Tues 29th Jan 2019 5.00pm: (sharp) Demonstration opposite Parliament (Old Palace Yard, SW1P 3JY) 6.30pm: Rally in the Houses of Parliament London Underground’s 3000 cleaners have been outsourced to global contractor ABM. Despite working unsocial hours, in dirty and hazardous conditions, our cleaners are being treated less favourably compared to other workers directly employed by London Underground.
That means inferior sick pay, holidays, pensions and travel facilities
On top of this the cleaning workforce is set to be cut by a third from 3000 to 2000, piling the pressure on these hard-pressed workers. RMT is holding a demo and rally at Parliament to demand: • No Cleaning Job Cuts • Equal Conditions with London Underground workers • Bring all cleaning work in-house. Please show solidarity with our cleaning members on 29th January
A Stop the War activist meeting is being held on 30 January at 7pm in the Leslie Foster Suite, Friends House Euston NW1 2BJ.
The assassination of Iranian General Soleimani by Trump brought us to the precipice of another Middle Eastern war. Although the immediate crisis has passed we still need to put maximum pressure on our government as the situation in the Middle East remains critical.
It is clear that at any moment, either by accident or design, the Americans could lead us into a war with Iran. Such a war would have devastating repercussions throughout the region. We need to be ready to act at a moment’s notice to prevent this slide to war.
Please come along to this meeting and help us to plan the next stage in our campaign.
5,159 people (82%) opposing the Council’s plan to charge £70 a year for
collecting garden waste, the Tories forced this through at Environment
Committee last night (quelle surprise). But please do keep supporting
local residents by getting friends and
family to sign our petition. In 72 hours it reached over 2,000
signatures, so we could quite easily get to 7,000 and force a Full
Council debate on this to try and stop it.
The roots of resistance exist, say campaigners, but they need to be strengthened into a movement
is one thing of which there can be little doubt: a Tory government with
a substantial Commons majority will face the labour movement with
their first weeks in office Boris Johnson’s Tories have already broken
up picket lines, stripped workers’ rights out of the Brexit bill, and
designated climate protestors as terrorists.
one should imagine that there isn’t more of this to come. But neither
should we think that a Commons majority is the same as popular support
Tories won with the same kind of numbers that voted Labour in 2017. But
they got more MPs because it takes on average just 38,000 votes to
elect a Tory MP and 50,000 votes to elect a Labour MP.
The roots of resistance exist. But they need to be strengthened into a movement.
People’s Assembly is very pleased that Laura Pidcock, one of the most
powerful and effective voices in the labour movement, has committed
herself to our campaign to rebuild resistance to the Tories.
is real potential here’, says Laura, ‘if we campaign hard over workers’
rights, climate change, and rebuilding the services working class
communities need. There is no reason why we can’t defeat Boris Johnson
and most importantly the hard-right ideas he represents, building a case
for a different political system and then making that happen
while there are several theories out there about why Labour lost,
almost no one argues that Labour’s radical economic and welfare policies
were unpopular with voters.
People’s Assembly believes that we have the resources and the
willingness to mount the kind of fightback that working class
communities desperately need. But that needs the whole of the working
class movement and the left to unite together.
unions, social movements, climate activists, Labour Party members and
socialists…we all need to regroup, reorganise, and re-root ourselves
in the communities from which we come.
aim is to link major mobilisations against the Tories with local work
that aims to rebuild the presence of trade unions and social movements
in local communities.
need to sustain the broad vision of social transformation that has
characterised the movement in the last four years but fight to reconnect
it with a wider base of activists and supporters in every town and city
throughout the country.
We hope you think that this is the right strategy for times that will test our mettle.
We certainly can’t hope to make progress without your support. So please do support our work financially by donating here. But most of all forward this newsletter and ask people to sign up to keep in touch and join us in action.
Please do get in touch to tell us about your local campaigns and to
discuss how links with The People’s Assembly can be developed at
As part of the Justice for Cleaners campaign, RMT is fighting to end the outsourcing of cleaning work on London’s Underground and Overground rail networks.
As part of work to develop his
Manifesto for re-election as London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has launched a policy
consultation which is open to all for responses.
RMT is asking members in London to
respond to this consultation by sending a model form of words calling on Sadiq
Khan to end the outsourcing of cleaning work and bringing these cleaners into
Transport for London.
The consultation closes on 31
January. Please help us build our campaign by responding to the consultation
today here, using our suggested text:http://bit.ly/35TmatQ
Come and stand with Marsh Drive Residents and demand that they get re-housed with safe, decent homes with secure tenancies. Residents of Marsh Drive on the West Hendon Estate have been served notice to quit; they have not been told where they will be moved to or if they will be given secure tenancies. Barnet Council refuse to admit that residents are being moved early because the building is unfit for human habitation!
Monday, January 27, 2020 at 6:30 PM
Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, NW4 4BH London, United Kingdom
Council fails to produce agreed feasibility report on cost of LLW
Tory Council Leader describes care workers and trade unionists as “a Labour mob”
Barnet’s Conservative councillors have rejected a Labour Group motion for former Fremantle care workers to be paid at least the London’s Living Wage of £10.75 an hour – the level of pay identified as the minimum needed to cover the cost of essentials when living in London.
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings, put forward the motion at last night’s Policy & Resources Committee (6 Jan) after the Conservative Council failed to produce a feasibility study setting out the cost of paying the care workers London’s Living Wage. There was cross-party agreement at the last committee (3 Oct) to bring the feasibility study to last night’s meeting.
Care workers attending the Policy & Resources meeting yesterday reacted with dismay to Council claims that they couldn’t produce the report because it was too complicated to calculate the cost in the last 3 months. Conservative Leader of the Council, Dan Thomas responded by branding them “a Labour mob”.
The care workers were transferred to The Barnet Group (TBG) – a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnet Council – under TUPE rules after the Fremantle Trust handed over the running of its three Barnet care homes to TBG in April last year.
Since then, the care workers, their trade union – Barnet Unison – and Labour councillors have been campaigning for them to be paid at least London’s Living Wage, which is the policy of The Barnet Group. All other Barnet Group staff are paid at least London’s Living Wage, including other care workers already employed by them.
Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: “It is the moral duty of the Council to ensure that all its staff – including those working in The Barnet Group and in contracted-out services – are paid at least the minimum to be able to cover the basic essentials of living in London.
“It is the Council’s policy to pay directly employed staff at least London’s Living Wage and it is also The Barnet Group’s policy, so they really need to find the funding to do this straight away.
“We cannot condone the Council and The Barnet Group paying poverty wages; and there cannot be a two-tiered workforce where those doing work of equivalent value are on unequal pay.
“It was shameful that the Conservatives refused to support paying London’s Living Wage to those who do some of the most sensitive work to support our most vulnerable residents.
“The Council have said they will come up with the feasibility figures at some point in the future, but will probably do nothing until July. My concern is that they will wait until the protected TUPE period is over and then seek to outsource the care workers again.
“The Labour Group will oppose any further outsourcing of care workers, and continue to press the case for all directly employed and contracted out staff to be paid at least London’s Living Wage.”
Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, is warning that London
could face gridlock if exhausted bus drivers take industrial action
later this year.
Unite will begin a consultative ballot of over 20,000 members
employed as London bus drivers later this month and, provided a yes vote
is secured, a full industrial action ballot will then follow.
Unite is demanding that London bus operators and Transport for London
(TfL) take decisive action to tackle chronic levels of fatigue being
experienced by bus drivers.
Unite is sharply critical of individual bus operators who have
suggested that the solution is simply about ensuring drivers get more
Unite is instead demanding a revolution in how bus driving is
scheduled to ensure that drivers can finish on time, are able to utilise
all of their breaks, work to proper schedules, have enough running time
to complete their journey, are treated with respect and receive proper
Since the publication of the Loughborough report, TfL has attempted
to deflect responsibility for the fatigue being suffered by bus drivers
and has said that it is the responsibility of individual bus operators
to resolve the situation. Unite believes this position is entirely
Unite regional officer John Murphy said: “London bus
drivers have had enough; they are permanently fatigued and at risk of
being a danger to other road users, bus passengers and themselves.
“Unite will shortly be conducting a consultative ballot
and provided our members endorse industrial action, strikes will follow
later this year unless action is taken to ensure that the problems
causing chronic fatigue for our members are resolved.
“TfL cannot simply sweep this problem under the carpet.
It must act decisively and stop trying to pass the problem onto bus
operators who have consistently failed to resolve the issue and have
instead allowed it to worsen.
“For the last 25 years bus operators have been failing to deal with this problem. Unite members are saying enough is enough.”
Over the past decade one thing Barnet
UNISON is in agreement with Barnet Council is that the London Living
Wage is the lowest rate of pay for its staff and those working on
Within the Barnet Group the
minimum rate of pay for staff in Barnet Homes, TBG Flex (The Barnet
Group Flex) and Your Choice Barnet is the London Living Wage – including
posts which become vacant within the ex-Fremantle homes.
After a settling in period for the TUPE
Fremantle staff Barnet UNISON raised in discussions with the employer
the issue of paying these staff the London Living Wage as the lowest
level of pay. We believe these staff should be treated no differently to
other staff working for Barnet Council or on its outsourced contracts.
Barnet UNISON notes the decision
regarding a discussion about implementing the London Living Wage for
Fremantle TUPE transferred staff to Your Choice Barnet at the Policy and
Resources Committee 3rd October 2019 is recorded in the draft minutes as:
“Following discussion on the London
Living Wage for Fremantle staff who had been TUPE transferred to Your
Choice Barnet the Chairman agreed to an item on the feasibility being
brought back to the next Committee. This would be included in the
Business Planning report”
In response to this request from
Councillors the Business Planning Report dedicates a mere 2 paragraphs
which is listed under “Risks to the MTFS”
Fremantle Care workers (London Living Wage):
Former Fremantle staff were TUPE transferred to YCB in July 2018 under
the agreement that terms and conditions would be protected for 1 year.
Some former Fremantle care workers that have been transferred to the
Barnet Group may be being paid less than the London Living Wage (£10.75
per hour (as at Nov 2019)). The Barnet Group policy is to pay all its
workers at least the London Living Wage, subject to affordability, and a
HR process is now required to review any changes to terms and
conditions which will need to be considered.
Any decision about changes to terms
and conditions will need to be considered in the context of the overall
pay and reward strategy for the Barnet Group, employment policies and
legislation, the wider social care market and the council’s procurement
rules. It is not yet possible to quantify the level of risk associated
as it is too early to form a conclusion about the application of the
LLW to TUPE staff. However, officers in the Barnet Group supported by
council colleagues where necessary will be working on this over the
coming months and can provide further update to the committee in the
These two paragraphs responding to the
Committee’s request in no way reflects the response Barnet UNISON or the
care workers were expecting. We had expected a detailed report
detailing the cost implications for implementing the London Living Wage.
Instead this response kicks the question into the long grass.
This is absurd as all new
vacancies in the ex-Fremantle homes are advertised as paying the London
Living Wage as a minimum. These posts are open to existing Fremantle
staff to apply for those posts. This means that incrementally at least
some of these staff working in these homes will be all be employed on
the London Living Wage. This fact is not even listed in the 2 paragraphs
written by the officers. This means this risk is already a reality and
yet it is not mentioned or evaluated. No turnover rates are mentioned.
Is it ironic that a credible option for the ex-Fremantle staff to en
masse resign from their posts and then to reapply for posts in the new
homes which would have to be offered at the London Living Wage?
The report in no way reflects the request
made of the Committee to the officers. A “feasibility” was requested
not the “risks”. Furthermore the Councillors are asked to believe that
the officers are incapable of quantifying the “level of risk” associated
with “the application of the LLW to TUPE staff.”
Barnet UNISON can be of assistance to the
officers and councillors in understanding some of the implications by
revealing the inaccuracy of the sentence: “Some former Fremantle care workers […] may be being paid less than the London Living Wage”. (Our italics)
TUPE information from Fremantle in May/ June 2019 revealed that just under 300 staff were TUPE transferred. Of these, according to the figures given for the job titles and the rates of pay quoted for those job titles, some two thirds were listed as being paid below the London Living Wage. In total these were 222 staff. The largest group are the care workers which total some 143 workers and are nearly half of the ex-Fremantle workforce.
Care work is a physically demanding role
as well as an emotionally demanding role. Yet according to the TUPE
transfer information 161 members of staff are aged 55 years and over and of these 40 are aged 66 years and over. By contrast the numbers of staff aged under 40 years are 76.
There is a risk in not paying the London Living Wage as this report demonstrates:
In the Care industry there is a
national turnover rate of 38% for those working less than one year in
the field (p.13). It shows that those who are paid more are less likely
to leave their roles.
“Turnover at regulated services
that were rated overall as either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’, turnover was
found to be lower (29.5%) than those rated as ‘requires improvement’ or
‘inadequate’ (32.2%). This trend remained consistent across
each Key Line of Enquiry (KLOE) with an average difference of 2.7%. The
largest difference in turnover was shown for the ‘Safe’ KLOE which had
3.4% lower turnover at providers rated positively.” (p.118)
Continuity is an important factor in
delivering quality care and support to our most vulnerable residents.
There are associated costs in constantly recruiting and inducting new
members of staff. These can result in reputational and safeguarding
Barnet UNISON strives to work with both
the Council and quasi outsourced employers, such as the Barnet Group, in
continuing to promote harmonious industrial relations and to provide a
high level of service for our customers. This may, potentially, be put
in jeopardy if the decision is not to value monetarily the important
role that care workers perform.
These factors should be of importance to
this Committee and to Councillors in general and should be taken more
seriously than the response to the request from Council officer’s shows.
The assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani is an act of war by
Donald Trump. The act was carried out in Baghdad, violating all
agreements with the Iraqi government. Trump has further threatened
attacks on 52 Iranian targets, including cultural sites. Iran has said
it will retaliate, and there is huge opposition to this action both in
Iran and Iraq, where the parliament has voted for US troops to leave.
Trump has been heading for war since tearing up the nuclear deal with
Iran and if he succeeds will create a bigger war than we have seen in
the Middle East. It will draw in major players across the region
including Israel, Saudi Arabia and possibly Russia.