GMB@Barnet Weekly eNews – 22nd Feb 2013

Another week and another month have flown by. More madness around thee world and within Barnet. But at least  Bankers will only get a maximum of 1 years salary as a bonus, unless shareholders agree! We can all feel grateful for that when we do our weekly shopping.

Read this eNews for more information on;

Local Government Pay

Your Choice Barnet  -opened consultation on massive cuts to staff and their terms and conditions.



Barnet Spring March 23rd

How to update your Contact Details

Local Government Pay

Please see attached the latest update from Brian Strutton in relation to Local Government Pay. This clarifies in a little more detail the  first option for those who are not familiar with the detail of Green Book. An offer has been made but at a measly 1% with an attack on national agreements attached it does not reflect the current situation Local Government Workers find themselves in.

We will notify you of some workplace meetings we will be holding to discuss with you in the near future. Please contact us to arrange one.

Your Choice Barnet

Another Outrageously Shocking story. Not wanting to say we told you so, but GMB did forewarn of the difficulties now faced by Your Choice Barnet.

Your Choice Barnet, the service providing day services, respite care and supported living for adults with special needs, the first of the One Barnet programmes to be outsourced, today opened consultation on massive cuts to staff and their terms and conditions. This comes just 12 months after a TUPE transfer from the council.

The proposal suggests a reduction of managers and a down grading of many Support Workers to Assistant Support Workers resulting in a loss of pay. If this was not enough they are also looking to force staff to work 7 days a week with no enhancements for working weekends. A the same time they will be reviewing the pay of all workers as they claim they are paid more than other workers in this sector.

The reality is that although support workers elsewhere get minimum wage, well below London Living Wage, Your Choice staff are getting little more than the London Living Wage. Although support workers everywhere do a thankless job, the quality of service is far better in Your Choice than many private services due to the staff being well trained and valued.

An undermining of the value of the service they provide will not only impact on their terms and conditions but on the quality of service they provide. A reduction in salaries to those earned working on a checkout will see a loss in valuable well qualified and quality staff. This will impact on the services users and viability of the service.

These proposals come about due to Your Choice Barnet not achieving the increase in revenue outlined in their Business case. This was a concern the GMB raised throughout the project. Our members and users of the service are now paying the price for Barnet choosing to become a “commissioning council.” This has resulted in Barnet Homes bailing out Your Choice to the tune of one million pounds. This is a loan to be repaid within 3 years with interest!

This is the first of the One Barnet projects to fail to make the savings predicted. Although a vital service to many residents in Barnet in financial terms it is small. With two much larger contracts on the horizon the prospects for the wallets of Barnet residents and quality of services provided to them does not look good!

The GMB is outraged by these proposals and we will be working closely with members in opposition to them. I will be arranging workplace meetings within Your Choice in addition to ensuring a GMB representative can attend all Consultation meetings.

Members from this service are urged to contact us as soon as possible with there thoughts and concerns.


This weeks Tripartite meeting went ahead but little real progress has been made. Attached is GMB and UNISON’s draft memorandum of understanding which CAPITA are going to consider and come back to us on.

CAPITA will be issuing an interim Measures letter on the 11th March giving an update on any potential further measures they may be taking.

An updated Suitable Alternative Employment protocol will be available on the intranet this week.


I visited members at our parking contract which was outsourced almost a year ago. No major concerns here at present although there are a number of concerns about the use of “Discussion Planners”. This is where a formal record is kept of all “informal” meetings!

Barnet Spring March 23rd

Barnet Alliance along with Friends of Friern Barnet Library and Occupy London has already had one success with a library closure; resulting in it being handed back to residents to run as a community library. This was after squatters entered the building and re-opened it as a community library with over 3000 books being donated.

Please see attached flyers from the Barnet Trades Council for a more detailed explanation of the reason for this march and why you should make every effort to attend.

Contact Details

We are constantly trying to improve our communication and have just reviewed our email distribution list. This may mean some of you are receiving this for the first time. If so welcome. If you are happy to receive these emails you do not need to do anything. If you would like to stop receiving them for any reason please let me know. If your colleagues aren’t receiving them and would like to, ask them to let me know also.

Make sure GMB have your most up to date contact information here.

Peace and Progress

Paul Coles
London Borough of Barnet, Mill Hill Depot, Bittacy Hill, Mill Hill. London NW7 4BL
Tel: 020 8359 5086/ 7314
Mobile: 07960 016876

If you have any work colleagues who are not GMB members and want to be consulted on these and other issues please invite them to join GMB at

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