30 August 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Care Workers to take strike action 8th and 9th September.
From Barnet Unison UNISON members working for Your Choice Barnet (YCB) have just announced their strike dates as being 8th and 9th September with another 4 days of action to follow that. In addition the workers will be lobbying the Council and participating in demonstrations. This is in a bid to reverse the harsh 9.5% pay cut imposed on them by their employer.
The more UNISON has seen of the finances of YCB, the more it has confirmed our view that YCB can only survive if our members are prepared to take ongoing massive pay cuts. We are stunned by the comments last week attributed to YCB Chief Executive “YCB employees are still paid well above the median for reputable care and support providers in London. We have no employees below the London Living Wage and the majority are significantly higher.” Earlier this year in a public meeting another Director in Barnet describing this 9.5% pay cut as a “haircut”. Neither comments have gone down well with our members, many of whom have queried how highly paid officers can make these sort of flippant comments. Our members would have been struggling financially even before this massive pay cut.
It has become clear over the last 18 months that the financial viability of YCB rests solely with Barnet Council. Barnet created a company which could never survive without ongoing massive attacks on the terms and conditions of the workforce.
UNISON Branch Secretary John Burgess said:
“Our members care for the service users and have shown remarkable professionalism over the last eighteen months once details of the serious financial issues emerged. Almost 30% of the workforce has been made redundant which is placing a strain on the remaining staff. But things can’t go on like this, if the Commissioning Council want YCB to survive they need to enter in to talks on the UNISON 8 point Charter immediately. We have requested a meeting but to date had no response.”
Notes to Editors.
Contact details: John Burgess Barnet UNISON on 07738389569 or 0208 359 2088 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In February 2012 Barnet Council transferred Learning Disability and Physical and Sensory Impairment services for adults to a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) called Your Choice Barnet (YCB). About 160 staff (145.6 Full Time Equivalents) in Adults services transferred to the LATC.
Following a restructure in 2013 and cuts to pay on shift allowances there are now only about 105 FTE working for YCB a 30% cut in staffing levels.
1. Your Choice Barnet (YCB) “The real deal” here
2. Barnet UNISON Your Choice Barnet 8 Point charter http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/?q=node/1397
3. Barnet UNISON response to Your Choice Barnet Consultation Paper
4. ‘The way out of financial crisis’ Analysis of Consultation Paper Your Choice Barnet Ltd The Barnet Group Ltd (Local Authority Trading Company), London Borough of Barnet
5. Barnet UNISON Report: The Barnet Group Ltd, Local Authority Trading Company: Privatising Adults and Housing Services London Borough of Barnet
6. Stop the ongoing destruction of services for adults with disabilities in Barnet petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-ongoing-destruction-of-services-for-adults-with-disabilities-in-barnet