Team Momentum: Barnet Super Saturday #JezWeKhan


On Saturday 12 March, Barnet Labour Party are holding Sadiq Super Saturday and would love for you to be involved. This is a day of campaigning in the local area to try and encourage support for Sadiq on in the London Mayoral election. To support Jeremy, and in order to ensure we have a Labour Mayor in London, it’s essential that we inspire support all across the city – and what could be better than doing that whilst making friends with other like-minded people. Don’t worry if it’s your first time, as there will be experienced canvassers there to help.

Volunteers will be meeting from 2 pm, at Finchley & Golders Green Labour Office, 38 Church Lane, Barnet, London N2 8DT, and the event is scheduled to end by 4 pm


#‎Unisongate‬: “Clear as mud or perhaps not?”

‪#‎Unisongate‬: “Clear as mud or perhaps not?”

Some of you may have seen an earlier posting today, if not here is the link to it

Today NEC reps had a big meeting at Unison HQ and I know some of the NEC reps really wanted to talk about the Private Eye article.

Interestingly there have been three other articles about #UnisonGate see photo below.

I am digressing, I was hoping that common sense would prevail and our NEC reps be allowed to ask questions and seek clarification about the article.

So what happened?

I have seen a short report online here…/returning-to-subject.… from one of our NEC London region reps.

I was very surprised to read that NEC reps were told that Unison were still waiting for a report from ERS Returning Officer?

According to the Private Eye I read this morning and I quote:

“Meanwhile, the Eye asked the Electoral Reform Services (which ran the election) what had become of its investigation into the alleged “organised election abuse” arising out of the taped meeting. Complaints that union rules were breached were made to the election returning officer and scrutineer, Alex Lonie. A spokesman at ERS said complaints had been passed to Unison, which was also carrying out a disciplinary investigation.
As the emails disclose, Roger McKenzie, who is carrying out the investigation for Unison is a member of “Team Dave”. Unison is preparing a report for Mr Lonie, which would enable him to decide if the election was properly conducted. Unison would then in turn report his decision.”

I think Private Eye are clear they have been told by ERS that Unison have been handed the complaints.

If that is the case why were NEC reps being told that ERS are carrying out an investigation?

As someone who has made an internal complaint to Unison in December and have still to be interviewed and also made a complaint to ERS and chased up my complaint to ERS, I am very confused.

Is there two investigations or one?

If there are two who is conducting the investigation?

I have now written to the ERS Returning Officer named above seeking clarification as to who is doing what?

More later…………………………

John Burgess's photo.
John Burgess's photo.

‪#‎UnisonGate‬, ‪#‎EmailGate‬ is getting worse

‪#‎UnisonGate‬, ‪#‎EmailGate‬ is getting worse

Today I bought a copy of Private Eye and turned to page 38.
I refer to an article entitled “Flexible friends”

Online here…/Private-Eye-Flexible-friends-artic…

It starts with:
“Leaked emails reach the Eye providing more evidence that full time staff of Unison mobilised to get general-secretary Dave Prentis re-elected in December, making the union’s claim to be member led look increasingly questionable.”

It goes on to say:
“The emails were sent by assistant general secretary Cliff Williams in October and November. The bulk of the recipients were other Unison officials – a rough count shows 45 of 50 addresses are regional secretaries, head office staff and other union staff.”

I was also sent the emails from an anonymous source and can confirm that the most senior Unison paid officials were on the campaign mailing list.
The article then goes on to reveal:

“It may be in some cases circumstances you may be able to “circumvent” hostile branches by working with sympathetic employer contacts. I acknowledge that some colleagues may feel this is ethically inappropriate but it doesn’t breach campaign rules; it will, however, need to be done with caution.”

I find this appalling and wonder what other Unison reps and members feel when they read this? I can’t believe our union would do this, so I would hope NEC reps are given an explanation as to which employers were contacted and by whom? Are they the same employers who are attacking members and reps through cuts and privatisation?

Lastly I along with many others have been trying to elicit a response to my complaint from the Returning Officer from Electoral Reform Services, the article reveals just why I am many others have not had a response:

“Meanwhile, the Eye asked the Electoral Reform Services (which ran the election) what had become of its investigation into the alleged “organised election abuse” arising out of the taped meeting. Complaints that union rules were breached were made to the election returning officer and scrutineer, Alex Lonie. A spokesman at ERS said complaints had been passed to Unison, which was also carrying out a disciplinary investigation.”
As the emails disclose, Roger McKenzie, who is carrying out the investigation for Unison is a member of “Team Dave”. Unison is preparing a report for Mr Lonie, which would enable him to decide if the election was properly conducted.Unison would then in turn report his decision back to its members. Thus it appears “Team Dave” is effectively left to investigate itself.”

If I have understood the above correctly, ERS are not conducting any investigation into our complaints, I hope this is also discussed at the NEC meeting today.

If the emails are not genuine then I expect to hear that NEC reps who are at a meeting at Unison HQ today are briefed on Unison’s response.

However if the emails are genuine it is essential for the future of our union that all of the issues contained within the article are discussed at the meeting today.

A number of Unison reps have been calling for an independent investigation and over 800 have signed a petition…

It is important that this matter is fully investigated by someone from outside our union in order we can move on and mobilise our members for the fight against Austerity which is already decimating our lives our communities and our services.

More later

More on the background to #Unisongate click on this link here…/damning-evidence…

The audio tape can be heard here

Private Eye have written three other articles about #Unisongate here…/2995…/Private-Eye-3-articles-in-one

Lastly before forming a view, buy a copy of Private Eye read it and then decide what you think should happen next.

UNISON officials taint members election of new general secretary

Corrupt UNISON officials in the London Region who are employed by UNISON to work for us, UNISON members, have been caught on tape trying to subvert the election of a new General Secretary.

60 full time paid UNISON officials took part in a meeting in which ways to nobble the chances of the opposition, John Burgess, Heather Wakefield and Roger Bannister, were plotted.

Praise was given to these “officers” in promoting the chances of the incumbent, Dave Prentis, re-election.

if you listen to the tape it is evident the contempt these officials have for the Union and it’s membership – truly shocking.

If you feel that UNISON should be a democratic organisation answerable to its members and that corruption of this magnitude should be investigated by an independent inquiry   then please sign this petition:



This corruption has been reported by Private Eye and, most recently the Guardian






UNISON General Secretary Election – ballot papers to arrive today

John4GenSec FLYER (1)

Dear Member,

The Tories are intent on destroying our welfare state, our public services and our jobs,terms and conditions.

Like Jeremy Corbyn says:“It doesn’t have to be this way” – there is an alternative to austerity.

But it’s going to take a fight. UNISON needs to punch our weight. But all too often– on pensions, on pay and on cuts –we haven’t. This election is your chance to vote for change,for: Someone to truly stand up for members; A rank and file member facing the same problems as you; A workers’ leader on a worker’s wage.

Unlike other candidates I have a proven track record, as Branch Secretary of Barnet UNISON, of organising real resistance to Tory attacks,in Maggie Thatcher’s backyard: •Working inclusively with trade unions and community groups; building coordinated action with National Gallery and Bromley strikers on Osborne’s budget day and with Care UK strikers;

• Holding back full privatisation by a flagship Tory council for seven years and retaining national pay;

•Defending facility time – so union reps can support you at work;

•Winning the Living Wage for low paid members;

•Leading Teaching Assistants and Nursery Nurses to win amongst the best pay and conditions in schools; and

•The highest recruiting branch in our region this year.

We can’t continue with the same approach at the top in UNISON. I urge you to vote for real change.

Best wishes,

John Burgess


John4GenSec FLYER (1)shadowchancellor

John Burgess standing for general secretary of UNISON


John Burgess, Branch Secretary of Barnet UNISON LG will be standing for the position of UNISON General Secretary.

Barnet Trades Council collectively and unanimously endorse his candidacy.

John has long been a driving force and figurehead in our community campaigns.

He brings his knowledge, innovative and resourceful thinking, energy, drive and leadership to our community and is an inspiration to all who come into contact with him.

UNISON, under his stewardship, will become an inclusive, campaigning union that members sorely need.

John would stand against the Austerity-Lie, fight injustice and inequality with the burning passion that he has brought to our community campaigns and champion the rights of workers the precariat and the dispossessed.

Good Luck John we support you 100% 



John Burgess



Labour Leadership Election

Barnet Trades Union Council – Statement in regard to the Labour Leadership Election

At the Barnet Trades Union Council meeting held on the 13th of August it was unanimously agreed to endorse and support Jeremy Corbyn’s candidature for Leader of the Labour Party.

Jeremy has proved an avid supporter of numerous community and Trade Union campaigns in Barnet over the years, and we believe that as Labour Party Leader that he will continue to support community issues and workers’ rights.

Jeremy stands for true Labour values and is committed to improving the economic and social conditions of working people, including seeking improvements to the social services, public education, housing and health and the creation of a fairer society.

Jeremy is the only Labour Leadership candidate who is opposed to the Neo – Liberal dogma of austerity. Barnet Trades Council are proud to give Jeremy our support and urge all members of our community to do likewise.




Register to vote in the Labour Leadership Election

Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader

We now have just 24 hours left to recruit new members and supporters to vote in the leadership election.
I am asking you to approach 5 of your friends, family or co-workers, who share our values to join up before noon tomorrow (Wednesday).
It couldn’t be easier – please ask them to either:

Signing up in any of these categories will give you a vote, but must be done before noon on Wednesday.

Just forward on this email or share this link on social media:

Please only ask people to sign up if they support the aims and values of the Labour Party, and are not a supporter of any organisation opposed to it.

John Burgess for UNISON General Secretary

John Burgess for UNISON General Secretary

I have been fortunate enough to have held the post of Branch Secretary for Barnet UNISON for 13 years and during the last seven years we have been organising our fight against a mass outsourcing ideology which now calls itself a “Commissioning Council.”

The last seven years have provided me with a ‘coal face’ experience of organising a broad based community campaign with limited resources. Despite the odds we have managed to maintain a positive approach to these serious challenges. Our branch has learnt from other branches and embraced innovative ways to mobilise and publicise our numerous campaigns.

I know just how it feels when wave after wave of cuts and/or outsourcing land at the door of the branch office and members & reps look for a response.

I know from talking to UNISON branches across the UK just how hard it is to try and mobilise a workforce that feels powerless in the face of the ongoing austerity measures.

Since the general election our worst fears are starting to materialise. The recent Osborne budget has targeted public services for extinction and on top of that the government has submitted the Trade Union Reform Bill designed with one end – to finish off the trade union movement.

It is clear to me that the government still believes the trade unions are their final obstacle to ending public services.

We have a government committed to the destruction of our National Health Service and all our public services. This is also a government ruthlessly committed to dividing and ruling the working class by encouraging racism, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant prejudice. I believe that UNISON must stand against this Government, in support of public services and equality and against all forms of discrimination.

The odds may not seem good, and perhaps that is because our union has not yet woken up to the potential that exists amongst the rank and file activists within UNISON. But I genuinely believe we have great talent and experience within our union to organise a positive and coordinated successful response to the austerity agenda.

We know that austerity hits women hardest of all – as the Union with around a million women members, UNISON has to organise our members to hit back.

We are organising in a world which is very different from when UNISON first emerged and our union needs to change, and change quickly, if we are going to be able to defend our members and public services. One of things that needs to change quickly is to encourage branches to talk to each other and share experiences to become more effective.

I believe the experience of this year’s UNISON conferences, including the recalled Local Government UNISON conference, and the incredible numbers of people who turned out to the June Anti-Austerity demo show that a large number of our activists understand we are living in desperate times.

One example of this quickly changing mood is the Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leadercampaign – it has captured the mood across the country showing that people have had enough of the politics of despair and really believe that there is an alternative to austerity.

Organise or die

It is the simple realisation that if we do not organise now, very many of us will not be around in the next couple of years, nor will the services we are so passionate about. Public services are buckling under the strain of continued austerity attacks and the communities we are part of, and which we serve, are suffering. The Tories have declared war on the public sector and on working class people in general. I believe this means our union has to radically change its tack – we need to start telling the Labour Party what we want and, while as a Labour Party member this is something I have been doing locally, we need to do more of it nationally.

From my experience of fighting for our members in Barnet I know we need to fight back seriously when we are under attack. We need to do the same thing nationally – not just call a token day’s strike and then back down. UNISON hasn’t done as well for its members as it should have in the last five years – as a General Secretary with experience at the sharp end at branch level I will give a stronger lead.

I want to increase the confidence of our lay activists to lead the campaigns we need by releasing the support and resources they need.

It is patently clear branches need more resources and in particular a greater share of the subscriptions. Branches need to have the resources to be able respond to the relentless assaults on our members in the workplace & the attacks on facility time and office accommodation costs.

We also need a change in culture in terms of support. We need to look at what we can do for branches rather than what we can’t do.

In Barnet I am used to fighting and organising against the odds, building alliances with our community and across other trade unions.

I want to encourage and promote a coordination of fight backs where possible, both within our union and with other unions and campaigns. In Barnet we were able to do this with Bromley UNITE and UNISON and the PCS at the National Gallery so that in spite of our separate issues we all came out on strike on Osborne’s budget day.

With a hostile Government encouraging rogue employers to victimise our activists, UNISON also needs to stand up for our people like never before. As a General Secretary who knows what it is like on the front line, I will make sure UNISON uses all its strength to defend every activist facing victimisation.

This is why I believe we need to elect a UNISON lay rep for this challenge which is why I am standing as a candidate for UNISON general secretary.

Click here to see who is supporting John Burgess, and contact us to add your name.

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