Barnet Council staff in second strike over outsourcing

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Council staff in north London have gone on strike for the second time in protest at outsourcing plans.

Unison, the workers' union, claims the move by Barnet Council will put the jobs of 70% of employees and the quality of services at risk.

In March the council approved a plan to save £53.4m over three years, putting about 350 posts out of 3,500 "at risk".

The council said it was disappointed by the walkout and would work to ensure services to residents ran as normal.

Conditions 'protected'

Deputy Leader Councillor Daniel Thomas said: "We have made a very generous offer in terms of protecting membership of the local government pension scheme.

Start Quote

Our members are not daft, they can see that redundancy and cuts to jobs and services are behind the transfer from the council to a private sector contractor”

End Quote John Burgess Unison

"Staff would remain in the local government pension scheme and this strike is about the name on the bottom of a pay slip and which employer contributes to that pension."

Unison members want to remain employed by the authority and receive the associated terms and conditions.

It said it expected 300 members to take part in the 24-hour walkout.

As part of the day of action union members will stage a piece of street theatre highlighting what it calls the dangers of outsourcing.

They will also be handing out newspapers and leaflets at Tube stations across Barnet, and will end the day with a candlelight vigil outside Hendon town hall before a planning committee meeting.

Unison Barnet branch secretary John Burgess said: "The council is gambling that the private sector can deliver £100m on savings over the next 10 years.

"We have seen no evidence to substantiate these claims.

"Our members are not daft, they can see that redundancy and cuts to jobs and services are behind the transfer from the council to a private sector contractor."

During a 24-hour strike on 13 September the council said about 150 people, out of a workforce of 3,500, did not turn up for work.

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