Update on John’s case – National Disputes Committee decision

An update from John:

I received the attached letter from Mark Serwotka yesterday. He says that, following my meeting with him, together with Janice Godrich and John McInally on 15 January 2015, the NDC has reviewed its previous negative decision on my request for support following my Tribunal win, but that it has reaffirmed its previous decision.

No regard appears to have been paid to my responses at the meeting, to the two reasons for not supporting me which the NDC is sustaining.

In the beginning I had been told that Thompson’s negative assessment of merit of my claim to the Tribunal was the reason that I had not been supported.

When that assessment was proven to have been wrong in that I won the Tribunal, the second layer of excuses came to the fore, i.e. that I didn’t follow the advice of the full time officer, Alan Brown when I refused to submit to the disciplinary procedures.

At the 15 January meeting, I pointed out that although I had indeed disagreed with Alan Brown’s advice in that respect, the difference had been resolved at the time and Alan had soon thereafter written to the HP HR Manager labelling my suspension as an attack on the union and demanding my unconditional reinstatement (see here).

I also reminded Messrs. Serwotka, Godrich and McInally of the relevant facts and findings set out in the Tribunal judgment, i.e. that the employer (1) had acted unlawfully; (2) had attempted to impose a condition on my suspension that barred contact with any other employee, which would if I’d accepted the legitimacy of the disciplinary process, have meant that I couldn’t continue to perform my union branch secretary duties; and (3) that my suspension came in the context of ongoing industrial action with a one day strike due in two days time.

As to the third layer of excuses, i.e. that I had allegedly acted as an individual, breaking collective responsibility, I challenged him to reveal who is the author of these particular allegations, as they are easily disproved by the summary of facts in the Tribunal judgment and by the written witness statements of the 5 BEC members who were my witnesses at the Tribunal, not to mention the verdict of the Tribunal which could not have been reached had it been found that I had been on a frolic of my own. I acted as Branch Secretary as instructed by my BEC. Mark declined to say who had suggested to him this layer of the onion of excuses.

You can download Mark’s letter to John as a .docx file here.

Sign the open letter to Mark Serwotka here.

Support the lobby of Conference and pass the model motion at your AGM – details here.