Council workers strike over TUPE plans
Council workers have gone on strike today over plans to move staff out of local authority employment.
Unison claims that around 180 staff from Barnet Council have walked out today over an attempt by the authority to move hundreds of workers to outside companies.
Barnet Homes – the council’s arms-length management organisation – is taking control of all housing services except housing strategy from April 1 and the council wants to TUPE current staff over.
Around 90 housing staff are due to be transferred, but no workers from the housing team were involved in today’s action.
John Burgess, Unison Barnet, said this was because the union was unable to ballot in time as the council delayed the decision on housing workers.
Mr Burgess said: ‘I have met with housing workers and they are very angry at the move and they do not want to go to the ALMO. The dispute is not over and they may be able to be involved at a later date.
‘Our view is that if the council want to make savings then they should get rid of the ALMO and get rid of the chief executive and bring it all back under council control.’
A number of workers who have gone on strike will be leaving the picket line today to spend the day decorating a learning disabilities charity’s building.
Daniel Thomas, deputy leader and cabinet member for policy and performance, said: ‘Previous industrial disputes have seen around 150 staff take action with 95 per cent of staff continuing to work as normal.
‘I’m sure staff will work hard to make sure there is little effect to services to residents.
‘As I’ve said before we are committed to providing high quality services at the lowest possible cost to the council tax payer.
‘Any staff who move as part of the restructure will remain in the local government pension scheme, keep the same level of pay and have a job guaranteed for 12 months at the very least from their move. I’m sure many of our residents would envy that level of certainty in the current financial climate.’
According to the union, the authority also wants to move care, parking and legal workers to outside organisations to save costs.