Monthly Archives: January 2014

Barnet UNISON Under Threat

For the past five years Barnet UNISON has been involved in a well documented mass privatisation fight with Barnet Council.

Now, as a direct result of the branch carrying out their trade union duties the Council is proposing to cut their facility time to zero as from 1 April 2014.

Barnet branch officers believe they are being forced out of the UNISONFat Cat office and are going to have to try and represent, support and defend their members at a time when there is ongoing outsourcing to a number of private sector companies, the largest being Capita. Barnet Council is embarked on a race to outsource the whole of the Council in order it is can complete its desire to be 100% Commissioning Council.

We wish this was an April Fool’s joke but it is not.

Over the next months Barnet are going to issue weekly updates to supporters as they prepare for the 1 April 2014.  

This is the biggest fight Barnet branch has ever experienced and they are looking for support from fellow trade union branches, members and the public.

Today they are asking us to do two things:

1. Sign their petition and encourage everyone you know to sign it. If you have a Face book or Twitter account please circulate this petition.

2. This is a link to an animation which explains the mass outsourcing in Barnet. If you have a Face book or Twitter account please circulate this animation.

If you have any questions or messages of support you can contact Barnet UNISON’s Branch Secretary, John Burgess by phone or email below:

John Burgess
Branch Secretary.
0208 359 2088


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Social Media Advice

Nationally disciplinaries resulting from the misuse of email and internet abuse are nothing new, but most employers now take transgressions made on social media into account as well.

 Increasingly we are being faced with disciplinary investigation resulting from comments (and sometimes pictures or links) posted on Twitter, Facebook etc. These can sometimes result from individuals posting about experiences they had at work, what they perceive as bad management, clients (including children in schools) who have proven difficult, the efficacy of the employer’s practices or decisions and a range of other matters.

 Individual disciplinaries can come about when less favourable comments are brought to management’s attention. Even though it may be believed that postings on social media sites are made privately, such information is often supplied to management by other employees, friend and relatives of work colleagues.

 Recent rulings at Employment Tribunals[1] have ruled that Facebook activities will primarily be viewed as part of an employee’s personal life and will only be covered by disciplinary rules dealing with conduct outside of work if there is a sufficiently work-related context to them. But often the lines between what is work related and what is truly ‘private’ can become blurred.

 Be in no doubt, Twitter, Facebook and other social media are not private: Anything written on those sites could be used as the basis for a disciplinary.

 Our advice is very straight forward in this matter: Do not say anything, at anytime, about work or work-related matters (or people) on Facebook, and think several hundred times before friending anyone you work with.


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