World Health and Safety Day 2023

We believe that Health and Safety in the workplace is an issue for everyone. Every year, thousands of people suffer accidents and ill-health at work – most of which could be avoided.

A few workplace issues.

The following are just some of the workplace Health & Safety issue faced by our members; more detailed information and advice can be found by contacting the branch or visiting the knowledge base on the UNISON website here:


Stress occurs when, in trying to cope with the tasks, responsibilities, or other types of pressure from work, these demands or pressures become excessive, causing difficulty, strain, or worry. Stress is one of the biggest health issues at work today, damaging the physical or mental health of workers. Stress can be caused by a number of issues, and the HSE has identified particular risk factors and produced guidance for employers. The risk of stress should be assessed in the same way as other hazards.


Bullying at work can be defined as persistent offensive, intimidating, humiliating behaviour, which attempts to undermine an individual or group of employees. It can take many forms, and should not be tolerated. It affects productivity, can seriously harm the victim and has led to suicides. Employers should risk assess bullying at work just like any other hazard. They should also have appropriate policies and procedures, and support for those who are bullied.


Violence, the threat of violence and verbal abuse may be an issue experienced by our members. The HSE has identified certain risk factors where it is more likely, including jobs that provide care to vulnerable people, enforce the law, or involve working alone or handling drugs or money. Violence is not, and never can be, ‘part of the job’. Employers must assess the risk of violence in exactly the same way as for any other hazard. The risk of violence must be prevented where possible or otherwise minimised as far as possible.

Can you make a positive difference in your workplace?

We take your health and safety seriously and we are looking for member to help us make workplaces safer by stepping up to become a safety steward.

This is a crucial role in the union and helps us to help make sure your workplace is safe, secure, and clean.

Some of the tasks involved include:

  • Talking to members and the branch about health and safety concerns in the workplace
  • Carrying out health and safety inspections
  • Liaising with the employer to improve safety.

So, if you want to make a positive change in your workplace, why not give it a go. You will receive training and support to help you learn new skills and make a change for the better.

If you would like to become a Health & Safety Steward in your workplace, please contact the branch by emailing

Getting Help

If you need help or advice about a health and safety concern in your workplace, contact your workplace health and safety steward or the branch on 020 8359 2088 or email

National Pay: Find out how much you really should be paid!

Whatever the politicians say, the cost of living is not going down, its going up. Which is why #UNISON is balloting schools and council workers for strike action for a real pay rise.

Look at the #UNISON pay calculator which shows what a Grade B worker needs to survive in the worst #CostOfLivingCrisis in 76 years Click on the UNISON link and follow instructions.


Here are some examples of Grade B workers in Barnet Council:

Gardener, Loader on Waste &Recycling, or Level 2 School Technician.



17 days and still no payslips for depot workers

Barnet Council Street Scene workers have yet to receive their payslip for March 2023. The matter was immediately escalated to senior management before the Easter Break. However, 14 days into April there is no sign of the payslips. The worrying thing is that the Council seem powerless to do anything about it.

The problem is that the Council does not have a payroll service. They outsourced this service to Capita in 2013.

Some of our members were confused about the involvement of Capita because of the news that one contract with Capita ended on 31 March 2023. Unfortunately, the HR Payroll contract is a separate contract and will continue to be provided by Capita until 31 August 2024.

Section 8 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 states that “An employee has the right to be given by his employer, at or before the time at which any payment of wages or salary is made to him, a written itemised pay statement.”

Payslip Law 2019/2020 Section 4 of the payslip law states that employees have the right to receive payslips from their employers.

ACAS advise that an employer should send out a communication to their workforce explaining the reasons why the payslip wasn’t issued and when it will be sent.

Day 17 and no sign of a payslip and no communication to the depot workers as to why it has not been sent.

Barnet UNISON is  against their employer the London Barnet Council.


Barnet UNISON NEC nominations

Every two years UNISON holds NEC elections. NEC stands for National Executive Committee. This is the highest committee in UNISON and they’re responsible for setting out how UNISON is organising.

In this election members have a lot of votes for different groups of candidates. The turnout in these important elections is very poor which is why our branch is trying to encourage our members to take part in the democracy in our union.

What is the NEC?

The NEC is made up of representatives elected from all of UNISON’s regions and service groups, as well as seats for four Black members, two young members and two disabled members. It has the power to act on behalf of the union and is responsible for implementing UNISON policy and delivering on the union’s objectives and priorities.

UNISON’s rule book says we have to elect our NEC every two years.

When is the ballot?

The ballot opens on 17 April 2023 and runs until 19 May 2023. The results will be announced on 8 June 2023.

Click on link below to view the Barnet UNISON nominations for the NEC elections


Term Time Pay: What does it mean for school staff?

In 2018 UNISON lodged an employment tribunal claim against Greenwich Council on behalf of all term time paid staff. UNISON managed to negotiate an agreement which generated 5 years’ back dated payments plus a contribution to those in Council Pensions Schemes.

Term Time Pay (TTP) staff are paid using a formula that includes your annual leave entitlement. What UNISON discovered was that TTP staff were being underpaid. To put it simply not enough annual leave was being allocated to the TTP formula.

As a result of the Greenwich case claims began to be raised across the country.

In September 2019, Barnet UNISON lodged 52 TTP claims against 52 Barnet Schools and 3 contractors working for Barnet Council.

Over the last four years we have manged to secure back pay for 80% of our members in schools and contractors and we are hoping to complete the final 20% by the end of this year.

Why has Barnet UNISON written to Barnet Schools?

On 22 March 2023 we wrote to all Barnet Schools which implement the NJC National Pay Awards because part of last year’s claim included a permanent extra day’s annual leave. What this means is that the TTP formula will need to change to reflect the extra day’s annual leave entitlement.

We have asked each school to provide UNISON with the details of the new TTP formula. We need to check the formula is compliant otherwise there could be underpayments claims for our members. We need to be able to advise our members that they are on the correct pay.

In response to your questions if you think it helps this is the answer.

Why it’s going to take such a long time to get the back pay?

Because your school may choose not to respond to UNISON, or they may choose to delay the payment or find a way not to pay. If we can’t negotiate locally, we hand over to our lawyers and it can drag on for years in the courts. Once it is with our lawyers the branch has no control over the process.

What do UNISON members need to provide?

You will need to provide evidence for example payslips to show what you are being paid. You will also have to complete a case form where we will require more details about you.


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