Category Archives: Solidarity

Closure of Job Centres in the London Borough of Barnet

Closure of Job Centres in the London Borough of Barnet

Barnet UNISObarnet-unison-logo-e1462368170626N are concerned about the proposed closure of two of the four Job Centres in the Borough.  The DWP appears to have not fully considered the impact this would have on those people working in and using Job Centres, and the wider community including our members working to provide support for those seeking work.

Instead of closing Job Centres we call on the DWP to consider the benefits and opportunities of working in partnership with local Government.  The proposal shows a failure to learn from the success of existing DWP and Local Government partnerships such as the Boost project at Burnt Oak

Barnet’s population, already the size of many UK cities, will rise from 373, 000 to over 400,000 within the next decade. To reduce Job Centre services by 50% in the face of this growth illustrates a lack of strategic planning by the DWP

Reducing the number of Job Centres will place greater strains and stresses on people who already are in the difficult and worrying situation of having to find work as travel costs and waiting times will increase.

The closure of half of the Borough’s Job Centres will put further pressure on our members working in council services such as libraries and social care who are providing support to people who are out of work; our members are already suffering from additional pressures from cuts to jobs and resources.

Barnet UNISON call for a more imaginative and socially responsible approach to providing Job Centre Services in our Borough. This to be  arrived at after a  full and real consultation with Job Centre workers as represented by the PCS, service users, the Council and other concerned organisations.

Barnet Unison – Local Government branch.

Solidarity with Migrant Workers: “One day without us”

purple_ribbon20TH FEBRUARY 2017

We want to demonstrate our solidarity for our migrant colleagues:

  • By wearing a purple or green ribbon. You can also just wear something green or purple.
  • By taking solidarity selfies of you and your workmates on 20th February
  • By holding team meetings or getting together at lunchtime to talk about the positive effects of migration and filming short interviews of colleagues about who you are, what you do, where you’re from and why this issue is important to you.
  • By making a cake and organising a tea and cake session at work…

The fate of thousands of EU migrant workers in Britain is still not resolved post referendum. This adds to the thousands of other migrant workers in Britain who are feeling particularly vulnerable and subject to vilification and hatred by sections of our society and this feeling has escalated in these last month’s especially with the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA. Many racists now feel their ideas are mainstream.

We want to show them they are wrong. Workers in Barnet are not immune to these discussions and the feeling of increased vulnerability.

On 20th February we want to kick start initiatives at work which say that here, in this workplace, our migrant colleagues are welcome no matter where they come from, whatever their religion. Without those colleagues we could not continue providing the services we do. Like John F Kennedy said as a show of solidarity to the people of Berlin in 1963: “Ich bin ein Berliner”; We will all say “Ich bin ein Migrant”!

Many British colleagues have had experience of living and working in other parts of the world and so we can all say we are all migrants or have the potential to become migrants. British people continue to migrate, benefit from that experience and also contribute positively to the countries they go to.

Let us know what you plan to do on the day and we can add to this list of events and supporters: contactus@barnetunison.org.ukbarnet-unison-logo-e1462368170626

Barnet UNISON sends solidarity & donations to grassroots members in struggle

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Last week at our branch executive meeting our reps had a report on a number of grassroots struggles taking place across the UK.

I am proud to say that there was no hesitation in wanting to send solidarity messages and donations to these grassroots campaigns. Our branch has been in ongoing struggles for over a decade. We have had tremendous acts of support and solidarity from UNISON reps and members not just in the London region but right across our union. We have learnt the importance of solidarity.

I can say from experience just how valuable it is to be able to read out messages of solidarity from other grassroots members to members on picket lines. It imbues a feeling of confidence that is badly needed when you are under attack.

Here are the campaigns we sent solidarity and or sent donations.

  • Kinsley 3 campaign
  • Derby TAs
  • Durham TA’s
  • Glasgow UNISON members: IT workers and Janitors
  • Kirklees Social Workers
  • Aslef, RMT, TSSA workers
  • PCS members working at the Employment and Human Rights Office

 

John Burgess

Branch Secretary

Barnet UNISON

Against dictatorship: statement from Solidarity with the People of Turkey

The state of emergency and the so-called ‘fight against terrorism’ in Turkey has been used to silence anybody calling for peace and democracyhdp

Late last night the homes of two joint leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) were raided and both were arrested alongside 10 other MPs. Turkish police raided the Ankara home of HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş and the house of co-leader Figen Yüksekdağ in Diyarbakır.

Both leaders have been playing a key role in bringing together people of Turkish and Kurdish origin against the war mongering divisive politics of the ruling government. HDP is the third largest party in Turkish parliament, with 59 sitting MPs. MPs are usually immune from prosecution, but the HDP’s immunity was controversially lifted earlier this year.

In the aftermath of the arrests, the Government blocked all access to social media across the country (including twitter, facebook and whatsapp).

Demonstrations have begun taking place in the UK against these latest attacks, with protestors congregating outside the BBC during the early hours of last night and this morning outside Downing Street. Further protests are being planned and updates will be provided in due course.

Supporters are urged to strengthen solidarity by writing to their local MPs, to the Turkish Embassy and to the Turkish Government.

Organisations/Trade Unions/Universities are asked to issue press releases /statements condemning the latest attacks on media freedom and democratically elected MPs.

As SPOT we are calling for an end to the state of emergency and for the release of all the HDP MPs arrested last night, as well as all opposition journalists, writers and academics arrested under the recent purge on opposition media outlets

In solidarity, SPOT (Solidarity with the People of Turkey)

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