CALL-OUT: Keep Mostafa’s family in Sweets Way, Monday, August 10, 8am, 46 Sweets Way, N20 0NT (Meet at Sweetstopia, 95 Sweets Way)


Mostafa’s family are the last remaining family on the Sweets Way estate. They have fought to stay where they are because Barnet Council have failed to provide alternative accommodation suitable to Mostafa’s physical health needs, having developed a serious disability while working as a carer three years ago.

Now they have been told that High Court bailiffs will be coming to evict the family of six on Monday morning, and we are committed to helping them stay in their homes until Barnet Council have found a truly suitable alternative accommodation for them.

In the midst of the eviction process, Barnet cut off the family’s housing benefit, leading to rent arrears, and are now using this as an excuse to avoid their duty of care to them. Both because of the Council’s horrendous treatment of Mostafa and his family, and because they are the last family standing on the estate, it is critical that we mobilise to stop this eviction!

There will be roles for people who are comfortable with different kinds of action on the day. There are always legal risks involved in stopping evictions, but we aim to make sure that everyone who is present can play a part, no matter what their level of comfort with different forms of direct action.

Regardless, we will need as many people as possible if we are to keep Mostafa in his home. Please arrive at 8am outside the gates of Sweetstopia (95 Sweets Way) for a 9am start.

DETAILS: Monday, August 10, 8am, 46 Sweets Way, London, N20 0NT (Meet at Sweetstopia, 95 Sweets Way)

John Burgess for UNISON General Secretary

John Burgess for UNISON General Secretary

I have been fortunate enough to have held the post of Branch Secretary for Barnet UNISON for 13 years and during the last seven years we have been organising our fight against a mass outsourcing ideology which now calls itself a “Commissioning Council.”

The last seven years have provided me with a ‘coal face’ experience of organising a broad based community campaign with limited resources. Despite the odds we have managed to maintain a positive approach to these serious challenges. Our branch has learnt from other branches and embraced innovative ways to mobilise and publicise our numerous campaigns.

I know just how it feels when wave after wave of cuts and/or outsourcing land at the door of the branch office and members & reps look for a response.

I know from talking to UNISON branches across the UK just how hard it is to try and mobilise a workforce that feels powerless in the face of the ongoing austerity measures.

Since the general election our worst fears are starting to materialise. The recent Osborne budget has targeted public services for extinction and on top of that the government has submitted the Trade Union Reform Bill designed with one end – to finish off the trade union movement.

It is clear to me that the government still believes the trade unions are their final obstacle to ending public services.

We have a government committed to the destruction of our National Health Service and all our public services. This is also a government ruthlessly committed to dividing and ruling the working class by encouraging racism, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant prejudice. I believe that UNISON must stand against this Government, in support of public services and equality and against all forms of discrimination.

The odds may not seem good, and perhaps that is because our union has not yet woken up to the potential that exists amongst the rank and file activists within UNISON. But I genuinely believe we have great talent and experience within our union to organise a positive and coordinated successful response to the austerity agenda.

We know that austerity hits women hardest of all – as the Union with around a million women members, UNISON has to organise our members to hit back.

We are organising in a world which is very different from when UNISON first emerged and our union needs to change, and change quickly, if we are going to be able to defend our members and public services. One of things that needs to change quickly is to encourage branches to talk to each other and share experiences to become more effective.

I believe the experience of this year’s UNISON conferences, including the recalled Local Government UNISON conference, and the incredible numbers of people who turned out to the June Anti-Austerity demo show that a large number of our activists understand we are living in desperate times.

One example of this quickly changing mood is the Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leadercampaign – it has captured the mood across the country showing that people have had enough of the politics of despair and really believe that there is an alternative to austerity.

Organise or die

It is the simple realisation that if we do not organise now, very many of us will not be around in the next couple of years, nor will the services we are so passionate about. Public services are buckling under the strain of continued austerity attacks and the communities we are part of, and which we serve, are suffering. The Tories have declared war on the public sector and on working class people in general. I believe this means our union has to radically change its tack – we need to start telling the Labour Party what we want and, while as a Labour Party member this is something I have been doing locally, we need to do more of it nationally.

From my experience of fighting for our members in Barnet I know we need to fight back seriously when we are under attack. We need to do the same thing nationally – not just call a token day’s strike and then back down. UNISON hasn’t done as well for its members as it should have in the last five years – as a General Secretary with experience at the sharp end at branch level I will give a stronger lead.

I want to increase the confidence of our lay activists to lead the campaigns we need by releasing the support and resources they need.

It is patently clear branches need more resources and in particular a greater share of the subscriptions. Branches need to have the resources to be able respond to the relentless assaults on our members in the workplace & the attacks on facility time and office accommodation costs.

We also need a change in culture in terms of support. We need to look at what we can do for branches rather than what we can’t do.

In Barnet I am used to fighting and organising against the odds, building alliances with our community and across other trade unions.

I want to encourage and promote a coordination of fight backs where possible, both within our union and with other unions and campaigns. In Barnet we were able to do this with Bromley UNITE and UNISON and the PCS at the National Gallery so that in spite of our separate issues we all came out on strike on Osborne’s budget day.

With a hostile Government encouraging rogue employers to victimise our activists, UNISON also needs to stand up for our people like never before. As a General Secretary who knows what it is like on the front line, I will make sure UNISON uses all its strength to defend every activist facing victimisation.

This is why I believe we need to elect a UNISON lay rep for this challenge which is why I am standing as a candidate for UNISON general secretary.

Click here to see who is supporting John Burgess, and contact us to add your name.

childrens march for libraries

Ok supporters & those up for fighting for public services.11042685_10153367435881206_7811155530313172416_n

This is the first & special invitation to join our

Kids4Libraries march on Saturday 12 September

Details of the route & times are in the flyer below.

The march will be divided into four blocks.

Block A will be the wonderful London Metropolitan Brass Band.

Block B will be children & families.

Block C will be Library campaigns from across the UK. If you are part of a Library campaign please come & join us & tell us about what you are doing. We need to build a strong national vibrant Library campaign.

Block D will be community campaigns & trade unions. We have the honour of the Durham Miners leading off
this block. We want to see hundreds of banners to show Solidarity for Libraries & public services.

A red bus & or Fire Engine will follow at the back of the march. This will provide transport who are unable to walk the length of the march.11737852_10153367435676206_5518402009579457023_n

Check out details of the route see below

On Twitter look out for







Local Trade Unionist Victim of Hate Crime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Local Trade Unionist Victim of Hate Crime
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 10/07/2015 – 11:57
Barnet UNISON Press Release: 10 July 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Local Trade Unionist Victim of Hate Crime 
It is with deepest anger I have to report that our Barnet UNISON branch secretary, John Burgess, had his car vandalised as it was parked up outside his own home. After the day’s activities on 8thJuly, which involved a strike and protests, John returned home to find a large note stuck on his car windshield: “Fucking Union Faggotts Get Back Home From Here!” and a nail stuck into a front wheel of his car. This came within 2 weeks of the Barnet UNISON banner, and a branch presence which of course included John, proudly appearing on the Pride Demo. It is our view this particular use of offensive language is far too coincidental for us not to understand this as an attack on John as a trade unionist and also for being seen on the Pride demo.
We also think there is a strong coincidence that our branch was a very early signatory to the Unite Against Fascism statement about the proposed Fascist gathering in Golders Green and encouraged our members to attend the protest last weekend (4th July). We are proud that we were part of a larger community mobilisation which meant Fascists could not raise their heads in our community. Fascists are organisations which peddle hatred and what happened to John is in every sense a Hate crime which has been reported to the police.
John has a job to do and that is to represent the members of his union branch. We choose him year after year as we believe he is the best placed person to do this. He enjoys the confidence of the branch membership. This means whoever did this is trying to intimidate and silence all of our membership. We will not be silenced!
We believe it is the demonisation of trade unions by the current Government which also encourages this type of personal attack on individual trade unionists. We condemn such attacks and call on our supporters to rally round and show solidarity and support to one who has done nothing other than defend us and offer solidarity to all those fighting the effects of Austerity and oppression.” Helen Davies, Branch Chair Barnet UNISON.
George Binette, branch secretary, Camden UNISON had this to say: “On behalf of Camden UNISON I express our shock and horror at the vicious homophobic vandalism carried out against John Burgess, Barnet UNISON branch secretary. This attack is a perverse tribute to the effectiveness of John’s tireless commitment to both his members and the defence of public services. Unfortunately, all too many politicians and sections of the media seem set to whip up a Jeremy Clarkson-style climate where it is literally open season on active trade unionists. Solidarity with John and the Barnet branch.”
Notes to Editors.
Contact details: Helen Davies Barnet UNISON on 07432733168 or 0208 359 2088 or email: Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk

Barnet alliance for public services agm

d2b450ffc2d640f3c025870b6b260584_400x400Dear fellow campaigners,

This is a very very last minute invitation to you to join our small AGM this coming Wednesday.

We intend to go quickly through the necessary business and then move straight to a discussion about where we are and how we should proceed from here in the changing environment following the mass privatisation that occurred in Barnet already with all its dreaded implications on jobs and local people, and the Tory victory nationally and locally which brought about decreasing democracy locally and further horrendous cuts as demonstrated in Osborn’s budget statement last Wednesday.

Since BAPS is seeing itself as an ‘umbrella organisation’ and have been supporting your various campaigns to the best of our ability, working alongside many of you in varying degrees, we would greatly appreciate your input in this discussion.

We did not advertise our AGM widely this year (only BAPS members were sent invitations) as we wanted the opportunity to have a thorough internal discussion among friends and fellow activists.

I am sorry that it is only now that I send this invitation (my personal fault) but hope very much that you will be able to join us nevertheless. If there is anyone you think should be invited and is not included in the list of recipients above – please feel free to forward this invitation to them (I do not have any email address for residents or activists of Sweets Way Resists).

We hope to see you on Wednesday,
tirza, on behalf of BAPS committee

UNITE THE RESISTANCE – Defend Our Unions – July 2015


Defend Our Unions – July 2nd 2015

A fantastic conference Chaired by Helen Davies, Barnet UNISON/Barnet Trades Council.

SPEAKERS included: 

Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary,

Michelle Stanistreet NUJ General Secretary,

John McDonnell Labour MP,

Chris Stephens SNP MP,

Glen Hart RMT,

Dave Smith Co-Author ‘Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business & Union Activists’,

Paula Peters Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC),

Glasgow Homeless Caseworker strikers,

Amelia Womack Green Party Deputy Leader,

Ian Hodson BFAWU National President



Balls to the Budget

Balls to the Budget 

Wednesday 8th July, 10.30 am Downing StDPAC_coloured_Logo_2_

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)

DPAC and friends return to Parliament in a day of action to say#Balls2TheBudget.DPAC joined by Class War, Streets Kitchen, Black Dissidents, London Latinxs, Columbian Women in Action,
Occupy,Brick Lane Debates, Winvisible, London Black Revs, Reclaim Hackney, Camden Resists, Never Again Ever & othersAnnounce:
Balls to the Budget
Wednesday 8th July, 10.30 am
Downing St
Big balls, small balls, footballs, tennis balls, volleyballs, handballs, rubber balls, plastic balls, flour balls, paint balls, canon balls, beachballs, hairballs, furballs, glitter balls, gumballs, basketballs, garlic balls, initialed balls, personalised balls.
Get creative.

Balls to austerity;
Balls to taking our rights;
Balls to taking our jobs;
Balls to cutting our services;
Balls to bankers bonuses;
Balls to cutting the ILF;
Balls to Met Police;
Balls to cuts to Access to Work;
Balls to cuts to Social Care;
Balls to the Bedroom Tax;
Balls to Workfare & Sanctions;
Balls to Forced Treatments;
Balls to Maximus, Atos & PIP;
Balls to Child Poverty & inequality;
Balls to low pay & exploiting workers;
Balls to anti-homless laws;
Balls to stifling protest;
Balls to migrant bashing, racism & Islamophobia;
Balls to cuts to Housing, Education, NHS, Legal Aid, Womens Refuges, CAMHS and much much more.

Then, afterwards – We Are Going Back.
11.30 The Lobby, House of Commons.
Bring balls.

Online: Twitter from 10.30 am till yer tweeting fingers wear out
Take part online by using and sharing: #Balls2TheBudget
There is a tweetlist you can use here: http://dftr.org.uk/Songbird.php?TweetFile=Balls2theBudget





Trade Unionists, Councillors and Communities together




This free event is organised by GLATUC (Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils)


We aim to bring together councillors, trades unionists and community activists to share and develop practical strategies to resist austerity. We are looking for those who can share information on successes no matter how small – councillors, trade unions and campaigners – and those who want to learn and work together. Hear about

  • successful action by trade unions working with councils
  • trade unions working across different councils
  • campaigns working with unions and councils
  • London councils’ actions against austerity and privatisation

Share successes

Gain more influence through Councils joining together

Organise ways to protect your community

Develop networks for support and information




Barnet Unison LG – Strike

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.11267482_496872037133506_5066154167153613321_n

Picket Lines

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: john.burgess@barnetunison.org.uk


  1. 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:

  1. Social Care for Adults with disabilities to Your Choice Barnet
  2. Housing Options to Barnet Homes
  3. Parking Services to NSL
  4. Revenues & Benefits, IT, HR & Payroll, Pensions, Health & Safety, Finance, Estates, Property Services, Procurement, Projects all now part of Capita CSG
  5. Environmental Health, Planning, Building Control, Hendon Cemetery & Crematorium, Highways, Trading Standards & Licensing all now Capita RE
  6. Legal Services
  7. Registrars & Nationality Services
  8. CCTV
  9. Music Trust
  10. Public Health
  11. 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:

  1. Early Years – 13 Children’s Centres
  2. Library Services
  3. Adults & Communities services
  4. Street Scene Services e.g. Waste & Recycling, Street Cleansing, Parks and Transport
  5. Education & Skills and School Meals services.
  6. Disappearing Council – short animation https://youtu.be/YQ5t63fSu-s
  7. “The easyCouncil Loco-motion” https://youtu.be/Wi0bdgofsmM                               
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