For A Better, Fairer, Democratically Accountable Barnet

Barnet UNISON has been involved with many campaigns involving the Community over the years. We do not see a contradiction between the provision of good services and good terms and conditions for the workers we represent. Our members often use the services our colleagues provide. Our key campaign has been the opposition of outsourcing which we warned would deliver inferior services to the Council, with a higher cost to residents and with less accountability for the money spent.

Unfortunately we appear to have been proven right. The following quote is from the Council’s own recent External Audit report:

“As at 31 March 2017, the Council has a prepayment balance of £44.7 million in respect of its Customer and Support Group (CSG) contract. This contract covers a number of front line and back office services including finance, ICT, HR, customer services, revenues and benefits, procurement, estates, and corporate programmes. As this is a significant prepayment, we challenged management with regard to its basis“.

Barnet UNISON has agreed policies we would like to see implemented by the next Council administration. We may alter or add to these policies and positions following discussions in the coming months.

Barnet UNISON (Local Government Branch) calls on those parties and candidates contesting the local Council election in May 2018 to support (and implement if elected) the following:

AGENCY STAFF/CONSULTANTS
End the Council’s over reliance on agency staff and consultants, replacing these with Council employees.
Review Unified Reward and consider returning to GLPC.

CARE
Adopt UNISON ethical care charter. 

COLINDALE MOVE
Address and alleviate the problems caused by the forthcoming relocation of Barnet Council and Partner organisation staff to the new Colindale Office building.

HEALTH & SAFETY
Bring all the Council’s Health & Safety responsibilities back in to in-house control and monitoring.
Review Health & Safety arrangements in the Borough.

HOUSING
TBG Flex employees to be employed on Local Government T&C’s, Pay with access to Local Government Pension Scheme.
The Barnet Group to be brought back in-house.
End short term 2 & 5 year tenancies and reintroduce secure life time tenancies for all tenants.
End or limit Right to Buy and the subletting of Right to Buy properties
Increase Council home building.
Widen the availability of social housing within the Borough.
Resource the monitoring of housing where necessary to ensure it is fit for habitation.

LIBRARIES
Restore the pre-April 2017 level of staffed opening hours, with sufficient Library workers (in numbers, qualifications and experience) and resources.
Review the use of lost Library space with a view to returning to Library use.
Bring the Partnership Libraries back in-house.
Work with all stakeholders in the Library Service to produce a strategy that will maintain and improve the quality and accessibility of Barnet Libraries.

OUTSOURCING
No more Council services to be outsourced.
Work towards bringing services already outsourced back in-house including NSL.
Review Capita and other contracts with the aim of bring services back in-house.
Ensure that while outsourcing contracts are running they are properly overseen and these services are provided to the contracted level without incurring further cost to the Council.

PAY
Support the Trade Union (UNISON, GMB, Unite) NJC PAY CLAIM 2018 – 2019
Ensure that Council, partner organisation and contractor employees are paid at least the London Living Wage.
End Performance Related Pay.

SCHOOLS
52 week contracts for TAs and other support workers.
Oppose the establishment of academies.

STREET SCENE
Instigate a search within the Borough for a site (or sites?) for a depot (depots?) suitable for all Street Scene’s long-term needs?
Commit to the retention of Street Scene services in-house.