Archive for the ‘Defend the Four’ Category

Chronology of the Witch Hunt against Pat Lawlor.

August 20, 2009



21st Sept 2007

Distribution of “SUPPORT THE CLASSROOM ASSISTANTS” leaflet around the Royal Hospitals by Pat Lawlor in support of striking workers.

23rd Nov 2007

Email of support for striking classroom assistants sent to Socialist Party Regional Organiser to be sent to workers on picket line. 

28th Nov 2007

Pat Lawlor called to attend the Unison branch office by branch officers to discuss email.

30th Nov 2007

Pat Lawlor received phone call at home by Brendan McCarthy  full time Unison office making reference to Pat’s political opinion and stating “it would be better for him to resign as action will be taken against him”.

2nd Dec 2007

Pat Lawlor received a letter of notification from Kevan Nelson (Unison democratic Services Unit) that a hearing was to be held to see if I had a case to answer.

5th Dec 2007

Pat Lawlor responded to Kevan Nelson by letter stating that demand for confidentiality would “contravene his right to seek advice and representation, as the complaint has a direct effect on the members he represented stating “I must tell you that I cannot in all fairness abide by your request.  I believe in a member led union, the members have a right to full disclosure of the facts of the matter”.

6th Dec 2007

Letter to “ALL UNISON MEMBERS” from Unison Regional Officer in response to the NIPSA and in direct reference to the Socialist Party, she refers to NIPSA being “in the grip of a small political faction”

7th Dec 2007

Pat Lawlor sends an open letter to Unison Branch officers to be forwarded to the membership of the unison educational sector showing support for members in education.

6th Jan 2008

 Pat Lawlor sends email to P Dooley Full time officer asking for clarification of status with the Royal Branch as Pat Lawlor was told that he had been suspended.

 8th Jan 2008

 Response from P Dooley by email that his status remained unchanged as unison convenor.

 17th Jan 2008

 Pat Lawlor submitted motion for Unison Branch AGM titled “BUDGET POSES SERIOUS THREAT TO PUBLIC SECTOR”.

22nd Jan 2008

Pat Lawlor approached by branch officer for the purpose of mediation, requested to tone down motion for AGM.

24th Jan 2008

 Pat Lawlor Met with Branch officer in the Branch offices and discussed the issues of mediation. Pat Lawlor raised the issue of posters of support being taken down with branch officer who said he had taking one down under instruction from the regional office

 25th Jan 08

 Pat Lawlor received copy of the AGM newsletter in the post; the motion submitted was unrecognisable.

 28th Jan 2008

 Pat Lawlor contacted branch officer by phone requesting that his original motion be re-instated

 29th Jan 2008

 Pat Lawlor attended the RVH branch to discuss the issue of the motion for the AGM, meeting was attended by full time regional officer, branch officer and one other, full time regional officer verbally abuses Pat Lawlor and makes references to his political opinion. 

 30th Jan 2008

 Pat Lawlor Received a phone call from branch office informing him “that an emergency stewards meeting was called for the 31st Jan 07”.

 31st Jan 2008

 After submission and complaint made by Pat Lawlor, emergency Stewards Meeting adjourned as in breach of Rule.

 1st Feb 2008

 Pat Lawlor contacted by branch office “that another emergency meeting had been called – letter requesting suspension sent to regional office”. At approx 14:00 Pat Lawlor spoke to branch officer directly, he was evasive over the re-play of the meeting, he stated that “he was forced to hold the meeting at the request of the regional office”; when asked who had personally told him to hold the meeting he refused to answer.

 4th Feb 2008

 Pat Lawlor called to the branch office to get copy of the letter of suspension, made verbal complaint to branch officer over meeting as it was in breach of rule.

 5th Feb 2008

 Pat Lawlor met his representative that evening for the NEC’s preliminary hearing to see if charges can be brought against Pat Lawlor on the 5th Feb 2008 Called to branch officer’s home as arranged to collect the letters of recommendation and proposed mediation.

 5th Feb 2008

 Preliminary Investigatory Hearing, UNISON Regional Office Galway House, Pat Lawlor raised issue of unconstitutional letter being allowed to be submitted as evidence and made formal verbal complaint. Attempted to find if mediation could resolve complaint, this was met with a negative response

 12th Feb 2008

On the issue of the second emergency meeting in the RVH, Pat Lawlor spoke to branch officer about “how many stewards where currently in the branch”, she said that “ we had approx 40 some activists”.

 13th Feb 2008

 Pat Lawlor received a copy of the branch steward list, on counting the number of activists there were 65 stewards on the branch list making the meeting in quorate. 

 Tuesday 15th Apr 2008

Pat Lawlor went up NIC-ICTU conference at Portrush to raise the issue of investigation with ICTU delegates.  Pat Lawlor got a warm response by many of the delegates present with many aware of his situation in unison.

18th Apr 2008

Leaflet and protest held outside Unison’s Regional Office, Gallway House Belfast, regional officers abusing Pat Lawlor and  protesters and making references to the Socialist Party and political opinion of the protesters.

21st Apr 2008

Letter of complaint concerning behaviour of regional officers on the 18th Apr 2008 sent to Kevan Nelson by Grainne Lawlor.

22nd Apr 2008

At Unison monthly Steward Meeting RVH, Pat Lawlor suspended from branch, abused by full time officer before meeting, branch officers refer to Pat Lawlor’s political opinion verbally and in document titled “TO ALL UNISON MEMBERS”.

 4th May 2008

 Letter of complaint sent from Pat Lawlor’s representative to Branch officer’s in relation to his suspension and references made to his political opinion.

 20th May 2008

 At Unison monthly Steward Meeting RVH, Pat Lawlor obstructed from attending branch meeting.

 2nd June 2008

 Pat Lawlor received the leaflet under the heading, Lawlor: The Truth with derogatory comments made about his character and with references to his political opinion.

 12th Aug 2008

 Pat Lawlor’s name deleted from the list of convenors and shop stewards for the Unison Branch, email of complaint sent to Branch officers.

 20th Aug 2008

 Pat Lawlor received news that his brother was terminally ill with cancer, contacted Kevan Nelson to arrange an adjournment of the hearing.  Pat Lawlor received a letter from the disciplinary panel that his request for an adjournment was denied.

 27th Aug 2008

 Pat Lawlor’s brother died quietly.

 4th Sep 2008

 Unison member informed Pat Lawlor that she had been told by her manager that the union branch did not recognise Pat Lawlor as a credited representative for unison.

 3rd Oct 2008

 Disciplinary Sub Committee for the NEC hearing refused to hear evidence showing that the action taken by the Royal branch and regional office against Pat Lawlor both breached Unison rules and was politically motivated. Pat Lawlor expelled pending appeal.

 5th Oct 2008

 While dealing with a nursing issue, unison member informed Pat Lawlor that a meeting had taken place with unison officers and Trust management without his involvement or knowledge in breach of union rule. 

20th Oct 2008

While in contact with unison members in Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast over issues of health and safety and staffing levels, Pat Lawlor was contacted by senior manager who said that she would be dealing with another unison rep. Pat Lawlor contacted branch officer, who informed him that she had another unison steward, to deal with it without his agreement or knowledge and in breach of union rule.

Oct – Nov 2008

The Royal Branch removed the quarterly payment of £150 and 6 hours facilitated time to carry out unison duties afforded to Pat Lawlor as his right as the elected convenor for the Royal Branch in breach of union rule.

10th Nov 2008

Pat Lawlor sent letter of complaint to Kevan Nelson to pursue grievances of unfair dismissal, discipline, expulsion and political discrimination against Unison, Public Service Union; as theDisciplinary Sub Committee for the NEC hearing refused to hear evidence showing that the action taken by the Royal branch and regional office against Pat Lawlor both breached Unison rules and was politically motivated.

20th Nov 2008

While in contact with nursing staff in the Infant Surgical Unit, Royal Hospital for Sick Children over staffing levels.  Branch officer circumvents Pat Lawlor legitimate role as nursing convenor, by getting another steward to attend meeting with managers without Pat Lawlor agreement or knowledge and in breach of unison rule.

 29th Nov 2008

Pat Lawlor  sent letter of complaint about Branch officers role in breaches of union rule to Kevan Nelson and concerning activities that unfairly dismissed and disciplined  Pat Lawlor from his role as unison representative.

8th Dec 2008

Response from Kevan Nelson – complaint referred to P McKeown

16th Dec 2008

Pat Lawlor not invited to or made aware of branch officers meeting as his remit as nursing branch officer entitles him to attend.

 5th Jan 2009

Pat Lawlor received letter stating L Kerr would be investigating officer for complaint against branch officers.  

8th Jan 2009

The Disciplinary Sub Committee for the NEC Appeal hearing refused to hear evidence showing that the action taken by the Royal branch and regional office against Pat Lawlor both breached Unison rules and was politically motivated. The initial charges were upheld and Pat Lawlor was expelled from the union.

 11th Jan 2009

Pat Lawlor Inform L Kerr that he had no confidence in a fair and just investigation being carried out and would seek legal remedy through the office of Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunal and Office of Certification.


Equality doesnt begin at home in UNISON public sector union

June 18, 2009

The public sector union, Unison expressed concerns on the limitations of Harriet Harman’s Equality Bill stating “UNISON is committed to achieving equality for all”.

UNISON, along with other trades unions and equality campaigners have publicly said that the proposals in the Bill are weak and are no more than a cosmetic exercise. Unison presenting equality as an embedded fundamental principle has responded to the Bill with a “…tailor made equality scheme to give activists the tools to embed equality in everything they do, systematically and consistently…”

Furthermore when reading Unison’s consultation draft for their equality scheme it certainly focuses on key equality features covered by anti-discrimination legislation such as age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion/political belief and sexual orientation.

On first appearances, Unison as a member of The Equality and Diversity Forum appears to be on the vanguard defending equality of treatment for all sections of the working classes. But this is the worst type of hypocritical self promotion as for Unison; equality does not begin at home.

The Unison leadership have no difficulty in politically discriminating against their own members if their control and power is threatened. This is clearly evident by the on-going two year politically motivated investigation against Unison members in Britain alongside Pat Lawlor’s ten month investigation and subsequent expulsion. There can be no coincidence that they are all members of the Socialist Party, who have continually fought for true democracy and accountable leadership in Unison.

During the Pat Lawlor’s investigation and expulsion, the Royal Branch leadership and unelected Regional Officers have had no concerns in undermining his rights for equality. They broke and bent branch and national rules while politically discriminated against him in an attempt to prevent him from representing the members who elected him.

This witch hunt against Socialist Party members and other left activists in Unison is driven by the fear of the National Executive’s deteriorating power base. The success of Socialist Party members in Unison’s up-coming NEC elections illustrates that many members are demanding an opportunity to reclaim Unison and build a truly accountable democracy.

All unison members who have suffered years of pay cuts and broken promises should now demand for a militant fighting union who will defend every job and public service.

Unison democrat

UNISON London HQ Lobby against witch-hunt of activists

December 3, 2008

Defend the Four Lobby of UNISON HQ London – video