Monday, 17 October 2011

Support the Barnet Unison strike on Tuesday 18 October

I can't do better to explain what is happening tomorrow when Barnet Unison members will stage their second one-day strike, than reproduce the Barnet UNISON Press Release from this morning 17 October 2011. Please note, there is a packed programme of events, where Barnet residents can catch up and support the strikers, defending their jobs but also the quality of our services:

300 UNISON members will be taking one day strike action on Tuesday 18 October as part of a Trades Dispute which concerns the identity of the employer.

Unlike other strike action there is a twist.

On the picket line outside the headquarters of Barnet Council (North London Business Park) UNISON members will stage a short piece of street theatre to demonstrate the dangers of the One Barnet Programme to residents, services and staff.

There will be two performances at 9am and 9.30 am.

At 10.30 am a number of strikers will be taking a coach trip across the borough in order to provide help and assistance to a local charity which is in desperate need of help. The strikers will spend the rest of the day carrying a number of tasks for the charity.

UNISON members are calling on the Leader of Barnet Council not to pocket the money he has saved from the strikers and instead donate that money to the Mayor’s Charity.

• Barnet Young Carers And Siblings 'BYCAS'
• The Outward Bound Trust
• The Alzheimer's Society

Later on the same day other UNISON members are supporting ‘Operation RESDIENTS MUST KNOW!’ by handing out newspapers and leaflets to Barnet residents outside tube stations across Barnet.

The day’s activity will end with a Candlelight Vigil outside Hendon Town Hall from 6.30 pm before the Planning Committee begins.

Barnet Easy Council is promoting the ‘One Barnet Programme’ (OBP) which is being rolled out across all council services. They previously identified up to £3 Million to implement what was called Future Shape policy. The latest brand, the One Barnet Programme, has £9.2 million budget to pay the bills of expensive consultants to carry out this mass outsourcing programme. The workforce implications of OBP could be that 70% of the council workforce could be transferred to the private sector in little more than 15 months' time.

John Burgess Barnet UNISON Branch Secretary said:

“The Council is gambling that the private sector can deliver £100 million savings over the next 10 years. We have seen no evidence to substantiate these claims. In other parts of the country we have seen the consequences of such blind allegiance to public sector bad private sector good. Our members are not daft; they can see that redundancy and cuts to jobs and services are behind the transfer from the council to a private sector contractor.

"Strike action is always a last resort, for the last three years we have been asking for a genuine dialogue with the council to explore ways to save money, improve services.

"Barnet UNISON is asking for the One Barnet Programme to be put on hold whilst meaningful talks with staff, trade unions and residents take place to look at alternatives to the One Barnet Programme."

Contact: John Burgess Barnet UNISON on 07738 389569 or email:

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