Sunday, June 01, 2008

Future Shape of Barnet Council - Week three........

Last week (Richard Gryce) took up the post of Programme Director looking at the possible options for Barnet Council Services. I have a meeting with Richard and Nick Walkley on 2 June 2008. It is clear from the feedback on the Online Forum that there are a number of concerns which need closer scrutiny such as pay, pensions, job security. I have begun to look at where Councils have adopted some of the possible options raised in the Cabinet Paper 6 May 2008.

For those of you with access to PC’s here are a number of reports in the following Councils





West Berkshire

I noted a number of staff have made comments about jargon and the need for “plain English” in relation to the Cabinet report. Over the coming months I hope to address some of these issues (looking at the clock ticking on the Barnet UNISON BLOG it is worrying to see we are only184 Days, 10 Hours, 40 Minutes, 05 Seconds….. to go before the Chief Executive presents his report to the Cabinet Committee on 3 December 2008
(make a note in your diaries for this date; I hope to see some of you!)

Let’s start with Strategic Delivery Partnerships (SSP’s)

The Government are pushing these Partnerships in the Public Sector. A key document to read is the Audit Commissions “Strategic Service Delivery Partnerships "For Better or Worse”

see link

“Not all SSPs will achieve the benefits sought. Similar collaborative arrangements in the private sector have a failure rate estimated to be as high as 60 to 70 per cent …..”(a quote from the above report)

Now read a critique by Professor Dexter Whitfield. As you can see from his website Dexter is regularly commissioned by UNISON branches. Our branch is considering commissioning Dexter read his comments on the Audit Commissions report

I expect that staff will be interested in this report……………….
What Frontline staff say about Strategic service Delivery Partnerships

I can imagine that some may think that UNISON has already formed its view on this issue. That would be a fair comment. It is UNISON’s policy to support Public Services and organise against privatisation

UNISON is joining with the TUC to organise the Speak up for Public Services
lobby in Parliament on 9 June 2008

If I find an example of a Joint Venture, Partnership, Privatisation, Arms Length Management Organisation which has not delivered attacks on our members Pay, Pensions and Employment I will publish it in our newsletters and eNEWS bulletins.

Fremantle care workers campaign is about to escalate after our members were balloted on an offer from Fremantle. As you can see for yourself it wasn’t much of an offer.
Would you have accepted it? Would you have expected your Union to support you?

Looking over the numbers of staff who transferred from Barnet Housing department to the ALMO I was shocked to discover that 25% of the staff have gone! Some of them have been privatised and we are busy trying to help our member keep their terms and conditions. Our Lead UNISON rep in the ALMO is busy defending the terms & conditions Barnet Council staff take for granted!

Joint Venture Partnerships
There have been a number of these the one I want to draw member attention to is Somerset. I have been in touch with the Branch Secretary and will hopefully be inviting him to a branch meeting to discuss the horrendous experience they are having.

It is important to make it clear that Barnet UNISON is not just concerned about members terms & conditions but the also the use of Public money, procurement, contract monitoring & governance arrangements. The lessons to learn from a number of the examples we have found so far is TRANSPARENCY. We need to ensure that the consultation is truly inclusive, which allows staff, residents, local politicians the opportunity to scrutinise the proposals.

1 comment:

Mike Jones said...

Great site - lots of information. I've added a link from our site over at - would be grateful if you could look to do same?