The fight to reinstate Manchester Unison union activist Karen Reissmann to her job as a community psychiatric nurse continues with campaigners this week launching a series of initiatives.
A member of Unison’s national health executive, Karen was sacked after speaking out against cuts and privatisation. However this has not deterred her fellow workers from speaking out themselves.
Health workers from Karen’s Unison branch are next week planning to protest outside the Manchester launch of Virgin healthcare’s roadshow.
Richard Branson’s Virgin group wants to join a string of other multinationals to take over the running of GP surgeries, offering patients a range of private services to “complement” those of the NHS.
The Manchester community and mental health branch of Unison is organising the protest in conjunction with other trade unionists and NHS campaigners in the city.
The branch is also organising a major public meeting on the right of union activists to speak out during the week of Unison’s health conference, set to take place in Manchester in April.
Meanwhile plans for a national lobby of parliament in May are being finalised by Unison’s north west region.
The lobby will coincide with a meeting with MPs in parliament to demand that trade unionists in the NHS have the right to speak out against policies that are detrimental to workers and patients.
Unison has also organised a postcard campaign on this issue and is asking its members to flood their MPs with the demand that Karen is reinstated.
Karen’s case has been referred to an industrial tribunal which is likely to take place between September and December this year.
Don’t let Branson get his hands on the NHS!
Protest Wednesday 20 February, 6pm, Imperial War Museum, Trafford Wharf Road (nearest tram stop Broadway)
Public meeting Tuesday 15 April, 7.30pm at Mechanics Institute, Princess Street, Manchester
Get postcards and send messages of support to Manchester Community and Mental Health Unison, Union office, Chorlton House, 70 Manchester Road, Manchester M21 9UN. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to » www.reinstate-karen.org