Tuesday 4 March 2008

Reinstate Karen Reissmann

I went along to the campaign meeting on Monday night, discussing how we continue the campaign to get sacked local nurse and UNISON activist Karen Reissmann reinstated.

Karen was victimised for speaking out about problems in the trust, where she led a fight against cut-backs in mental health services. Now it emerges that the trust management doing their sums to justify the cuts failed to count so many patients that they are equivalent to the work of a whole team. The community staff who the trust has been trying to force into other jobs have now been told that they are needed after all. This is an important win. But for the resistance of the staff, users and community, these jobs would have gone long ago. A grievance about similar issues for Occupational Therapists is awaiting a response.

If trust management could count, or had listened to staff and users who highlighted the error, perhaps they wouldn't have proposed the cuts, Karen wouldn't have needed to speak out, and the whole dispute could have been avoided. If Sheila Foley and the trust management had any decency they would resign.

On past performance we would be ill advised to put our faith in Sheila & Co having any decency, so it's good news that the campaign is making more plans to keep the pressure up, including:

  1. Campaign organising meeting, 6pm, Monday 7th April, Mechanics Institute
  2. Public meeting & social, 7:30pm, Monday 14th April, Manchester. This is timed to be a fringe event for the UNISON Health Conference, as well as being a public meeting for Manchester supporters.
  3. Please badger your MP to sign Early Day Motion 443 calling for Karen's reinstatement.
  4. National Lobby of Parliament (called by UNISON nationally), Wednesday 7th May. There will be a meeting hosted by Tony Lloyd MP. Transport from Manchester being organised.

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