Barnet staff stage second walk out over ‘easy council’ plans
Staff at Barnet council are holding their second one-day strike today in protest at the ‘easy council’ proposals and are employing street theatre to get their point across.
Unison members the north London borough are holding their second walk out in protest at the One Barnet Programme , the council’s cost cutting and outsourcing strategy.
They will stage a short piece of street theatre to demonstrate what they claim are the dangers of plans to residents, services and staff.
Barnet branch secretary John Burgess explained: ‘The council is gambling that the private sector can deliver £100m on 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."
The branch is asking for the One Barnet Programme to be put on hold while meaningful talks with staff, trade unions and residents take place.
Some of the strikers will travel across the borough later today to help a local charity. The Unison branch has asked Barnet to give the money from the strikers' wages to the mayor's charities – Barnet Young Carers and Siblings, the Outward Bound Trust and the Alzheimer's Society.
Barnet’s deputy leader, Daniel Thomas, told the Independent that the strike was ‘disappointing’, and pledged to do everything to ensure services ran as normal.
Cllr Thomas added the strike was about strike ‘the name on the bottom of a pay slip’ and which employer contributes to staff pension schemes. ‘I'm sure that's a level of certainty a lot of Barnet residents would envy.'
Mr Hambly you and your lot need to get into the real world. You should be ashamed of yourself supporting strikes that hit people who have no choice. Many who do not have jobs, or jobs on lessor t and C's. If you don't wish to provide our services get out of the way of them that will. The gravy train is ending. . Do you think people in the private sector have say on which company owns them? The way is you leave if you don't like it. Wake up!J Smith, Added: Thursday, 20 October 2011 11:11 PM
Mr J Smith your comments are a disgrace. The strike is about people having a right to say who their employer is. Most Council staff signed a contract regarding terms & conditions, which, Barnet Council will not enforce on the private companies taking over contracts. The protection of pay & terms are only guranteed for 12 months after that the company can cut pay with impunity, which clearly they will do. Also the Government intends to repeal the Fair Deal on Pensions. Stand and fight them I say.David Hambly, Added: Thursday, 20 October 2011 03:08 PM
Why do Council Union members always respond by hitting the people they keep banging on about? They say Government cuts are impacting the customers when in fact its their stupid strike action that is the problem. Anyone would think these sheeple had no choice. . Ok, they break their contracts, someone locks the gates and takes on someone who actually wants to do the job . . But . . on T and C's and pensions the CT payer can affordJ Smith, Added: Wednesday, 19 October 2011 08:11 PM
I am sure Cllr Thomas is not so naive to believe that outsourcing amounts to a 'name' change for his staff. It is all about presentation, marketing and sales building margin through reducing remuneration and terms and conditions.patrick newman, ex local government, Stevenage, Added: Wednesday, 19 October 2011 06:58 PM
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