Press Release Press Release Press Release Press

5 June 2000

MSF CHALLENGES "UNION BUSTER" LAWYERS OVER ROLE IN NHS

Health union MSF today (Monday, 5 June) challenged leading NHS lawyers Eversheds to clarify whether there are any circumstances under which they would encourage or help advise health services employers to undermine or marginalise trade unions or advise them on how to do so.

MSF's Head of Health Roger Kline has written to Martin Warren, senior partner at Eversheds, following an extensive report in yesterday's Observer that Eversheds was hosting US style union busting seminars.

Roger Kline said: "We are seeking urgent assurances that Eversheds, who make millions from NHS contracts, have no intention of providing anti-union advice to NHS or independent health care employers."

We have asked for a list of their NHS contracts and independent health care contracts and have asked that they to confirm that there are no circumstances in which they would provide such advice to NHS employers or independent healthcare employers, even if asked to do so"

In the light of the anti-union strategy being employed at Bedford Hospitals NHS Trust we have also asked for assurances that Eversheds have had no involvement whatsoever in that Trusts attempts to undermine trade unions locally."

Under the various Human Resources strategies being developed in the NHS, staff and their trade unions in the NHS and in all contractors within the health service, are seen as key stakeholders in developing better services and industrial relations.

Roger Kline added: "If MSF discover that Eversheds provide any future advice to NHS Trusts on de-recognising trade unions or marginalising their role, we will not hesitate to call for a UK wide NHS boycott on the grounds that they are undermining the human resources strategies of the NHS."

-ends-

NOTE FOR NEWS DESKS

Copy of MSF letter is attached.

For further information, please contact

Roger Kline 0468 69 39 34
Shaun Noble Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 Mobile 0468 69 39 40

MSF press releases can be seen on our web site: www.msfhealth.org

MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, the College of Health Care Chaplains, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Medical Practitioners' Union, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, the Hospital Physicists Association and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association.

MSF has 400,000 skilled and professional members in a wide range of industries. It is the UK's fifth largest union.

Back