Socialist Worker

Sick show trial for health activist Yunus Bakhsh

Issue No. 2104

Yunus Bakhsh

Yunus Bakhsh

Health bosses in Newcastle have created a storm of anger as they move to discipline leading trade unionist Yunus Bakhsh – despite doctors saying he is too ill to attend their hearing and urging the trust to delay its action.

The Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust has decided to ignore medical advice from Yunus’s GP and its own occupational health specialists. It began a disciplinary hearing against him on Monday of this week.

Yunus, who has been suffering from depression, has not been able to attend the hearing.

Dr Radu Ursu told trust bosses, “The patient is unable at the present time to attend a disciplinary hearing due to his state of mind and I would suggest that he should be given sufficient time to recover before the proceedings go on… He would not be able to represent himself properly.”

If the charges against Yunus are upheld, it could lead to him being sacked or even struck off the nursing register.

This would mean he would be unable to work as a psychiatric nurse as he has done for the past 20 years.

Despite the fact that Yunus is not present – and therefore unable to defend himself in his usual vigorous style – the trust has gone ahead regardless.

That a mental health trust would endanger the health and employment status of one of their own employees in such a crass way in causing anger among Yunus’s workmates and fellow trade unionists well beyond his own Unison union.

However, a small number of Unison “representatives” have been called by management to give evidence, thereby giving fake credibility to the process.

If Yunus is sacked through this kangaroo court, scores of protests must be organised in his defence.

Last week around 50 people came to a local meeting to discuss the growing campaign to defend Yunus. Among them were a number of senior trade unionists from across the north east of England.

Many were worried about the terrible precedent the trust’s actions might set.

In response to the news of the hearing, members of Yunus’s Unison union branch are circulating a petition to demand a full meeting in which they can discuss his case.

Send messages demanding that Yunus’s hearing is called off to the trust’s chief executive, c/o [email protected]

Send messages of support to [email protected]

Send donations to Defend Yunus Bakhsh Campaign, c/o 46c Lawe Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear NE33 2EN. Cheques payable to Defend Yunus Bakhsh Campaign

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Article information

Tue 3 Jun 2008, 18:18 BST
Issue No. 2104
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