Barnet council workers on strike today in row over outsourcing

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell joined the picket line at a previous strike by Barnet Council worke

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell joined the picket line at a previous strike by Barnet Council workers - Credit: Archant

Council workers in Barnet, including school catering staff and bin collectors, have gone on strike today in a row over public service cuts.

The 24-hour strike, voted for by almost 90 per cent of Barnet Unison members, is against outsourcing of services.

The strike action involves social workers, coach escorts, drivers, occupational therapists, schools catering staff, education welfare officers, library staff, children centre workers, and street cleaning and refuse workers.

Council staff from Unison also took strike action on October 7.

It comes as Barnet Council is looking at the future of a number of public services over the coming months, including whether to impose significant cuts to libraries.

As a result of the strike action, the following libraries are closed today: Chipping Barnet, Childs Hill, Church End, East Barnet, East Finchley, Edgware, Golders Green, North Finchley, Osidge and South Friern.

John Burgess, Barnet Unison branch secretary, 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.”

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Barnet Council says it will work to minimise disruption to residents, adding: “We anticipate that the majority of our services will be operating.

“We currently intend to carry out all household collections scheduled for today, but collections may take place at a different time than usual, including into the evening.

“Please leave your bins out for collection on the boundary of your property. Barnet’s Civic Amenity and Recycling Centre at Summers Lane will be operating a normal service.”