Saturday, 14 March 2015

NHS worker Charlotte Monro claims she was sacked for trade union activities

NHS trade union rep Charlotte Monro has claimed she was sacked from her job as a moving and handling co-ordinator in the stroke unit at Whipps Cross hospital due to her trade union activities.

 Monro was dismissed by Barts Trust after she addressed the Waltham Forest Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee in June 2013 in her capacity as a Unison rep about bed reduction at the stroke service.

 She was also charged with prematurely disclosing information about job losses to her union members and later with failure to disclose criminal convictions that arose out of political activities in her 20s.

Addressing the resumed employment tribunal hearing at Anchorage House in the Docklands Monro declared that “my attendance to speak at the Scrutiny Committee was the trigger for my suspension and the Trust's investigation.”

It was a matter of days after she made this address that Barts Trust acted, suspending Monro and launching its investigation.

“I have been dismissed for activities I undertook in my union capacity and demand the protection I am entitled to under the law. If this (dismissal) is allowed to stand it will give a message not just to the Trust but to other NHS employers that they can at will class union activity as personal conduct of an individual employee and take action against them where they may perceive a challenge to some agenda,” said Monro, stressing that her case was really about the right of trade unions to operate in the NHS.

“It will reinforce an approach to unions that does not respect their independence and right to organise, free from interference by an employer and that union reps are equal partners to reach mutual agreement on how relations are conducted,” said Monro. “In the prevailing conditions within the NHS and public services this has to be a matter of wider concern.”

Monro highlighted how with the exceptions of the non-declaration of convictions allegation, all of the others related to her trade union activities.

On the question of the convictions, she suggested these were included in order that the Trust could justify the decision to dismiss her. “The real reason was my trade union activities,” she said.

Her suspension at the time concerned effectively took Monro out of wider discussions about reorganisation at Whipps Cross hospital. She had previously campaigned vigorously with the union to save the hospital.

14/3/2015  "NHS whistleblower slams sacking" -

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