Statement from Barnet Unison on their important victory over outsourcing, by John Burgess and Helen Davies

16 May 2017

On behalf of all Barnet UNISON members we want to thank you for the support you have provided our members over the past decade.

We have been fighting a mass outsourcing ideology for almost a decade.

We have mobilised our members and our community in order to delay and stop these attacks to our members and the services they deliver.

Thursday 10th May we attended the Environment Committee. We are pleased to announce the Council Officers’ recommendation to keep Street Scene Services in-house was passed unanimously; despite six months ago having ruled out the in-house option.

This decision marks what many now see as the end of the One Barnet Programme.

Our latest Trades Dispute registered in December 2014 was triggered by the proposed outsourcing of the rest of the Council workforce. It looked as if Barnet and Northampton were in a race to be the first to outsource the whole workforce.

Last week’s decision means that the plans to outsource the rest of the council workforce have all been dropped in other council committee over the last six months.

On 3 May 2017, our new Chief Executive published his planned restructure which changes “Commissioning Directors” to Strategic Directors” with direct responsibilities to line manage operational services.

Our membership in Street Scene Services was probably less than 10% of the workforce at the start of our Trades Dispute. Now we have a membership density of over 90% with active reps involved in all aspects of the service and representing members.

The task of fighting so hard and for so long has taken its toll on many; which is why we have always been surprised to have had other UNISON members stepping up to become reps when the fight is so hard. There is no doubt without the support of community activists (notably the Barnet Alliance for Public Services) and the wider trade union and labour movement we could not have sustained this campaign to achieve this outcome.

The campaign has seen residents attend many Council meetings, putting councillors on the spot in meetings and through blogs, demonstrations, participation in elections and of course several episodes of strike action over the years. We have spoken at many events including most Unite the Resistance events and Social Work Action Network events. We have produced numerous reports (ably assisted by Dexter Whitfield), videos, songs and used social media extensively.

And so our current Trade Dispute is over.

We just have to continue combatting the effects of the measures of Austerity now…


Yours in Solidarity,


John Burgess, branch secretary, Barnet UNISON

Helen Davies, branch chair, Barnet UNISON


1 comment

  1. Mike Roberts said:

    Awesome and righteous

    18 May 2017 at 7:41pm

Leave a comment

Mailing List




Follow us

RSS icon facebook button twitter button email button

Our Tweets