Posts Tagged ‘expulsion’

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.


Unison expels socialist activist

October 10, 2008

Re-instate Pat Lawlor

By Peter Hadden, (taken from The Socialist, Oct 08)

THE LEADERSHIP of Unison have just trampled on the democratic rights of every member of that union and indeed of trade union members generally.

A specially established sub committee of the union’s National Executive met in Belfast at the start of October and decided to expel the nurse’s convenor in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Pat Lawlor. (more…)

Re-instate Pat Lawlor leaflet

October 8, 2008

You can help re-instate Pat Lawlor by downloading this leaflet and distribute at work


Unison expels union activist for supporting striking Classroom Assistants

October 8, 2008

“Unison members will be outraged that, at a time when they should be concentrating all their efforts on defending our jobs and our pay, the Unison leaders are, instead, spending time organising witch-hunts against shop stewards.” Pat Lawlor
The leadership of Unison has just taken a decision to expel one of its most active shop stewards in Northern Ireland from the union.
Pat Lawlor is the union’s nursing convenor in the Royal Victoria Hospital. Unison’s right wing leadership decided to take disciplinary action against him, giving as their grounds the fact that he sent an email offering support to NIPSA Classroom Assistants during their strike last year.
His email criticised the local Unison leaders for not bringing Unison Classroom Assistants out on strike alongside their NIPSA colleagues.  This created a ridiculous situation where trade unionists were crossing each others’ picket lines, allowing the employer to divide and rule
The Unison leaders have now used this as a pretext to expel Pat. It is unprecedented that a union leadership should expel a shop steward because he gave support to another group of workers in struggle.
The real reason for this expulsion is that Pat is an outspoken shop steward and also an active member of the Socialist Party. It is part of a general attack by the current right wing Unison leadership, who clearly cannot tolerate either criticism or opposition, against Socialist Party members and on the left within the union.
Four other members of the Socialist Party in England along with several other prominent stewards who have dared to speak their minds are also currently facing disciplinary action and possible expulsion on similarly trumped up charges
Pat Lawlor has the support and backing of the nursing membership of Unison who elected him as their shop steward.
A “Re-instate Pat Lawlor” campaign has today been launched to demand that the expulsion decision be reversed. The case is also now being referred to a Fair Employment Tribunal where the Unison leadership will face a charge that they have discriminated against Pat Lawlor on the grounds of his political opinions.
Pat Lawlor today commented:
“By deciding to expel me the Unison leaders are trampling on the democratic rights of the membership. I have a democratic right to hold views that are different from those of the union leadership and to put those ideas forward.
“The people who decided to expel me have never set foot in the RVH. I was elected by Unison nurses in the RVH. They are the people who should take the decision whether I continue to represent them.
“My members are extremely angry at what has happened. We are now launching a campaign within Unison in Northern Ireland and in Britain to have this decision reversed.”
For interviews contact Pat Lawlor on 07810522111