From Barnet Unison:
Today Barnet Unison opened a strike ballot as part of its dispute with Barnet council to keep staff in council employment.
The ballot is a direct response to five commissioning projects agreed at a 3 March council meeting. The projects would mean outsourcing the majority of the workforce into a variety of alternative delivery models.
At the now-infamous 3 March council meeting (the mayor apparently stuffed his vote up and protestors broke up the meeting) the Conservative Administration voted through a decision to explore “other options” for directly delivering council services. The services are Libraries, Adults & Communities, Children’s Centres, Street Scene services and Education & Skills and School Meals.
UNISON estimates that this will mean upwards of 80% of the workforce will end up working for a different employer. According to a recent Barnet Council committee report, there are only 1,466 directly employed permanent staff.
Unison Branch Secretary John Burgess said:
“In December 2014, our branch conducted a poll of our members which produced the following feedback. 87% of our members want to remain employees of the London Borough of Barnet. 61% of our members said as a result of knowing they could be outsourced they are seriously looking to find employment elsewhere; 96% of our members expressed concern about being outsourced and 81% of members said morale was bad in their workforce. Feedback from the Poll and subsequent UNISON meetings reconfirms our members wish to remain Council employees which is why we are recommending a Yes vote in our strike ballot.”