The work of a few minutes. The council unions were there to observe, of course. They have known that this is coming. Bizarrely, during the period of consultation, the council said to the unions: what can you offer us? No answer came the stern reply. What are unions? Turkeys voting for Christmas? Why would they help the council to make it cheaper to sack staff? It's clear why the council wants to do this: they want to sack staff. Why would any union help with that?
So there is some waffle in the document presented last night which says:
The Trade Unions were invited to work with the Council to draw up a new Policy and to present this to General Functions Commitee as a joint report. Whilst the Council recognised that this was a different approach it was hoped that the Trade Unions would embrace this way of working, in particular so that they could have a meaningful contribution, by for example introducing innovative ideas aligned to their members interests. Unfortunately the Council has had to revert to a traditional negotiation model, rather than the partnership working which had been offered.So, the traditional negotiation model being employed, the council has decided to: make it cheaper to sack people. About half what it would have been (which was not all that expensive), the statutory minimum.
Since the rough figures presented to the Cabinet last week showed that they plan to sack 430 people next year, we know why they have done this.
The unions had held a consultative ballot which showed overwhelmingly that Barnet council employees did not agree with the policy of making it cheaper to sack people.
I will find out later today how the council unions will respond to this attack. Barnet residents who value their council services and the people that work in them should be ready to back the unions in any action they take. No to sackings! No to the cuts!
Barnet Alliance for Public Services planning meeting tonight
6-8pm, Greek Cypriot Community Centre, 2 Britannia Rd, London N12 9RU