18 Sep 2008

Two fingers to New Labour

great news. The biggest 2 fingers to the Neo-labour rabble in Unison- well done one and all to all in Unison Health who helped get her in. I can hear the cringeing from Unison HQ from here! said my comrade Phelim.

To: unisonunitedleft
Subject: [uul] Karen elected to NEC

Brilliant news - Karen Reissmann has been elected to the NEC, for one of
the four national Health seats.

We'll be celebrating in the branch!!

Caroline Bedale

Karen a victimsed unison worker, long time socialist worker and all round higly active and wonderful leftist has won a big victory...

some background...

Reissmann Sacked For Speaking Out

On Monday November 5th Karen Reissmann, CPN and UNISON branch chair was sacked on 4 counts. Firstly that, when she was interviewed in December 2006 criticising the transfer of NHS work to the voluntary sector, she brought the Trust into disrepute. Secondly, for telling people that she was suspended and what for. Thirdly, for protesting her innocence. Fourthly, for allowing the press to print information, some misleading about her case. The fifth charge of misusing time was dropped. All the charges were gross misconduct and all sackable offences.

UNISON believes this is an absolute disgrace. Union reps must have the right to campaign against cuts and victimisation of our trade union reps. The Human Rights Act brought in by the Labour government allows for freedom of expression. Karen works in the NHS, in 2007, in Britain not Burma – she must have the right to speak out without fear of persecution. If she remains sacked it will make all NHS staff and all trade union reps feel much more cautious about saying anything.

Karen Reissmann was told on Monday 10th December that her appeal had been turned down.
UNISON members voted on the 14th December to suspend their indefinite strike of community mental health teams and to return to work. But this is not the end. Their campaign to reinstate Karen Reissmann will now become a national UNISON campaign. Further strike action by the branch is planned for the New Year as part of this national campaign.

Dave Prentis, UNISON general secretary, who is arranging a meeting with Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Health, has sent a personal message to all the strikers. He says “UNISON will not be silenced and we shall continue to campaign through all available channels to obtain Karen’s reinstatement.”

UNISON is supporting a claim for unfair dismissal at an Employment Tribunal, early day motion by UNISON sponsored MPs and looking to a national lobby of parliament in the New Year.

“I would like to thank all those colleagues who have supported my case so far and know we are all committed to an on-going national campaign to obtain my reinstatement. Neither me, nor my colleagues nor our supporters are going away” said Karen.

lets keep active in our unions.

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