Saturday, 11 February 2012

Temporary reprieve for Barnet parking office staff?

Barnet Unison is reporting today that the transfer of Barnet's parking service from in-house to private sector company NSL has been delayed until 1 May. One can only speculate as to the reasons. It was meant to go at the end of March.

This is good news, something of a temporary reprieve, for the 30 parking office staff who have been told they will have to work from East Croydon in future, a four-hour round trip, costing each worker £2,200, the price of a zones 1-5 travelcard.

It allows some more time for the council - who are still their employers - and NSL to come to a better arrangement for the staff - if they are put under sufficient pressure!

Barnet Unison have released the following statement about the issues:
Earlier this week our members had a meet your new employer session, where a number of key questions were repeatedly raised by staff:
  • Why does the back office have to move to Croydon when the Council have free office space in NLBP until 2015? 
  • Does NSL operate a ticket target quota for parking wardens? 
  • Will I get redundancy if I cannot travel to Croydon?
  • Do you offer Argos bonus points if staff meet ticket quota targets?
When UNISON first heard that NSL were the successful bidder, our regional Head of Local Government wrote (December 20111) to the NSL Chief Executive asking a number of key questions. However because of some delays about formally declaring NSL the successful bidder we have had no response to our questions. Now that NSL have been officially announced as the new Parking provider we are seeking urgent talks.

Our members are asking that UNISON seek to negotiate:
  • The back office continues to run from the current location on NLBP until the break clause* is activated in September 2015.
  • The back office is run from the offices NSL are looking to purchase in Barnet.
  • The extra costs of travel to Croydon for Council staff are paid by NSL.
  • That in the event staff are unable to travel to Croydon, staff are offered the following: redeployment to a NSL workplace nearer Barnet (keeping their Council terms and conditions) or redundancy.  
Keep a look out for further updates on parking.
* The One Barnet programme has made it clear to all bidders for the One Barnet projects that the NLBP offices are available for the successful contractor to use until the Council can invoke the break clause stipulated in the lease.

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