Council workers in Barnet, north London, are to step up their fight against “easyCouncil” privatisation plans by striking on Tuesday of next week.
Some 400 Unison union members in a dozen departments will walk out as the union-busting Tory council is set to outsource their work.
Many workers have picketed at weekends after the council tried to use agency workers to clear a backlog left by their work-to-rule.
The union says the Tories’ scheme to run a budget airline-style council will remove local accountability.
Privatisation in Barnet has already made a mess. When “social enterprise” Fremantle Trust took over Barnet care homes, it cut pay and holidays by a third. Now the council has put more than £1 billion of contracts up for grabs.
It even invited companies to bid on the £1 billion of contracts at a “Market Day”. Thousands of jobs could go.
They want to leave a shell of a council that buys in all services from contractors.
The union estimates that the outsourcing plans will cost up to £14 million—at a time when eight children’s centres have just been shut in the cuts.
If the Tories can push “easyCouncil” through in Barnet, they will use it as a model for mass privatisations in councils across the country.
They have to be stopped.
Rally at Barnet council: Tuesday 13 September, 5.30pm, Hendon Town Hall