❤UNIONS – The Big Workplace Meeting, 9 Feb 2017

heartunionsThe Big Workplace Meeting – Thursday 9 Feb

We’d love you to join Frances O’Grady and her special guest for “The Big Workplace Meeting” on Thursday 9 February, part of heartunions week. This was really popular last year and we want to get as many union branch meetings taking place simultaneously as possible on Thursday 9 February12.30pm, bringing members and potential members into workplace activities.

This is a great opportunity for union members to hear from Frances O’Grady talking about the importance of unions in the workplace and the vital role unions reps play.

What’s happening on the day?

The Big Workplace Meeting will be a short live event, broadcast to branch meetings at 12.30pm. The broadcast will answer questions about the role of unions in the modern workplace and highlight great stories from across our trade union movement.

You’ll be able to watch the live broadcast from the heartunions website

Ask Frances

This meeting is about how we build a stronger movement as well as showcase the great work of our union reps and members, so we want to hear from you.

  • Send in your own stories about how your union has helped members where you are, or how a union rep helped you. We want to hear about unions in action and any unsung union heroes out there.
  • Send in questions you have about the role of unions as our workplaces, our economy, and our changing working life.

Frances will try to include as many questions and stories as she can on the day.

If you have any questions or stories for Frances, send them into i@heartunions.org or tweet them to @iheartunions before the live event.

Let’s make this BIG

To make this a BIG workplace meeting we need you to encourage as many union members to participate on the day. Get the word out to your members by including it in your circulars, social media sites and pinning up posters on your noticeboards. To help, we have designed a publicity poster to advertise the meeting.
Download The Big Workplace Meeting poster (pdf).

Let us know

Please let us know by 7 February if your branch will be holding a workplace meeting and tuning in on 9 February so we can build up a rough idea of how many branches will be joining the Big Workplace Meeting.

You can also contact us if you’ve got any questions about the format of the event, or how to make sure your branch will be able to watch the live stream.

heartunions – i@heartunions.org

A victory for Parents and Residents over education in Barnet, a report from Jenny Brown

The pubic gadefendeducationllery was packed at Hendon Town Hall on the night of the 25th of January as residents, teachers, school governors and teaching assistants listened to the councillors question and discuss the issues.

Barnet council rejected the planning application for the Free School proposed by ARK PIONEER.

The EFA/ARK can appeal but the fact that Barnet council turned down the ARK PIONEER application for planning permission has particular reference toFree Schools in general.

The decision from Barnet shows how important it is to get involved at planning application stage and to have local councillors working with residents and resident associations.

The proposed site is in a labour ward with active hard working councillors. Conservative supporters lobbied their councillors too, so the conservative dominated planning committee was not prepared to pass this over development so near to other primary and secondary schools that have scope for expansion.

The message from Barnet is that we (parents, residents, governors and teachers) expect the recommendations and legal guidance for outside play space, safety and standards, to apply to Free Schools as they do to other buildings.

This stand from Barnet should be widely shared to empower other areas to defend themselves from Free Schools especially ARK PIONEER and their low level of education and building design.

Shortage of land for FREE SCHOOLS is no excuse for not planning additional housing along with school places and infrastructure.

Last night the EFA /applicant for ARK argued that lack of outside play space was acceptable since in some FREE SCHOOLS children play on roof tops. I think this one comment, tipped the balance against the whole project and the public were genuinely shocked.

Need for school places was especially relevant because the proposed site is green belt. The EFA and Tory councillors tried unsuccessfully to argue that although it is a site on green belt, there are officers, toilets and football stands built in the recent past. Even in leafy Barnet, air quality samples are too high and at the proposed site, Barnet Friends of the Earth found that it was high at the site.

Residents and councillors were unimpressed by the EFA offering to purchase roads, widen them and install traffic lights. which would increase air pollution from stationary vehicles at red lights.

Areas with unsound short term arrangements for schools, should let national education organisations such as CASE know.

CASE is aware of these issues for example at Kingston Community School children are in an unsafe building surrounded by main roads with no fire assembly point possible and no plan to get children to safety should there be any type of emergency. Buildings that are unsafe or unsuitable should not be accepted as schools. CASE would like to hear from anyone in the Kingston area who would like to help this particular school. Please visit the CASE website and consider joining.

Finally just to say that Barnet teachers and governors of local schools are shocked at the EFA’s proposal to miss use the education budget by spending on roads, especially at this time. Although this issue was not raised last night, as not relevant to a planning committee, nevertheless the waste of money by the Education Funding Agency is utterly unacceptable especially as the amount is enormous. CASE is working on the figures to be released soon but again please consider looking for info on CASE.

I Daniel Blake screening

16358539_10154765740641206_221928706_nBarnet UNISON is proud to be able to screen ‘I Daniel Blake’ in our local community cinema the Phoenix in East Finchley on Tuesday 28 February.

We are absolutely delighted that our long-time supporter Ken Loach has agreed to join a Q & A with DPAC’s Paula Peters, who will be interviewed by Aditya Chakraborrty senior economics commentator for the Guardian.

See flyer and poster for details.Flyer







Useful links

Phoenix Cinema – East Finchley


Accessibility at Phoenix http://phoenixcinema.co.uk/PhoenixCinema.dll/Page?PageID=3&SubListID=1&SubPageID=1

I, Daniel Blake trailers


I, Daniel Blake – Official Trailer I HD I Sundance Selects


Ken Loach: life in austerity Britain is ‘consciously cruel’


barnet_idanielblake_28Feb2017_A5_2ppAditya Chakrabortty https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/19/lives-torn-apart-assets-labour-privatisation-north-london-haringey

Download our poster here


Protest: Stop Trump’s Muslim Ban – Stop May Supporting It

16299599_1243551425738367_690766915073093102_oCalled by Stop the War Coalition, Stand Up to Racism, Muslim Association of Britain and Muslim Engagement and Development and the Muslim Council of Britain.

Trump’s ban on Muslims must be opposed by all who are against racism and support basic human rights. Theresa May’s collusion with Trump must end.

Assemble 11am Saturday 4th February at the US Embassy 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 2LQ followed by a march to Downing St.

Barnet UNISON sends solidarity & donations to grassroots members in struggle


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


Come and hear journalist Gary Younge at #StandUpToTrump meeting 6pm Tueday 31 January at UCL

Come and hear journalist Gary Younge at #StandUpToTrump meeting 6pm Tueday 31 January at UCL   
Trump’s election as President of the United States is a shocking reminder that tackling racism remains one of the key challenges in our society. Come along to hear from a range of speakers on Trump, the fight against racism we face in Britain today and how we can mobilise for the #MarchAgainstRacism.
The meeting is taking place 6pm next Tuesday 31st January Gustav Tuck Lecture Theatre, UCL Wilkins building, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT.
Speakers inlcude:
– Gary Younge, journalist and author who covered Black Lives Matter (
https:// www.theguardian.com/ profile/garyyounge)
– Shelly Asquith, NUS Vice President Welfare
– Sayeeda Ali, UCLU BME officer
– Nahella Ashraf, Stand Up to Racism (
http://www.mirror.co.uk/ news/uk-news/ muslim-woman-wearing-hijab- spat-9619685)
Public event hosted by Stand Up to Racism and UCL UCU branch. Open to all.
Event page here
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