Monday, July 06, 2009

Barnet - will it be fair?

Appropriately enough, speaking to the lobby of Barnet Council outside a windswept Barnet House I was reminded that my bad hair day was due to the urgent need for a visit to the barber for the sort of cuts we don't oppose.

The sort of cuts - and threats of privatisation - that we do oppose are still in prospect on the basis of the report currently being considered by Barnet Council.

It is however greatly to the credit of Barnet UNISON and their friends and allies locally that the Council has retreated from some of its wilder ideas, and the campaigners can be optimistic that their determination will continue to win concessions. There is much to do to win fairness for the workforce and community however.

John Burgess was right to tell the lobby (and anyone else who may have been listening) that now is the time for detailed engagement with the plans of the employers. That requirement for hard graft will apply in more and more parts of the public sector over the coming years.

Barnet UNISON exemplify the best of our Union, a lay led Branch unfazed by bureaucracy, committed to campaigning and trade union unity and not afraid to stand up to anyone in the interests of UNISON members.

I hope that UNISON Greater London Region will have the sense to use Barnet as a showcase of good practice.

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