Thursday, 16 September 2010
Demonstrate against union busting at Hastings CSA
Join the demo!
Meet 1pm at Hastings Pier, Saturday 18 September
Meet 9.30am by St Peters Church taxi rank, Brighton (for a return coach trip £5)
PCS Branch Secretary at Child Support Agency Hastings, Sam Buckley has recently become the fifth branch officer to be sacked on trumped up charges since November 2007. Several more reps are under threat as we speak. The national union regards this as deliberate union busting and is fully behind the campaign's demands for reinstatement, an end to bullying of staff and reps and a DWP Select Committee enquiry into management at CSA Hastings.
CSA Hastings has become known as "The Bermuda Triangle of the Civil Service" owing to the way that those who stand up to management disappear - so far the Branch has lost a Chair, two Vice Chairs, two Branch Secretaries and a Treasurer (although the Treasurer, Winston Resalsingh, was reinstated in the teeth of stated opposition from Area Management and South East HR) This is in stark contrast to how management treat BNP members -local neo-Nazi Frank Swaine has twice been given permission to stand for the BNP in council elections, despite Civil Service policy which obliges us all to promote diversity in the communities in which we live and work. Union reps handing out anti-BNP leaflets, by contrast, were threatened with disciplinary action and full time union officials thrown off the site by security. Managers still insist the hugely disproportionate number of union officers sacked is a complete coincidence. PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka, by contrast, told a packed AGM that DWP management was the worst in the Civil Service, that CSA management was the worst in the DWP and that Hastings management was the worst in the whole of the CSA!
Of the officers we have lost so far, Branch Chair Eddie Fleming was proved by a tribunal to have been unfairly dismissed – yet he was still refused his job back. Winston Resalsingh was sacked for asking if he was being discriminated against – he had to be reinstated and paid an out of court settlement after pressure from the national union got the case heard outside the area and it was found the managers dismissing him had failed to follow procedure, failed to show natural justice and failed to demonstrate impartiality. An attempt to sack the current Chair, Chris Brambleby had to be dropped after it was proved that someone had altered the minutes of ameeting in an apparent attempt to make him look worse.
A demonstration has been called backed by National, local and regional PCS and Hastings and District Trades Council among others which will assemble at 1pm at Hastings Pier Saturday18th September before moving off along the seafront at 1.30pm and marching to the town centre where a rally with speakers will be held.
Area management are eager to consolidate their "victory"-their first move has been to ban the local branch from issuing any leaflets to the members on the subject including outside the building and in their own time. National PCS pointed out to them that this is both unreasonable and unlawful and was ignored. As a result of this a mass leafletting session was held on Friday 30th July at Ashdown House. Despite the threats of Area Manager Robin Lulham, (who appeared to think he could issue orders to people who don’t work for him and weren’t on CSA property) to call the police it was a huge success. However the climate of fear was shown by the numbers of staff who were eager to sign the petition but on condition management were never told they had signed. Others made a point of ostentatiously shaking Sam’s hand in the full view of senior managers.
Please support this demonstration and please help us spread the word!. For details about the dismissals, bullying and harrassment in Hastings, messages of solidarity, to become an official sponsor of the march,to get a speaker from the campaign, queries, donations etc please contact Branch Secretary Sam Buckley via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Facebook group here and click here for an archive story on Eddie Fleming.