Thomas Bridge 17 April 2015

Union reveals two days of strike action at Barnet Council

Two days of strike action are to hit a London borough later this month, as staff walk out over contract fears.

Some 87% of Unison members working at Barnet Council last week voted in favour of a strike following concerns about the impact of the town hall’s outsourcing ‘obsession’ on employees.

The trade union said workers wanted to remain in employment at the local authority and not a ‘big multi national’.

Barnet Council staff from services including libraries, children and family centres and street cleaning will walk out on Thursday 30 April and Friday 1 May, it was revealed today.

Unison branch secretary, John Burgess, said: ‘This dispute is all about how strongly our members feel about wanting to remain council employees. They don’t want to work for big multi nationals who will quickly dump the staff to another contractor if they are not making enough profit.

‘They don’t want to work for a company that won’t pay the London living wage. They don’t want to work for a company that uses zero hours contracts. They don’t want to work for a company that will take jobs out of the community they serve.

‘They want to work for Barnet Council and remain directly accountable to the residents of Barnet,’ he added.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: ‘The council faces a £90m budget gap by 2020 and a 50% reduction in its spending power by the end of the decade compared with the start.

‘This means that we can’t continue with the status quo and we have to look at how local services are designed and delivered, although no decisions have been taken about any alternative delivery arrangements.’

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