Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn backs UNISON’s anti-privatisation campaign

Barnet UNISON iBarnet UNISON members who still work for Barnet Council have announced a further 24 hour strike.

The campaign against privatisation has been backed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who sent a message of support to a recent rally to defend public services.

The social workers, coach escorts, drivers, occupational therapists, schools catering staff, education welfare officers, library workers, children centre workers, street cleaning & refuse workers will take action on October 7th.

They have made it clear they want to remain employees of Barnet Council and do not want to be outsourced. The council is about to agree a number of outsourcing and cuts across a number of council committees over the next four months which would see the number of staff employed by the council reduced to fewer than 300.

Under cover of ‘austerity’ the council is outsourcing many of its services. Meals on Wheels will cease from April next year and on Friday will publish a report on the future of the library service which is seeking to reduce the staff budget by 68%.

The union campaign is backed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who sent a message to a recent Kids4Libraries march saying: “I support John Burgess and the Save Barnet Libraries campaign for their tireless & inspirational community campaign to protect their local Library service. Barnet Council are determined to outsource all of their services I salute Barnet UNISON & the community campaign for their ongoing fight to defend public services.”

UNISON Branch Secretary John Burgess said: “Our members want to work for the council, they want to be directly accountable to the residents of Barnet. Our members don’t want to work for an employer which will have to place the shareholders’ legal demands before local residents’ needs. Our members don’t want to work for an employer which uses zero hours contracts.

“Our members don’t want to work for an employer which will not pay the London Living Wage as a basic minimum. Our members don’t want to work for an employer which won’t allow their colleagues to belong to their Pension Scheme, and our members don’t want to work for an employer which will take jobs out of the borough. That’s why 87% of our members working for the Council voted ‘Yes’ to taking strike action. So far the council has failed to come close to agreeing to any one of these demands.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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