UNISON members working in Barnet Libraries are taking industrial action today. tomorrow and Wednesday in opposition to the Council’s plan to outsource the Library Service.
What Barnet Council intends for Barnet Libraries
▪ Library posts will be cut by 46%, a loss of 52 full time equivalent posts
▪ Staffed hours will be reduced by 70% (despite overwhelming opposition to this from respondents to the Council’s Library consultations)
▪ Under 15 year olds unaccompanied by an adult will not be able to use libraries during unstaffed hours, which will be for most of the time libraries are open
▪ Library space to be reduced, thus cutting study space and book stock
▪ Four libraries to be run by “community groups”
▪ Phase 3 alternative delivery model to be identified for this section.
More detailed analysis of the destruction of the Library service can be found in Barnet Unison's report entitled “Directand Collateral Damage to the Future of Barnet Libraries”
UNISON Picket Lines will be at the following Barnet Libraries:
▪ Monday 13th June – Mill Hill Library (Hartley Avenue, Mill Hill, London NW7 2HX) from 8.30 am
▪ Tuesday 14th June – North Finchley(Ravensdale Ave, North Finchley N12 9HP) from 8.30 am followed by a demonstration outside Barnet House 12-1 pm
▪ Wednesday 15th June – Chipping Barnet Library (3 Stapylton Road, Barnet, EN5 4QT) from 8.30 am
UNISON Library Convenor, Hugh Jordan said:
Barnet UNISON calls for the current plan to decimate our Library Service to be stopped now before further damage is done. Our members are angry at proposals which look to sack half of them and then outsource them to another employer. Every day we hear of another Library closing due to cuts, handing over the service to volunteers or outsourcing. Enough is enough, there needs to be a national response to the systemic destruction of the national library service. Our Borough needs real libraries and real library professionals and para-professional, only this year our service was given a 96% customer satisfaction rating. If theLibrary staff less plan is implemented and staff sacked their absence will see Barnet pay a heavy price in the coming years as literacy levels fall, accessibility to information is reduced, and social mobility is further curtailed. Lastly, whilst we appreciate the current support from Library volunteers we are asking volunteers not to take our jobs away which is the part of the Barnet Libraries Plan