UNISON officials taint members election of new general secretary

Corrupt UNISON officials in the London Region who are employed by UNISON to work for us, UNISON members, have been caught on tape trying to subvert the election of a new General Secretary.

60 full time paid UNISON officials took part in a meeting in which ways to nobble the chances of the opposition, John Burgess, Heather Wakefield and Roger Bannister, were plotted.

Praise was given to these “officers” in promoting the chances of the incumbent, Dave Prentis, re-election.

if you listen to the tape it is evident the contempt these officials have for the Union and it’s membership – truly shocking.


If you feel that UNISON should be a democratic organisation answerable to its members and that corruption of this magnitude should be investigated by an independent inquiry   then please sign this petition:



This corruption has been reported by Private Eye and, most recently the Guardian








Important podcast from Middlesex UCU’s brilliant public meeting last week on the Trade Union Bill. The Bill represents the most savage attack on workers’ rights for a generation. Speakers were John Burgess – Barnet UNISON, Liz Lawrence – UCU President and Martin Upchurch – Professor of International Employment Relations, Middlesex University. Two recordings here; the speakers’ contributions and the Q & A. Please share!

Listen to Middlesex UCU | Explore the largest community of artists, bands, podcasters and creators of music & audio.

A Meeting of the Movements


Barnet TUC and the Barnet Alliance for Public Services participated in the annual general meeting of the Peoples Assembly Against Austerity on Saturday, just two of many delegations to the largest anti-cuts conference of the year. 2015 has not been an easy year, but it has been one in which the need for and effectiveness of the Peoples Assembly has been thoroughly proved.

Before the motions and the debates, there were introductory speeches. The first up was Dave Ward, new General Secretary of the CWU postal and communications union. He began by urging delegates to view the massive Tory U-turn on tax credit cuts as a big win for our movement, but also cautioned that there are four and half years left of the Tory government which in his own words had created a situation “the rich have never found an easier race to the top, the rest have never had a harder race to the bottom”. Ward also condemned the decision for Britain to join the Western bombing of Syria, which he likened to a head down charge. He described his ideas for what to do as both redesigning the fundamentals of the trade union movement for the modern economy, and also supporting the revitalised Labour Party under its new leadership. His vision for a new way to do things in the labour movement is to get sectoral, rather than localised, organisation and negotiation, mobilising as much of the trade unions’ six million members as possible.

The next speaker was Yannis Gourtsoyannis, a junior doctor and member of the British Medical Association junior doctors’ committee, with a report on the historically unprecedented industrial struggle they have been engaged in. The government has partially backed off imposing new employment conditions on junior doctors, causing the BMA to call off the planned, and potentially massive, strike on December 1st, but Dr Gourtsoyannis said that the proposals would still expand hours and pay differentiation among them under the guise of providing “cost neutral” expanded 7-day services (it strongly reminded me of the attempt to get London Underground workers to provide Night Tube services without costing any extra money). The young doctor emphasised that what at stake was not just the conditions of the staff and the safety of service users, but that if the doctors win they will have forced a crack in the edifice of austerity ideology. The struggle continues.

The third speaker was Christine Blower, leader of the National Union of Teachers. She focused her speech on the NUT’s firm belief in the power of social movement trades unionism, and said that the spirit of linking labour organisation to a wider political movement was had enabled successes such as the excellent June 20th demonstration this Summer. Blower gave the meeting some examples of the hardships that her teacher members were seeing amongst children in Cameron’s Britain: encountering children who only eat their free school meals because they are not fed at home, and entire cohorts of children at school that disappear as their parents take them away fleeing sky-high urban rents.

Following the opening speakers, a range of policy motions were debated and agreed upon (see the People’s Assembly website for these). BTUC and BAPS jointly moved a motion motion urging all member bodies to actively campaign to make all their local authorities into TTIP-free zones. The AGM unanimously agreed to get its local groups to raise petitions and bring motions to local and regional legislative bodies to get them to defy this secretive and menacing deal. This strategy is a real opportunity to redress the fact that TTIP has been largely ignored in the British media, and to raise awareness of TTIP among the public. This has already been done extensively in France, Germany and Spain, as well as 19 British authorities including Conservative run North Somerset.

The main part of the day closed with a key-note speech by socialist Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, who received a rapturous welcome. McDonnell admitted that the mere eight weeks that have passed since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader have been a challenge, but that brave stands by the party are being vindicated. He praised the People’s Assembly as essential part of the new politics that Jeremy promised to deliver, and said that these new politics is delivering. Although Parliament did vote for war a majority of Labour MPs and Shadow Cabinet members did vote “No” on a free vote, something McDonnell said he wished the Tories had allowed (only 7 Tory MPs defied the whipped vote on Wednesday).

John proceeded with laying out his vision for Labour should be offering: democracy in the economy and a say for ordinary people at the top of public and private companies. This vision relies on a healthy trade union movement, and on this point McDonnell reaffirmed total opposition to anti-union laws and supported the words of the leader of Britain’s biggest union, Len McCluskey of Unite, when he said that if stepping outside the law was necessary to protect the movement, it will have to be done. He praised the words of the comedian, and big Assembly supporter, Francesca Martinez, when she said that really was something fundamentally wrong with society being obsessed with GDP as a measure of success. He said that it was all part of a distorted narrative that exists in the country, the same one that has lied and rubbished Labour endlessly (and rather stupidly in the wake of an excellent by-election result in Oldham this week). He strongly encouraged the audience to make more use of new and social media, as a response to the problems our movement faces getting a fair hearing in the mass media. In his concluding words, he said that the vote for war had been a terrible step backwards in foreign policy, taking us further away from Britain working for peace and back toward Britain acting as an aggressor. He said of Hilary Benn’s pro-war speech: “It was great oratory, but some of the greatest oratory of the past has lead to some of the greatest mistakes.”. He said that he was still determined to fight for a political solution and, even more than this, to get justice for the refugees fleeing war in their millions. “Hope” he said “is back in our political system.”

This lead us well into the final session, which had been added to the agenda in response to the bombing of Syria. The People’s Assembly affirmed opposition to war, and to help to build the Stop the War Coalition march on the following Saturday (12th of December) and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament demonstration on February 27th 2016.

Christmas Library Fundraiser 12th December

Christmas Library Fundraiser 12th December!

Come along and help support the Save Barnet Libraries Campaign!!

Tickets £5 in advance £8 on the door.

Why not enter the lyrics competition? – we’re looking for library themed entries sung to these carol tunes, (winning entries will be performed on at the concert):
Oh Come All Ye Faithful12238522_10154353559798082_1273975666183510883_o
Silent night
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
The Holly and the Ivy
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
Once in Royal David City
I Saw Three Ships
Gabriel’s Message
We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Hendon Labour AGM 25/11/15



Hendon Labour Party Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Please note that the Annual General Meeting of the Hendon Constituency Labour Party will take place at 8pm on Wednesday 25 November 2015 in the The Royal British Legion, Edgware Branch, 17 Parnell Close, London HA8 8YE. The venue has its own car park, otherwise it is easily accessible via the 113 or 186 buses (Kenilworth Road stop towards Marble Arch, or Highview Avenue stop towards Edgware Station).
To confirm the details of the upcoming AGM are as follows:
Date Wednesday 25 November 2015

Time 8 pm

Venue The Royal British Legion, Edgware Branch, 17 Parnell Close, London HA8 8YE

images (25)

Defending Our Unions… and Organising to Win

Unite the Resistance National Conference 2015

Saturday the 14th of November

Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church 235 Shaftesbury Avenue WC2H 8EP


Conference speakers include:

  • John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor
  • Candy Udwin PCS National Gallery strike
  • Natalie Bennett Green Party leader
  • Matt Wrack FBU General Secretary
  • Kevin Courtney NUT dep gen sec
  • John Hendy QC
  • Steve Gillen POA General Secretary
  • Kevin Courtney NUT Deputy General Secretary
  • Ian Hodson BFAWU Bakers’ union National President
  • Paula Peters DPAC
  • Zita Holbourne PCS National Executive & BARAC
  • Keith Ewing Institute of Employment Rights National President
  • Finn Brennan Aslef Regional Organiser
  • Dave Smith Blacklist Support Group Secretary & Author of Blacklisted
  • Ewa Jasiewicz Unite London Hotel Workers’ branch activist
  • Lee Jasper Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC)
  • Sarah Wooley BFAWU Bakers’ union National Executive & Greggs worker
  • Max Watson Unison London Met striker & victimised union rep
  • Roger Hutt Doncaster Unison Care UK ’90 Days’ strike
  • John Burgess Barnet Unison activist
  • Greek trade union activistsutr-national-conference-v1

The Tories know that if they are to force through five more years of austerity, they have to take out their biggest potential source of opposition—the trade union movement.

That’s why they want new and brutal anti-union laws. But we can fight and win.

We’ve already seen hundreds of thousands on the streets against austerity since the election. The TUC has called for a further mass protest at the Tory conference in Manchester on 4 October, and the People’s Assembly is calling events from 3-7 October.

The success of coordinated strikes on London Underground and the solidarity for local strikes show why the Tories fear that the anti-austerity mood could spill into the workplaces.

The trade union movement needs to go all out to oppose anti-union laws. We need a big turnout on the TUC protest at parliament on 2 November.

But there also needs to be a debate now about our response if these new laws are passed:

– Will our unions be prepared to break them before they are used to break our ability to resist?

There are questions we urgently need to answer:

– How do we stop the assault on wages and conditions at work?
– What is the strategy to build the unions, rebuild organisation where it has been in retreat and grow into new sectors?
– Can we fight attempts to divide our side such as the scapegoating of migrant workers, claimants and disabled people?
– How do we win a new generation of young workers to the trade unions?

And with Jeremy Corbyn dominating the Labour leadership contest, and the rise of anti-austerity parties in Europe, we need a debate about the political representation working class people need.

Hosted by Unite the Resistance









On July 15th the Conservative Government published the Trade Union Bill, the most substantial assault on the trade union movement since the 1980s. The purpose of the Bill is, quite simply, to restrict the ability of union members to organise collectively and take industrial action.
Key measures contained in the bill include: 50% turnout thresholds in all strike ballots

• 40% affirmative vote of all those entitled to vote in ‘important’ public services

• Unions must provide ‘a reasonably detailed indication’ of the dispute with the employer

• Ballot papers must describe the form of industrial action & the proposed timetable

• Removing the ban on the use of agency workers to replace striking workers and more.


The following Keynote speakers will discuss the impact of the legislation on trade unions and employment relations, the campaign against the legislation and the crucial role trade unions play in promoting and defending rights in the work place:

•       LIZ LAWRENCE  President of UCU
•       JOHN BURGESS Barnet Unison and Barnet TUC
•       MARTIN UPCHURCH Professor of International Employment Relations, Middlesex University

Date:  9 December 2015

Time: 1900-2100

Location: Middlesex University Main Campus (College Building) Room CG 77 https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zQttVMgG0Kv0.k-FBCqJ7SODo&hl=en_US
Middlesex University UCU Branch: mdxucu.blogspot.com


Scandal of war graves’ staff facing £6,000-a-year pensions’ loss

Letter received by a Barnet Trade Unionist from a relative who works for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

As you know I work for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, what you may not know is that we’re having serious issues with our pension

Despite the promises of a decent pension at retirement the Commission wants to change it to a scheme which will leave many of us out of pocket in retirement by 1,000’s for every year we survive beyond normal retirement age.

I have been moved around many times, often against my will and with a mediocre salary but on the understanding that our pension was secure. I don’t need to go on about commitment and dedication and at my time of life there is little to no chance of making up the shortfall.

Our Unions have tried to negotiate an improvement on the proposals and have tabled many options but all have been refused. It’s got to a point now to which we have no option but to try and get public support for the work we do and put pressure on the government to intervene.

I would be most grateful if you could write to your MP asking that he/she signs this EDM, your local MP can be found here:  http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

Or follow my unions link


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