Barnet UNISON Press Release: UNISON confirms 24 hour strike on 8 July
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 02/07/2015 – 10:05
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Barnet UNISON confirms 24 hour strike on 8 July
Barnet UNISON members who still work for Barnet Council (excluding community schools) will begin a 24 hour strike action on Wednesday 8 July
The dispute involves coach escorts, drivers, social workers, occupational therapists, schools catering staff, education welfare officers, library workers, children centre workers, street cleaning & refuse workers, all of whom have made it clear they want to remain employees of the Barnet Council.
North London Business Park, 7 am start
Mill Hill Depot, 6 am start
East Finchley Library, 9 am start
Lobby of Parliament
Barnet UNISON will be joining other trade unions and disability rights campaigners on a lobby of Parliament in defence of Public Services and Trade Union rights on 8 July, assemble at 1 pm in Parliament Square, (opposite Westminster Abbey).
UNISON Branch Secretary John Burgess said: “Our members want to work for the Council, they want to be directly accountable to the residents of Barnet. Our members don’t want to work for an employer which will have to place the shareholders’ legal demands before local residents’ needs. Our members don’t want to work for an employer which uses zero hours contracts. Our members don’t want to work for an employer which will not pay the London Living Wage as a basic minimum. Our members don’t want to work for an employer which won’t allow their colleagues to belong to their Pension Scheme, and our members don’t want to work for an employer which will take jobs out of the borough. That’s why 87% of our members working for the Council voted ‘Yes’ to taking strike action. So far the Council has failed to come close to agreeing to any one of these demands. One of our members has written and produced a music campaign video called “The easyCouncil Loco-motion” which pretty much sums up the mood of our members take a look here https://youtu.be/Wi0bdgofsmM”
Contact details: John Burgess Barnet UNISON on 07738389569 or 0208 359 2088 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Six years ago Barnet Council introduced a policy known asFuture Shape which morphed into ‘easyCouncil’*.This imposed a series of tariffs on residents wishing to access a range of services. A basic service would be offered to residents at a fixed price, but ‘fast track’ services might be available if you paid extra.
This approach was quickly abandoned by the consultant driven One Barnet Programme, which led to the following Council Services being outsourced/privatised in the space of three years:
- Social Care for Adults with disabilities to Your Choice Barnet
- Housing Options to Barnet Homes
- Parking Services to NSL
- Revenues & Benefits, IT, HR & Payroll, Pensions, Health & Safety, Finance, Estates, Property Services, Procurement, Projects all now part of Capita CSG
- Environmental Health, Planning, Building Control, Hendon Cemetery & Crematorium, Highways, Trading Standards & Licensing all now Capita RE
- Legal Services
- Registrars & Nationality Services
- Music Trust
- Public Health
- Mortuary Services.
Over the past three years our members have seen hundreds of colleagues transferred to other employers. This has often meant redundancy as the new employer has moved jobs out of the borough and Greater London to places as far afield as Belfast, Carlisle, Coventry, Southampton and Darlington.
Barnet has branded this final phase as the ‘Commissioning Council’.
On 3 March 2015 Barnet Council agreed its next Five Commissioning Plans all of which are looking at ‘Alternative Delivery Models’, jargon for working for a different employer.
The Council Services now at risk of outsourcing are:
- Early Years – 13 Children’s Centres
- Library Services
- Adults & Communities services
- Street Scene Services e.g. Waste & Recycling, Street Cleansing, Parks and Transport
- Education & Skills and School Meals services.
- Disappearing Council – short animation https://youtu.be/YQ5t63fSu-s
- “The easyCouncil Loco-motion” https://youtu.be/Wi0bdgofsmM