“A Library with NO staff what could possibly go wrong?”


“A Library with NO staff what could possibly go wrong?”

Barnet Council announced yesterday that they are to sack 46 % of the Library staff as they use machines to keep Libraries open with no staff. I know from other library campaigners this idea is starting to spread.

This video was made at Edgware Library in Barnet during unstaffed hours to show the risks inherent in the council’s plan to cut trained staff by 47% and increase opening hours, the majority of which will be unstaffed.

During unstaffed hours
• only adults with a library card and special PIN will be able to enter
• children under 15 will be excluded unless accompanied by an adult
•15- and 16-year-olds will be allowed in only with special permission, obtained in advance
• toilets will be locked

Although the scenes were staged – and everyone participating in this video was entitled to enter the library, the children were accompanied by a parent and no one came to any harm – the risks portrayed are very real.


©2016 Save Barnet Libraries



Irish to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street against Mosley’s Fascists


Time: 11.30 am

Date: Sunday 9th October 2016

Place: Altab Ali Park, 40 Adler Street, London E1 1DU

Nearest tube station: Aldgate East

On 9th October, we will be commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street. It is important that we have an Irish presence at this event and we will be expecting thousands of other people to attend. The Irish played a pivotal role in smashing the British Union of Fascists at the Battle of Cable Street. Not only were the Irish part of the backbone of at least 100, 000 counter demonstrators but were to outnumber the British Union of Fascists (BUF), 10 to 1. Their leader Oswald Mosley was humiliated and decided not to allow the British Fascist Black Shirts to go ahead with the march as the police could not contain the riots from the counter demonstrators. Oswald Mosley’s popularity in Britain was to sink enormously! Not even the Fascist sympathiser, King Edward VIII, could save Mosley, and we, still, question the real reason for this monarch’s abdication in the same year! It is a victorious event that the Irish in Britain should never forget!

Everyone will assemble at Altab Ali Park, London E1 at 12 noon on Sunday 9th October. Probably, we may organise an early assemble for the Irish presence. We, then, march to the Cable Street in St. George’s Gardens for a rally with speakers and stalls. Further details will follow and we could look into the possibility of organising a late afternoon event in the Cock Tavern Pub in Euston.

There is every reason to have a proper Irish presence for the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street as it is 100 years since the 1916 Easter Rising!

For further information, please contact

Austin Harney,

Joint Secretary of the South East Trade Union Race Relations Committee,


Tories Out – Austerity Has Failed


At Teresa May’s first Tory Party Conference as Prime Minister the People’s Assembly with the support of the TUC will be holding a mass demonstration to say we demand an alternative to ‘Austerity Britain’.

We will demand investment in public services, in infrastructure, and in decent jobs for all. An end to scapegoating of migrants which divides our communities and whips up racism. Join us and help make sure the demonstration is as big as possible. Transport is being arranged for Barnet:

Dep: 8:50 London Euston so be at station for 8:15a.m

Dep: 16:50 Birmingham New Street to arrive London Euston 18:18

A small number have been pre-bought: please get email Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk if you would like to buy one.


Please circulate info,

Protect Jobs, Defend Living Standards – Trades Union Councils’ Programme of Work for 2016/7


The theme for the Trades Union Councils Programme of Work for 2016 to 2017 is ‘Protect Jobs, Defend Living Standards’. It sets out a positive vision of trade unions as we know them to be: a democratic force for fairness in the modern workplace. It highlights the role that trades union councils play in developing and promoting trades unions and in campaigning on the core values of the TUC and the union movement.

The key areas of campaigning for the year are:

  1. protecting workers’ rights to strike, promoting trade unionism and building union organisation;
  2. setting out the case for a high investment, high productivity economy with great jobs and skills at its heart;
  3. making devolution and decentralisation work for people;
  4. reaching out to young workers;
  5. support and campaigning for the Welfare Charter
  6. fighting racism and fascism

This programme of work has developed by the TUCJCC to ensure that trades union councils can identify their part in TUC campaigns and help implement the resolutions passed at the 2016 trades union councils conference.

Read the programme in full.

Unions Lead Protests Against Rip-Off Train Fares


Rail fares have risen twice as fast as wages since 2010, according to TUC research. Rail workers lead public protests at stations round the country.

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:

“Our rail fares are already the highest in Europe and today’s increases will only make that record worse. It’s time that ministers gave rail passengers a break and actually froze fares in real terms.

“Fares on the most popular routes have jumped by more than 245% since rail was privatised 20 years ago. Running a publicly owned railway would end this annual mugging of passengers and give us a network run in the interests of passengers and staff.”

Workplace 2020: An Exciting Initiative from Labour

Since the Labour Party was founded by trade unions over a century ago, the world of work has radically changed. The UK is one of the most unequal modern economies: low pay is widespread with six million workers earning less than the UK living wage.

We want to ensure that no one is left behind and that rewards are shared more evenly. That’s why we’re launching our biggest ever discussion on the workplace – so we know what the world of work should look like in 2020.

So whether you’re an employer, an employee, or both: we need to hear from you.

Remember, remember…



It’s the demonstration every Library & Museums campaigner has been calling for and now it’s on. The march will start from the iconic British Library and end outside the House of Commons for a Rally. Jeremy Corbyn is supporting the protest.

Public Libraries and Museums remain the lynchpin of communities, offering access to learning, reading, history, art, information and enjoyment. Libraries are, or should be, trusted public spaces for everyone. They play a crucial role in improving literacy, in combating the digital divide and in widening democratic involvement. BUT, in the UK since
2010, we’ve LOST:
• 8,000 paid and trained library workers;
• 343 libraries (600-plus including ones handed to volunteers); and
• One in five regional museums at least partially closed.

We’ve also seen:
• Libraries’ and museums’ opening hours cut;
• Budgets, education programmes and mobile/ housebound/specialist services slashed;
• An escalation in commercialisation and privatisation;
• A 93% increase in the use of volunteers in libraries;
• Income generation become the priority for almost 80% of museums.

This is a crisis and not an opportunity. Users, staff, campaigners and unions need to unite and fight before it’s too late. PCS Culture Sector, Unite the Union, Barnet UNISON & Save Barnet Libraries, and Campaign for the Book have been calling for a national demonstration to highlight the ‘clear and present danger’ to our national Library service. Support the protest on 5th November!

JEREMY CORBYN, Leader of Labour Party says: “I give my 100% support to this demonstration. The Tories have devastated our public services using austerity policies as justification. I promise that a Labour Government will act to ‘in-source’ our public and local council services and increase access to
leisure, arts and sports across the country. We will reverse the damage the Tories have done to our communities in the cities, towns and villages.”

REJECT the Council accommodation review – STOP the move to Colindale, NO to the £50million squander

Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, NW4 4AX

Tory Barnet councillors and Capita are planning to move council services from the North London Business Park and Barnet House into a new purpose built accommodation in Colindale.

This will cost Barnet residents  £50 million and no savings are expected for 50 years while Capita, it is believed, will receive a 14% fee!

The council has not fully secured or identified the resources needed to make this work. At time of massive cuts, including making 46% of library staff redundant, this will make cuts to front line services even worse.

This decision for new accommodation will be as dangerous and costly as that to sell off Mill Hill depot when no alternative had been secured. Now vehicles servicing Barnet are to be stationed further away in Harrow and at Abbots Road, creating more traffic and more pollution. The location in Colindale is remote, and the access to it will be as difficult and frustrating as are the Barnet’s call centre and website.



Protest called by Barnet Trades Council, Barnet UNISON, Barnet Alliance for Public Services, Barnet Momentum.

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