YES to strike action at Barnet

87% of UNISON members working for Barnet “easyCouncil” vote YES to strike action

UNISON is in trades dispute with London Borough of Barnet over staff remaining in employment with Barnet Council. The strike ballot is a direct response to the five commissioning projects agreed at Barnet’s 3rd March 2015 Full Council meeting which would mean outsourcing the majority of the workforce into a variety of alternative delivery models. The five directorates earmarked for outsourcing are:

  1. Education & Skills and School Meals services
  2. Library Service
  3. Early Years: Children’s Centres
  4. Adult Social Care
  5. Street Scene Services

The Education & Skills and School Meals services is already in Competitive Dialogue discussions with the following contractors:

  • Capita Business Services Ltd
  • EC Harris LLP
  • Mott MacDonald Ltd, trading as Cambridge Education

Looking at Capita’s track record in bidding and winning contracts it is considered highly likely they will win this contract making it the third big contract they will have won with Barnet Council.

Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary John Burgess said: “The vote was never in doubt. The workforce in Barnet is an amazing and resilient workforce. The vote confirms that that our members have had enough of the ideological obsession with outsourcing.

“The implications of no longer working for the Council are a serious concern for our members, who read almost on a daily basis news of outsourced staff facing redundancies and attacks to their Terms & Conditions.”

The UNISON West Sussex Branch Committee voted at its meeting of 25th March to donate £500 to Barnet UNISON’s strike fund should strike action take place as a result of the ballot.

UNISON West Sussex Branch Secretary Dan Sartin said “We understand staff’s fears for their future and that of the services they run when outsourced. We hope that this amazing 87% ballot result will send a signal to Barnet Councillors that they must draw back from their dangerous and unfounded plans.”

Strike days have been announced as follows:

  • Thursday 30 April & Friday 1 May
  • Monday 1 June & Tuesday 2 June