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Unison witch-hunt hits Northern Ireland
THE WITCH-HUNT of members of the Socialist Party in Unison has now extended to Northern Ireland. Pat Lawlor, Unison convenor for nursing in the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, who has continually campaigned for Unison members in opposition to low pay, cuts in services and privatisation, is currently under 'investigation' by the union's national executive.
Eileen Keenan, Northern Ireland Unison member in education, personal capacity
This is after a spurious complaint was made against Pat for sending a message of solidarity to striking classroom assistants on 27 November 2007.
The dispute by classroom assistants to defend their pay, terms and conditions became a protracted and bitter struggle between the striking workers, the management of the Education and Library Board (ELB) and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The proposed deal by the ELB amounted to a pay cut of up to 18.5% through extending their working hours and taking away special allowances from those workers.
The classroom assistants refused this derisory offer and looked to their union leaderships. Unison's leadership, who organise the second-largest number of members next to NIPSA, initially accepted the offer but were forced to back-track when their membership rejected the deal.
Instead of balloting their members and calling for coordinated strike action amongst all the unions involved, the Unison leadership continually refused a ballot.
Pat expressed solidarity with workers and highlighted the disgraceful role of the right-wing leadership in Unison. He now faces disciplinary action.
Since January 2008, the Northern Ireland regional leadership have attempted twice to suspend Pat. He was democratically elected to represent the members' interests, in contrast to an unelected regional leadership. Pat has continually demanded that all officers of Unison should be regularly elected and accountable to their members.
Contact Pat Lawlor for further information on: 02894470415 / 07810522111
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 079 8202 1969
East Mids: 077 3797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 078 4114 4890
North West 079 5437 6096
South West: 077 5979 6478
Southern: 078 3368 1910
Wales: 079 3539 1947
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041