Why Your Choice Barnet (YCB) Care workers are taking strike action

Here is some background and explanations that everyone should know, copied from Barnet Unison’s website:

In the local press the YCB chief executive said “The rates of pay for Adult Social Care are a national issue”,  Yes we agree There is a national social care crisis AND Doncaster Care UK dispute is evidence of this BUT there is a local crisis in relation to how care workers are treated.

To those who want to know what has driven care workers to take strike action it is important you understand the perverse relationship with Barnet “Commissioning” Council and Your Choice Barnet (YCB). The current funding arrangements between Barnet Council and Your Choice Barnet are the cause of this dispute and that is why we are requesting Barnet Council to come to the table in order to try and find a resolution to this dispute.

It is important to note Barnet Council own Your Choice Barnet yet at the same time they are the architects of its current critical financial crisis facing YCB. If Barnet Homes had not provided Your Choice Barnet a £1 million loan (last year) then the service would have folded. On top of securing a £1 million loan, YCB cut our members terms & conditions and almost a third of the workforce were made redundant. However the ongoing financial crisis meant that six months later YCB came back for more.

Last week Barnet UNISON made a request to talk to Barnet Council about the current YCB dispute, unfortunately they were informed that the council would not speak with UNISON because the Chief Executive had told staff in a meeting last week the dispute had nothing to do with Barnet Council.

Barnet UNISON begs to differ. Over the last six months we have had detailed discussions with YCB in order to try and find a resolution. Having seen the financial accounts and understood the financial arrangements with Barnet Council we made the following proposals which we believe would give YCB a fighting chance to survive:

1. Barnet Homes writes off the £1 million loan.

2. Barnet Council stop penalizing YCB for ‘no shows’.

3. Barnet Council pays up front to YCB in order to help the cash flow situation.

4. Barnet Council pays the going rate for the services being offered.

5. Barnet Council conducts an immediate investigation as to why Adult Social care services have referred only a handful of referrals in the last 2 and half years.

6. Senior management and other Service Level Agreement costs imposed on YCB are reduced.

7. YCB & Barnet Council find a more efficient way to invoice for services. The current arrangement is that Barnet Group invoice Barnet Council then YCB invoice Barnet Group.

8. YCB is allowed to independently procure its own support services and not be forced to use Capita CSG services.


To end this dispute and to support services for adults with disabilities Barnet Council must and should come to the table.

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