Socialist Worker

Judge questions Yunus Bakhsh's sacking

Issue No. 2195

The judge at the employment tribunal into the sacking of Yunus Bakhsh last week posed tough questions for NHS managers about their handling of his case.

The tribunal heard that Trust directors were aware of allegations of racism surrounding Yunus’s case but said they did not believe any stereotyping of him had taken place.

Management fired Yunus in 2008 after receiving an “anonymous letter” of complaint against him. One of the four signatories was Kerry Cafferty. Another was her husband, Peter.

Trust director Dr Joseph admitted that he was aware that Kerry Cafferty was among a number of staff that had joined racist Facebook groups with links to the Nazi British National Party.

He also acknowledged that the Unison union at the Trust was the subject of a bitter power struggle, and that Peter Cafferty was fighting Yunus for the leadership of a new merged union branch.

During the tribunal the employment judge asked Dr Joseph whether it would have been reasonable, considering Yunus’s 22-year unblemished record, for him to get a written warning rather than being dismissed.

The judge added, “Is it not true that if you had reinstated him and issued a warning instead, you would not have been a very popular medical director with your colleagues?”

Yunus maintains that he was sacked because he was a thorn in the side of management.

Prior to his dismissal he exposed how Trust bosses had handed themselves pay rises while making millions of pounds of budget cuts—including stopping hot dinners for elderly patients.

The long-standing activist also alleges that his national union turned on him when it sensed an opportunity to damage the left.

The tribunal continues.

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Tue 30 Mar 2010, 18:50 BST
Issue No. 2195
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