Rights of Trade Unionists to Speak Out

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2008 Health Care Service Group Conference
12 December 2007
Carried as Amended

Recognising the disgraceful attacks in 2007 on the rights of trade unionists to speak out about service cuts, privatisation and detrimental service changes, this conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive to, through the NHS Staff Council, seek to negotiate a national agreement which protects this right.

Conference is concerned that currently where a union representative exercises this right and is dismissed as a result, whether or not the employer admits that this is the reason, the right of appeal against dismissal ends with the employing authority. Conference believes that, with the support of their union and in addition to the Employment Tribunal route, union representatives should have a right of appeal to a nationally agreed body, made up of trade union, NHS employer and government representatives, with an independent chair.

Conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive to explore how such a body could be established at national level for the NHS, and to support a campaign for such a body to be established with the power to enforce reinstatement if the case is found in favour of the union representative.