Category Archives: Trade Union

Trade Union Courses at the College of Haringey Enfield and North East London

TUC 10 Day courses

·        Union Learning Reps Certificate                 10 Mondays from 25 Sep 2017  

·        Union Reps Stage 1 Certificate                  10 Tuesdays from 26 Sep 2017

·        Health & Safety Stage 1 Certificate            10 Wednesdays from 27 Sep 2017

·        Employment Law Certificate                       10 Thursdays from 28 Sep 2017 

·        Next Steps for Safety Reps Certificate       10 Fridays from 29 Sep 2017

Venue: College of Haringey Enfield and North East London, Tottenham Centre N15 4RU

Times: 9.30am -4.30pm

Apply directly via the following website:

Trade Union Studies at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London

There is a new list of TUC courses that are being delivered in Essex and London next term, by the Trade Union Education Department of the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CoNEL).

Course Title

Start Date

End Date



Chelmsford – Health and Safety Stage 1 Certificate



10 Wednesdays


Union Learning Reps



5 Mondays


Union Reps Stage 1 Certificate



10 Tuesdays


Health and Safety Stage 1 Certificate



10 Wednesdays


Employment Law Certificate (Union Reps Stage 2)



10 Thursdays


Health and Safety Stage 2 (Next Steps) Certificate



10 Fridays


 As you may be aware, the government has attacked the funding that is available for trade union education, reducing it by 50% this year and potentially to nothing from August 2017. However, currently we are still able to offer free courses, so there is still an opportunity to take advantage of this. Unfortunately, this may be your last chance.

If you, or any of your colleagues would like to apply for any of these courses, you can do so online at . If you have any issues applying online, please give us a call on 020 8442 3075 with your email address and we can send you an application form. 


image004London May Day 2017 is taking place in London on Monday May 1st. We are building on the great success of 2016 and want to make this year the biggest yet. This year we will be joined by John McDonnell.

May Day is part of the struggles against the attacks on jobs, pay & conditions in the public and private sectors; against attacks on public services including health & education; against the repressive anti-union laws.

To make this a successful event May Day needs your backing. Needs your financial support.

Each year we have to meet rising costs to maintain this day for the working class, for ordinary people. It is trade unions that ensure this historic day is celebrated.

London May Day has to raise £8500 to cover the event, for such item as the PA system, publicity, PLI, march banners and all the other aspects of May Day. We hope you can donate to May Day.

Cheques should be made out to London May Day Organising Committee (or LMDOC)

Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, CR0 IBD

Or directly to the account – LMDOC  A/C 59070104 – Sort Code 08-02-28 – Cooperative Bank.

Solidarity with London Underground Station Staff!

holt-logoLondon Underground station staff will be taking strike action from 6pm this Sunday to 6pm the following Monday, after talks between the RMT and TSSA unions over the unacceptable conditions that have been left behind after eight years of cuts, closures and neglect by the previous Tory mayor, Boris Johnson.

As the RMT have put it in an excellent leaflet to the public:

  • 838 Job Cuts have left stations without sufficient staff to operate safely and effectively.
  • The tube is reliant on staff working overtime on rest days.
  • An overtime ban by station staff has led to over 80 station closures in just over a month. This proves LU has cut too many jobs.
  • LU is wasting money to cover gaps in the properly trained workforce with hastily briefed managers who get paid three times the normal pay rate of station staff.
  • While mangers get huge payments the starting pay rate for station staff has been cut by 25%.

The crisis on the tube’s stations is a result of the fantastically misnamed ‘Fit for the Future’ project.
Reason, safety considerations, providing a service for passengers and staff welfare have all been ignored by senior management, who have driven through massive staffing cuts across the network. Many stations are now staffed by one person around the clock. This means that as soon as that member of staff is dealing with an issue there is no-one available to help you.  At busier stations staffing has also been cut. Ticket offices were closed but on the vast majority of stations no additional staff are available in ticket halls to help you on self-service machines.

The Only unsubsidised Metro System in the World

If the government, London Mayor and Transport for London get their way London Underground will be the only system of its kind to operate without a government subsidy. Both New York Subway and Paris Metro receive significant government support. London Underground needs to be financed as a public service.

If you can make it to a London Underground picket line on Monday morning, please go and show your support!

342rmtlogo-554 tssa2

Trade Union Courses at College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London


As you may be aware, the government has attacked the funding that is available for trade union education, reducing it by 50% this year and then to nothing from August 2017. However, currently we are still able to offer free courses, so there is still an opportunity to take advantage of this. Unfortunately, this may be your last chance.

The leaflet is here: tu-ed-course-flyer-2017

 If you are interested (or know any colleagues who may be interested) in attending any of the courses on offer, then please apply online at or contact the trade union education department at CoNEL on 020 8442 3075 or email at

Climate Refugees, The Climate Crisis & Population Displacement: Building A Trade Union & Civil Society Response

National Conference

Saturday 11th February 2017


NUT Conference Centre Hamilton House, Mabledon Place Euston, London climate

Over 140 million people have been forced to move in recent years because of climate change disasters – droughts, harvest failures and devastating storms. Our warming planet is driving massive long-term environmental damage and sudden catastrophes. The UN says environmental refugees could reach 300million people by mid-century. This conference from the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group aims to dispel refugee myths, work on a new Protocol for the international protection of those affected by climate change, raise demands for stronger action, and agree a climate refugees campaign statement.
Expert Contributions from:

  • Prof Joanna Haigh (Grantham Institute at Imperial College)
  • Asad Rehman (FoE)
  • Clara Paillard (PCS)
  • Amjad Abdulla (Alliance of Small Island States tbc)
  • Dave Green (FBU)
  • Sharan Burrow (ITUC, tbc)
  • Wilf Sullivan (TUC)
  • Zak Cochrane (Stand Up To Racism), NUT, PSI
  • Zita Holbourne (PCS)
  • Jonathan Neale (Global Climate Jobs)
  • Suzanne Jeffery (Campaign Against Climate Change)
  • and more.

Four Workshops on:

  1. Unions and campaigns for climate jobs.
  2. Raising awareness of climate change impacts at national and global level.
  3. Unions and campaign groups challenging xenophobia and hostility to refugees and migrants.
  4. Joint work to draft a new Protocol for the international protection of those affected by climate change.

More information:

Supporters so far: Campaign Against Climate Change, FBU, TSSA, CWU, PCS, NUT, Stand Up to Racism and other unions and environmental campaigns.

Barnet UNISON oppose the Council plans for Libraries

British Library, Kings Cross. March to protest about cuts to libraries, museums and the arts. Barnet Unison were on the march along with striking Barnet library staff. 05/11/16  BP AMS

The Council may not plan to close any libraries in the short or mid-term but what is being proposed will reduce their quality, accessibility and  safety and to closures in the long term,

The Council are proposing to cut the staffing budget by 46%.

This means that around 30 library workers are now learning they will lose their jobs. These are men and women who have given years and sometimes decades of service to the people of Barnet.

This is poor reward to a workforce who have consistently achieved percentage scores in the high 90’s for good public satisfaction.

Such a cull of the library workers means that libraries will only be staffed for 30% of the opening times at the most.  The Council claiming that self-service machines and to a less extent volunteer are adequate replacements.


The Council are relying on technology to control access to libraries.

People will swipe their library cards through an automatic gate to gain access during these times.

But under 15 years olds unaccompanied by an adult won’t be able to do this. So young people access to our libraries are being severely curtailed.


Leaving libraries unstaffed will put those using them at risk.

Monitored CCTV with a response time of thirty minutes is not a sufficient replacement for having staff on site who can prevent incidents escalating and who can respond immediately to emergencies.


But not only are human assets of the libraries being lost, the physical space is too.

Barnet libraries are to lose between 15 to 90% of their space.  This means fewer items to borrow. Less space for computers and less space to host events such as story times or author events.


The people of Mill Hill, East Barnet, South Friern and Childs Hill will not even have the limited access library service available in the rest of the borough. Their libraries are to be handed over to voluntary groups, who will only be obliged to open for 15 hours a week.


The Council justify the wrecking of Barnet Library Service by a claimed need to save money.  The intention being to reduce the library budget by 1.6 million pounds by 2019/20.


Yet the Council originally allocated over 6 and a half million pounds to restructure the library service. Recently we have learned that over 14 million pounds are to be spent on library procurements in the next financial year. This is a lot of money to be spent on reducing the assets, efficiency, accessibility and safety of a service.


These changes will lead to a decline in use.


Why would you use a library that won’t have the books you want, where no help will be available, not enough computers available, where there will be no room to sit and study and where you will feel unsafe?


Barnet UNISON hope that this decline will not be used as an excuse by the present administration to close libraries a few years from now.

Instead we ask that the Council withdraw the plans for restructure and to engage in real consultation with library staff at all levels, and the people of Barnet on how to provide a Library service fit for the 21st Century.”

“Unsafe & Unsustainable”- Barnet UNISON speech to Barnet Councillors

barnet-unison-logo-e1462368170626The following speech was delivered to General Functions Committee,
on Tuesday 6th December at 7pm in Hendon Town Hall

“Dear members of the committee

I addressing you as both the branch secretary of Barnet UNISON, but also speaking as a service user of mental health services, indeed without the support I was given and the ongoing support I still receive today there is a strong likelihood I may not of been speaking to you this eveningjohn-t-shirt

It is also worth noting much quoted statistic that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

I therefore speak not only as a worker but from personal experience of using mental health services.

I also want to make this point that I believe is often missed by elected members. I speaking to you all as employers not politicians. It is as an employer I am wanting to address our members, your staff concerns about the proposal before the committee this evening.

Firstly, I can confirm we are not opposed to the staff being brought back into the Council and we are fully supportive of the proposed social care model of intervention.

However when travelling across the borough it is impossible not to see the number of housing developments; and with it the increase in population; and with that the increased need for schools, NHS provision, social services to name but a few public services.

It is therefore highly dangerous to be proposing to cut Mental Health services at a time when the population is growing.

It is our view that the proposed cut of mental health social workers coupled with the increase in responsibilities will NOT lead to a safer service for service users, families and carers.

Barnet UNISON is extremely concerned about the reduction of social workers and the introduction of Assessment Enablement Officers (AEO).

In mental health staff are working with extremely complex and high risk individuals in situations where you need qualified experienced and knowledgeable staff.

Currently mental health social workers have significantly high caseloads (which includes the work connected to their statutory responsibilities in their Approved Mental Health Practitioner roles.

The cut in social workers will lead to greater pressure upon an already pressured staff group increasing the risk of more Serious Untoward Incidents (SUI) happening.

You will no doubt have been briefed that the Council is not making any social workers redundant, which is true; and you will have been told that the new proposal to replace qualified social workers with AEO’s will provide a better service.

With respect this premise is nonsense.

The proposal to cut mental health social workers is directly driven by NEED.

However, not by the NEEDS of service users and carers, but by the NEED to make Austerity cuts.

Lessons learnt

I would like to remind the committee that it was only two years ago when I addressed this same committee about the now infamous Family Services restructure. At that meeting I tried to convince members of the committee to extend the period of consultation as I was concerned the changes had been driven through in haste and that I feared there would be consequences for the service and the staff.  Unfortunately the committee chose accept the advice of senior officers who are now no longer working for the council. However I can report that the restructure had to be revisited as I predicted, there was a high turnover of experienced social work staff which then resulted in the recruitment crisis you now have in children’s social work.


Sometimes it is worth listening to UNISON.


We’ve been here before 18th February this year, Adults brought a similar proposal to cut social work posts, and use non-professionally qualified workers.

My members, your staff, describe feeling they are “flying by the seat of their pants”

The rationale put before this committee for cutting social work posts was that new Capita IT database “Mozaic” would deliver efficiencies. Well 10 months later this is not happening because “Mozaic”, once again has been pulled. There have been so many false starts with Mozaic if they had been a sprinter they’d have been disqualified from the Olympics by now.


Consultancy spend

I want members to take a look at agency/consultants spend.

Last year the council spent £18.2 million on agency/consultants. This figure is larger than the year before which was £17.9 million, which was significantly larger than the previous year which was £15.5million, which was previously larger than the previous year £13.7million which was previously larger than the previous year £12.5million.

In the last two quarters of this year the Council has already spent £13.7 million on agency/consultants which if the current pattern continues could see the Council break £20million.

It is our view that the Council needs to address this agency/consultancy uncontrollable spend in order to protect vital front line services and in this case drop the proposal to cut social work posts.


John Burgess

Branch Secretary


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