It means that the workers do their job. And that's all they do. They don't do more than the hours they are paid for, they don't "help managers out when they are in a tight spot", etc. They say "no" to all the little ways that workers in this day and age are exploited that little bit more than they signed on for when they took their job.
The staff are doing this because they object to the council's plans to transfer them to another, private sector, employer, eg, Capita. This is due to happen if the One Barnet (mass outsourcing) Programme goes ahead.
Barnet council staff anticipate, with very good reason, that transfer to the private sector will sooner or later result in them having their pay, holiday entitlement and sickness and holiday pay cut. This has happened after all the smaller transfers that have already happened in Barnet, eg, Fremantle homes.
Let's face it, cutting staff pay and attacking their conditions of employment is how the big companies will make their money if they win the contracts Barnet council are offering.
Barnet council now, instead of talking to their own staff about their worries and dealing with their representatives, the unions, have chosen to try and break the industrial action by bringing in agency staff this weekend to clear the backlogs that are building up (what results when staff simply do what they are paid to do instead of working sometimes for free).
Barnet Unison sent this message to their members this morning:
Use of Agency workers to break the strikeYes, it has come to this. Barnet council's Conservative administration, through their half-baked outsourcing plan, have revived the industrial strife of the 1970s in our fair borough. See you on the picket line tomorrow, brothers and sisters!
I have to report that the Council have agreed to pay agency workers to come in to work on Saturdays to break the strike action taking place in Revs & Bens. I can report UNISON members are angry and upset at this action. The use of agency workers in the service has already come under public scrutiny by one of our local bloggers (Mr Mustard).
Mr Mustard submitted a Freedom Information Request on the number of agency workers in Revs & Bens and has now disclosed on his Blog:
“On the 5th of July 2011 there were 53 agency staff working within Revenues and Benefits. Based on the hours worked and the hourly charge rates, the total estimated spend on this specific day was just over £9000.
"So that is £9,000 a day or £45,000 a week or £2,340,000 p.a. for temporary help that the department itself says it doesn't need but management says it does. How can the staff possibly get their work done with 53 temps in their way. Who tells them what to do?”
No doubt the costs will rise as a consequence of the Agency workers coming into NLBP on Saturdays.
In response to this attack UNISON is organising a picket line outside North London Business Park tomorrow morning from 7.30am.
If you are able to join the picket line please contact the branch on 020 8359 2088 or email email@example.com.