Monday, 12 September 2011

Barnet council seeking to dock a day's pay for a half-day strike - Unison will make up any difference

I'm passing on a message from Barnet Unison this morning, as it seems that the council wants to dock a day's pay from Unison members taking a half-day strike tomorrow. Here is the branch's message for those due to take strike action.
Dear Members,

I wanted to write to you all and try to provide some clarification and reassurance regarding the very fierce conversation that has been taking place between UNISON and the Council.

I recognise that you have been bombarded with a mass of communications that will have been very confusing throughout what has been a very fast moving week.

This morning UNISON members have all received a letter from the Council threatening staff that if they take strike action tomorrow they will be deducted a full day’s pay regardless whether they work until 1pm.

Furthermore I am hearing that staff are being told that there will be managers on the gates of NLBP to check staff in. If staff do not sign a register stating they will not be taking half day strike action they will be sent home.

The Council is trying to impose what used to be called a ‘Lock out’!

As a UNISON member it was agreed by all that you would take half a day and therefore lose half a day’s pay. That is what most reasonable employers would have deducted under these circumstances. However the Councils actions are neither proportionate and reasonable.

The lateness at which the Council have given this letter demonstrates they fear that UNISON members will all walk out tomorrow.

I can confirm UNISON will make up the cost of any financial loss up until 1pm on Tuesday 13 September.

Messages of support are flooding in from the community and other trade unions.
“As a Barnet resident and public sector employee I wanted to send a quick email to express my support for you and your members and the proposed “Barnet Independence Day” action on Tuesday. As someone who has experienced being outsourced but who was then fortunate enough to get back into the public sector, my experience tells me that it would be inconceivable for a contractor to take over delivery on the scale intended by the London Borough of Barnet without there being both a degradation of services and in the terms of conditions for staff who are transferred; this is how private companies make their profit from such contracts.

"Hopefully your campaign will open a few more Barnet residents eyes to what is going on and more importantly, to what we might end up with in Barnet in terms of a service from our local authority. I wish you and Barnet Unison all the best and will try and join you at the Town Hall for at least part of the rally on Tuesday evening.”
I have recently had a message of support from the PCS union. They recently won a battle with their employer who was seeking to transfer their jobs out of the country. Members all voted to take strike action and they won.

Tomorrow is your chance to make your voice heard loud and clear.

Best wishes
John Burgess
Branch Secretary

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