Mental health: Second Manchester strike

Manchester mental health staff will hold a second three-day strike next week in support of a Unison activist and community psychiatric nurse who has been suspended for 11 weeks.

Unison said almost 700 Manchester Mental Health and Social Care staff would strike on 10, 11 and 12 September in defence of branch chair Karen Reissmann, who claims she was suspended for attacking local service cuts and government policies.

The union held a three-day strike at the end of August on the issue, which affected all in-patient, hospital and community psychiatric services in the city.

Reissmann said a meeting with the trust over her case last week had broken down but another was scheduled for this Friday.

The trust said it was “disappointed” by Unison’s decision to strike again and urged the union to reconsider and “get round the table” to discuss its concerns.

Chief executive Sheila Foley said only 281 out of the 700 Unison members had taken action in the last three-day strike, suggesting support was not high.

She said trust directors were working on contingency plans to ensure patient care is maintained next week.

Foley refused to respond to the claim that Reissmann had been suspended for union activity, saying this was a “private employment matter”.

More information
Essential information on mental health 
Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust statement on first three-day strike 
Unison statement on original strike vote 

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Mithran Samuel

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