Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Barnet council's latest attempt to break revenue and benefits action - hold firm!

Barnet council has now made explicit the link between the overtime it is offering to staff in revenue and benefits, for going to work on Saturdays, and its plan to break the staff work-to-rule against being transfered to a private sector employer.

The council has asked staff who want to work this Saturday to sign the following statement:
In agreeing to work overtime on Saturday 13 August 2011, I understand that this means I am giving notice that I no longer intend to participate in the industrial action outlined in the notification of my Trade Union to (Unison) to LBB on 9 June 2011 and which started on 16 June 2011.

For the sake of clarity this means I will agree to work overtime and amend my hours of attendance (subject to any personal commitments) as I did prior to the current period of industrial action, and I will agree to attend meetings and/or undertake work related to the One Barnet project.
I would urge residents to support the Barnet Unison work-to-rule. It is aimed mainly at stopping cooperation with councillors and work on the One Barnet Programme. It is not in residents' interest to have staff forced into the private sector where their pay and holiday and sickness entitlement are likely to be cut.

Good services are delivered by staff on decent pay and employment conditions. Work on setting up the One Barnet Programme is costing residents a fortune, with only the most hazy prospects of savings being made. (Mr Mustard has blogged extensively on the topic, eg, here.)

The One Barnet Programme looks to me more and more like a dogmatic exercise in privatisation for privatisation's sake, with nil advantages to residents, and considerable harm to Barnet council staff. Only the private companies and the consultants working on the project look like they will benefit.

The revenue and benefits staff work-to-rule is beginning to bite. Good. The less appetizing a prospect Barnet council becomes to private sector bidders, the more likely it becomes that the Conservative administration will see sense and drop this wasteful programme.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I presume this is not an enforceable variation on staff contracts of employment, and a member of staff could sign it for Saturday morning, and change their mind immedaitely afterwards.