representing members facing redundancy.


Some key dates for members to note in relation to the budget


Full Council 27 January.

This meeting will consider the budget report raised at General Functions


Cabinet 23 February

This meeting will approve the final content of the budget.


Full Council 3 March

This is attended by all of Barnet Councillors and votes of whether to accept this budget

Overwhelming support for Welfare Rights Unit

A BIG thank you to Barnet UNISON members for the support you have shown the Welfare Rights Unit

Clearly the service is valued and key in supporting the most vulnerable members of our community

To view some of the messages we have received at such short notice click here



Council Budget 2009 -10

Council Budget 2009 UPDATE

Supporting the Vulnerable

First of all I want to thank those of you who have already sent messages of support to the welfare rights unit which is down be deleted in the budget proposals being considered at the Cabinet meeting tonight. We still need more of you to send in your messages of support. This is a service that provides to those with the highest need. In these severe economic times it is imperative that these service users are supported. Our report which we will be submitting to the Council (which will be publicly available found that the Unit is the last 12 months raised a staggering £1.8 million in benefits for service users in Barnet.

If you would like to send a message of support for this service please email

Sheltered Housing Scheme under threat as a result of proposed £950,000 budget saving. We have not had the opportunity to go through the proposals but our members working in sheltered accommodation understand that if this proposal goes through they will lose their jobs. We do not know who or what support will be provided to the 500 residents using this valuable service.

If you would like to send a message of support for the Sheltered Housing Service please email

Budget Proposals

The Trade Unions have not had the opportunity to discuss the proposals as they first need to be approved at tonight’s Cabinet Committee. You can find the Budget proposals online at

What you can do

If you work in a service where there are redundancies please let the branch office know by emailing or ringing the branch on 0208 359 2083/2088 in order we can arrange support for you and the service.

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