Unison calls three-day strike over suspended Manchester activist

Almost 700 staff at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust will strike for three days from Wednesday 29 August in protest at the suspension of a community psychiatric nurse and Unison activist.

The walkout is in support of Karen Reissman, Unison branch chair and a member of the union’s national executive committee, who claims she was suspended for speaking out against government policies and local cuts.

The strike will cover all in-patient, hospital and community psychiatric services across Manchester, with nurses, administration staff and occupational therapists all involved.

A walkout was agreed last week after 87% of members backed it in a ballot, which had a turnout of 47%. Following the vote, trust chief executive Sheila Foley said the turnout showed that “large numbers of our staff” were not prepared to strike over what the trust described as “the private employment matter of one individual”.

She added: “I would like to reassure users and carers that we will continue to provide them with responsive services and we will continue to talk to our staff and their representatives.”

Unison will hold a mass picket outside the trust’s headquarters at 12noon next Wednesday and a rally next Friday at Piccadilly Gardens in central Manchester.

Related information

Essential information on mental health 

Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust 

Unison statement on strike vote 

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