Barnet strikers are determined to win (Picture: Barnet Unison)

Striking mental health social workers in Barnet, north London, launched another five days of action this week. The strikers, who are in the Unison union, have already been on strike for 22 days.

The are fighting for a recruitment and retention payment to reduce staff turnover and patient waiting lists. Social workers who work with children get up to 25 percent extra pay.

Meanwhile Barnet council has offered just 2.6 percent extra to social workers within the mental health social care service. Strikers held a rally outside Hendon town hall last Tuesday.

They chanted, “What do we want? No waiting list. What do we want? Fair pay. How do we get it? Strike, strike, strike.”

Suzannah said, “I’m on strike because I want to support my residents with mental health difficulties.

“But I don’t think that the service is safe.

“We’ve had a massive staff turnover in the last year which has contributed to an incredibly long waiting list of up to 12 and 14 months for some users. I think this is completely unacceptable.

“Working under these conditions means we’re under constant pressure to be doing work as quickly as we can. It’s simply not sustainable— or nice.

“It doesn’t leave room for reflection or value driven, justice orientated social work.”

Suzannah is asking senior management to “commit to a recruitment and retention scheme payment to ensure we have a stable workforce and experienced staff”.

“Then we can start reducing the waiting list and offer the service we really want to.”

And striker Kristina said she’s on strike because residents aren’t getting “a safe service from the local authority”.

“We do not have the staff levels. When we’ve tried to talk to senior management about this it has ignored us.

“It’s told us it’s not even happening when we know it is. We’ve been pushed and pushed until all we can do is come out and stand here on strike.”

Send a solidarity message to the strikers. Email contact us @ Visit picket lines 5-9 February between 8-10am at 2 Bristol Avenue, Colindale, NW9 4EW

Strikers determined to win at Barts NHS in east London

Soft facilities strikers at the long-running Barts Health dispute were again on picket lines this week as part of their fight for the NHS “Covid bonus”.

Hundreds of Unite union members at hospitals across east London planned to be out until Friday this week.

They are considering more action before their ballot runs out at the end of the month.

The union then plans to re-ballot the workers—who are cleaners, porters, cooks and domestics, as well as those working in laundries.

Trust bosses are refusing to pay the £1,650 bonus to all soft facilities strikers because some were in the process of transferring back to the NHS from the private sector during the pandemic.

Other groups of workers that had formed part of the dispute now look to have settled, with the union recommending acceptance of deals.

But there is a widespread feeling that new issues arose during the strikes that the union must now address.

Support the strike solidarity fund at

Around 30 security guards at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital in central London began a discontinuous strike on Thursday last week after Trust bosses refused to negotiate with their Unite union.

Junior doctors in Wales proscribe new strikes

Junior doctors in Wales have announced new strike dates as part of their ongoing dispute over pay.

The BMA Cymru Wales union say the first 72-hour full walkout will start on Wednesday 21 February and last until Saturday 24 February.

The second strike, which is set to last for 96-hours, will start on Monday 25 March and finish on Friday 29 March. The announcement of new action comes after a first round of strikes in January.

The Welsh Labour-run government says it is “disappointed”. But what did it expect after imposing a 5 percent pay rise–the lowest of any British government.

Labour blames the Westminster government and a lack of funding for its offer. But what is Labour for if it can’t put up for fight for the health service.

The union demands full pay restoration, saying that junior doctors have lost about third of their pay in ten years.

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