Mental health worker strike to continue

A strike by mental health workers in support of sacked psychiatric nurse Karen Reissmann is continuing, despite her losing an appeal against the decision to dismiss her.

Ms Reissmann was sacked by Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust in November after talking to the media against NHS cuts, including those to her trust.

The sacking triggered an indefinite strike by up to 150 mental health workers in Manchester.

Ms Reissmann, a union representative, has vowed to fight on and revealed to the Manchester Evening News newspaper yesterday that union members had decided to carry on the strike.

Ms Reissmann said: “People are angry. They feel I have been sacked for speaking out and are worried that decisions will be made in the future without staff being able to voice their concerns.

“Members of the [Unison] union have decided that they are not going to stop the strike.”

She told journalists her union will look at taking the trust to the European Court of Human Rights.

Sheila Foley, the trust’s chief executive, said: “If we are to make the much needed improvements to mental health services in Manchester then we need everyone back at work.

“Improving care and services is the job I was brought here to do, it’s what I want to get on with and everyone within the trust has a part to play in being able to achieve it.

“As a part of that process I want positive dialogue with Unison. It is vital for our carers and service users that the Trust now puts this episode behind them and moves on.”

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