As part of the Justice for Cleaners campaign, RMT is fighting to end the outsourcing of cleaning work on London’s Underground and Overground rail networks.
As part of work to develop his
Manifesto for re-election as London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has launched a policy
consultation which is open to all for responses.
RMT is asking members in London to
respond to this consultation by sending a model form of words calling on Sadiq
Khan to end the outsourcing of cleaning work and bringing these cleaners into
Transport for London.
The consultation closes on 31
January. Please help us build our campaign by responding to the consultation
today here, using our suggested text:http://bit.ly/35TmatQ
Come and stand with Marsh Drive Residents and demand that they get re-housed with safe, decent homes with secure tenancies. Residents of Marsh Drive on the West Hendon Estate have been served notice to quit; they have not been told where they will be moved to or if they will be given secure tenancies. Barnet Council refuse to admit that residents are being moved early because the building is unfit for human habitation!
Monday, January 27, 2020 at 6:30 PM
Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, NW4 4BH London, United Kingdom
Council fails to produce agreed feasibility report on cost of LLW
Tory Council Leader describes care workers and trade unionists as “a Labour mob”
Barnet’s Conservative councillors have rejected a Labour Group motion for former Fremantle care workers to be paid at least the London’s Living Wage of £10.75 an hour – the level of pay identified as the minimum needed to cover the cost of essentials when living in London.
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings, put forward the motion at last night’s Policy & Resources Committee (6 Jan) after the Conservative Council failed to produce a feasibility study setting out the cost of paying the care workers London’s Living Wage. There was cross-party agreement at the last committee (3 Oct) to bring the feasibility study to last night’s meeting.
Care workers attending the Policy & Resources meeting yesterday reacted with dismay to Council claims that they couldn’t produce the report because it was too complicated to calculate the cost in the last 3 months. Conservative Leader of the Council, Dan Thomas responded by branding them “a Labour mob”.
The care workers were transferred to The Barnet Group (TBG) – a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnet Council – under TUPE rules after the Fremantle Trust handed over the running of its three Barnet care homes to TBG in April last year.
Since then, the care workers, their trade union – Barnet Unison – and Labour councillors have been campaigning for them to be paid at least London’s Living Wage, which is the policy of The Barnet Group. All other Barnet Group staff are paid at least London’s Living Wage, including other care workers already employed by them.
Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: “It is the moral duty of the Council to ensure that all its staff – including those working in The Barnet Group and in contracted-out services – are paid at least the minimum to be able to cover the basic essentials of living in London.
“It is the Council’s policy to pay directly employed staff at least London’s Living Wage and it is also The Barnet Group’s policy, so they really need to find the funding to do this straight away.
“We cannot condone the Council and The Barnet Group paying poverty wages; and there cannot be a two-tiered workforce where those doing work of equivalent value are on unequal pay.
“It was shameful that the Conservatives refused to support paying London’s Living Wage to those who do some of the most sensitive work to support our most vulnerable residents.
“The Council have said they will come up with the feasibility figures at some point in the future, but will probably do nothing until July. My concern is that they will wait until the protected TUPE period is over and then seek to outsource the care workers again.
“The Labour Group will oppose any further outsourcing of care workers, and continue to press the case for all directly employed and contracted out staff to be paid at least London’s Living Wage.”
Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is warning that London
could face gridlock if exhausted bus drivers take industrial action
later this year.
Unite will begin a consultative ballot of over 20,000 members
employed as London bus drivers later this month and, provided a yes vote
is secured, a full industrial action ballot will then follow.
Unite is demanding that London bus operators and Transport for London
(TfL) take decisive action to tackle chronic levels of fatigue being
experienced by bus drivers.
Unite is sharply critical of individual bus operators who have
suggested that the solution is simply about ensuring drivers get more
Unite is instead demanding a revolution in how bus driving is
scheduled to ensure that drivers can finish on time, are able to utilise
all of their breaks, work to proper schedules, have enough running time
to complete their journey, are treated with respect and receive proper
Since the publication of the Loughborough report, TfL has attempted
to deflect responsibility for the fatigue being suffered by bus drivers
and has said that it is the responsibility of individual bus operators
to resolve the situation. Unite believes this position is entirely
Unite regional officer John Murphy said: “London bus
drivers have had enough; they are permanently fatigued and at risk of
being a danger to other road users, bus passengers and themselves.
“Unite will shortly be conducting a consultative ballot
and provided our members endorse industrial action, strikes will follow
later this year unless action is taken to ensure that the problems
causing chronic fatigue for our members are resolved.
“TfL cannot simply sweep this problem under the carpet.
It must act decisively and stop trying to pass the problem onto bus
operators who have consistently failed to resolve the issue and have
instead allowed it to worsen.
“For the last 25 years bus operators have been failing to deal with this problem. Unite members are saying enough is enough.”
Over the past decade one thing Barnet
UNISON is in agreement with Barnet Council is that the London Living
Wage is the lowest rate of pay for its staff and those working on
Within the Barnet Group the
minimum rate of pay for staff in Barnet Homes, TBG Flex (The Barnet
Group Flex) and Your Choice Barnet is the London Living Wage – including
posts which become vacant within the ex-Fremantle homes.
After a settling in period for the TUPE
Fremantle staff Barnet UNISON raised in discussions with the employer
the issue of paying these staff the London Living Wage as the lowest
level of pay. We believe these staff should be treated no differently to
other staff working for Barnet Council or on its outsourced contracts.
Barnet UNISON notes the decision
regarding a discussion about implementing the London Living Wage for
Fremantle TUPE transferred staff to Your Choice Barnet at the Policy and
Resources Committee 3rd October 2019 is recorded in the draft minutes as:
“Following discussion on the London
Living Wage for Fremantle staff who had been TUPE transferred to Your
Choice Barnet the Chairman agreed to an item on the feasibility being
brought back to the next Committee. This would be included in the
Business Planning report”
In response to this request from
Councillors the Business Planning Report dedicates a mere 2 paragraphs
which is listed under “Risks to the MTFS”
Fremantle Care workers (London Living Wage):
Former Fremantle staff were TUPE transferred to YCB in July 2018 under
the agreement that terms and conditions would be protected for 1 year.
Some former Fremantle care workers that have been transferred to the
Barnet Group may be being paid less than the London Living Wage (£10.75
per hour (as at Nov 2019)). The Barnet Group policy is to pay all its
workers at least the London Living Wage, subject to affordability, and a
HR process is now required to review any changes to terms and
conditions which will need to be considered.
Any decision about changes to terms
and conditions will need to be considered in the context of the overall
pay and reward strategy for the Barnet Group, employment policies and
legislation, the wider social care market and the council’s procurement
rules. It is not yet possible to quantify the level of risk associated
as it is too early to form a conclusion about the application of the
LLW to TUPE staff. However, officers in the Barnet Group supported by
council colleagues where necessary will be working on this over the
coming months and can provide further update to the committee in the
These two paragraphs responding to the
Committee’s request in no way reflects the response Barnet UNISON or the
care workers were expecting. We had expected a detailed report
detailing the cost implications for implementing the London Living Wage.
Instead this response kicks the question into the long grass.
This is absurd as all new
vacancies in the ex-Fremantle homes are advertised as paying the London
Living Wage as a minimum. These posts are open to existing Fremantle
staff to apply for those posts. This means that incrementally at least
some of these staff working in these homes will be all be employed on
the London Living Wage. This fact is not even listed in the 2 paragraphs
written by the officers. This means this risk is already a reality and
yet it is not mentioned or evaluated. No turnover rates are mentioned.
Is it ironic that a credible option for the ex-Fremantle staff to en
masse resign from their posts and then to reapply for posts in the new
homes which would have to be offered at the London Living Wage?
The report in no way reflects the request
made of the Committee to the officers. A “feasibility” was requested
not the “risks”. Furthermore the Councillors are asked to believe that
the officers are incapable of quantifying the “level of risk” associated
with “the application of the LLW to TUPE staff.”
Barnet UNISON can be of assistance to the
officers and councillors in understanding some of the implications by
revealing the inaccuracy of the sentence: “Some former Fremantle care workers […] may be being paid less than the London Living Wage”. (Our italics)
TUPE information from Fremantle in May/ June 2019 revealed that just under 300 staff were TUPE transferred. Of these, according to the figures given for the job titles and the rates of pay quoted for those job titles, some two thirds were listed as being paid below the London Living Wage. In total these were 222 staff. The largest group are the care workers which total some 143 workers and are nearly half of the ex-Fremantle workforce.
Care work is a physically demanding role
as well as an emotionally demanding role. Yet according to the TUPE
transfer information 161 members of staff are aged 55 years and over and of these 40 are aged 66 years and over. By contrast the numbers of staff aged under 40 years are 76.
There is a risk in not paying the London Living Wage as this report demonstrates:
In the Care industry there is a
national turnover rate of 38% for those working less than one year in
the field (p.13). It shows that those who are paid more are less likely
to leave their roles.
“Turnover at regulated services
that were rated overall as either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’, turnover was
found to be lower (29.5%) than those rated as ‘requires improvement’ or
‘inadequate’ (32.2%). This trend remained consistent across
each Key Line of Enquiry (KLOE) with an average difference of 2.7%. The
largest difference in turnover was shown for the ‘Safe’ KLOE which had
3.4% lower turnover at providers rated positively.” (p.118)
Continuity is an important factor in
delivering quality care and support to our most vulnerable residents.
There are associated costs in constantly recruiting and inducting new
members of staff. These can result in reputational and safeguarding
Barnet UNISON strives to work with both
the Council and quasi outsourced employers, such as the Barnet Group, in
continuing to promote harmonious industrial relations and to provide a
high level of service for our customers. This may, potentially, be put
in jeopardy if the decision is not to value monetarily the important
role that care workers perform.
These factors should be of importance to
this Committee and to Councillors in general and should be taken more
seriously than the response to the request from Council officer’s shows.
The assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani is an act of war by
Donald Trump. The act was carried out in Baghdad, violating all
agreements with the Iraqi government. Trump has further threatened
attacks on 52 Iranian targets, including cultural sites. Iran has said
it will retaliate, and there is huge opposition to this action both in
Iran and Iraq, where the parliament has voted for US troops to leave.
Trump has been heading for war since tearing up the nuclear deal with
Iran and if he succeeds will create a bigger war than we have seen in
the Middle East. It will draw in major players across the region
including Israel, Saudi Arabia and possibly Russia.
TUC agrees with the Unite policy that clean, free, accessible public
toilets are essential for a civilised society, and urges all those
with influence to seek to ensure that this principle is included in
the Labour Party Manifesto.
welcome the publication of the Royal Society for Public Health’s
report “Taking the P***: the Decline of the Great British Public
Toilet’ well summarised in a Guardian article by Owen Jones ‘No-one
should have to pay to go for a pee. Time for a toilet fightback’.
deplore the closures of public toilets and creeping privatisation
that have placed a discriminatory health and financial burden
on women, children, disabled and older people.
note that public transport, delivery and other workers, tourists, and
patients suffering from chronic and acute illnesses and many other
medical conditions often treated with diuretics, put more pressure on
diminishing public toilet provision. The growing blight of
homelessness also requires adequate public provision of toilets.
call for a statutory obligation to be placed on local authorities to
provide public toilets at an agreed level and for ring-fenced central
government funding to be provided by a Labour government.
On Thursday 2nd January 2020, rail fares go up again by another 2.8%. The rail franchising system is broken and it’s passengers that are paying the price. Bring Back British Rail is joining forces with our friends at the Association of British Commuters and other passenger groups across the country to organise a National Day of Passenger Action demanding an end to the farce of franchising and fair fares now!
They’ll be a central demonstration at London King’s Cross at 8am. Details of other actions will be listed on the Facebook event page and below.
Thursday 2nd January 2020: 08:00-09:30 London King’s Cross Station 10:00-12:00 Norwich Station (organised by NOR4NOR) 11:30-12:30 London Liverpool Street Station 16:30-19:30 Bolton Station (organised by Northern Resist) Please get in touch if you’d like to organise an action at your local station and we can help promote it: email@example.com