Nurse sacked for talking to press goes to tribunal

Karen Reissman, the NHS nurse who was sacked for criticising her employer in a magazine interview, begins her unfair dismissal appeal at an employment tribunal on Monday.

Reissman, who was a senior mental health nurse and Unison rep, was fired for speaking out against staff cuts and privatisation of the trust’s services.

In an interview with small Manchester business magazine Internal Enterprise, which has since ceased publishing, Reissman criticised the trust for employing voluntary sector workers to carry out key roles.

Caroline Bedale, secretary of the trust’s Unison branch, said that trade unionists should not be silenced and should be able to speak to the press.

She said: ‘NHS trusts are not buying and selling cornflakes. We are providing a public service. We want NHS trade unionists to be able to speak out when they have concerns about the impact of the private and voluntary sectors taking over the provision of health services.

‘We should not be silenced by commercial interests. It is not good for staff, not good for patients and not good for the NHS.”

Some 64 MPs have signed an early day motion calling for her reinstatement and the NUJ has offered its support, inviting her to speak at a rally in Manchester to coincide with the Society of Editor’s conference there last year.

  • Marks and Spencer this week suspended an executive for leaking details of plans to cut redundancy payment for 60,000 staff by 25 per cent.The Times yesterday reported that the employee, with 25 years’ service, faces a disciplinary hearing for informing the paper of the scheme.The company’s press office today declined to comment and said it was an internal matter.
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