Unison union members are getting behind the campaign to defend leading health worker Karen Reissmann.
Over 450 people have signed a statement calling on Unison’s leadership to reinstate Karen to her democratically-elected union positions.
She was an outspoken critic of the NHS pay deal that left many health workers feeling short-changed.
The statement said, “We do not know if these views and her suspension are linked, but would have grave concerns if they were.”
The NHS pay deal was missold by the leaderships of 13 health unions.
The statement calls on people to support Karen’s reinstatement “whatever our own personal view of the NHS pay deal”.
Workers should be able to speak out, even if this sometimes goes against what union leaders are thinking.
If the Unison leadership gets away with victimising Karen, they will use it as a pretext to further clamp down on dissent, the left and any grassroots initiative.
Activists should take the statement around their branches and workplaces.
Health pay ballot in Northern Ireland
Health workers in Northern Ireland could strike over pay.
The Royal College of Nursing launched an indicative ballot for industrial action last Monday.
And the Unison and Nipsa unions could also ballot their members in the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care service.
Health worker Karen Reissmann said the possibility of strikes showed the depth of people’s anger.
“It’s a sign of the times of how frustrated people are,” she told Socialist Worker. “There is the possibility of joint action, though neither union should hold back or wait for the other.”