Reinstate victimised steward –demand Camden Unison

William Westwell (fourth from left, with witch-hunt placard) demonstrating outside the school before the first hearing
William Westwell (fourth from left, with witch-hunt placard) demonstrating outside the school before the first hearing

ON Thursday July 12, the Camden Unison Children, Schools and Families shop stewards committee passed the following motion unanimously condemning the victimisation of Haverstock shop steward William Westwell.

Westwell was suspended as a direct result of the Unison decision to take strike action in defence of its members’ pensions last November 30th.

‘Motion to defend the Haverstock steward:

‘This CSF shop stewards committee has already condemned the victimisation of William as an attack on our union to take industrial action over pensions.

‘Within five days we will know whether he is to be sacked.

‘This committee continues to demand his immediate restoration to his post, and in the event of a decision to sack, will insist that the Branch Committee organise a ballot at Haverstock School for strike action to demand his reinstatement and call on the union to fight such a decision – with every weapon at its disposal.’

The Branch Secretary, George Binette said of the dispute: ‘Nearly seven months after his initial suspension by Haverstock School’s senior management, Unison steward William Westwell remains suspended and still faces the prospect of dismissal.

‘This is despite the majority of a panel of three school governors refusing to uphold charges of gross misconduct after an unprecedented three-day hearing in mid-April.

‘The charges against William actually stemmed from an investigation launched on the basis of false and malicious allegations by a then Unison member, who defied a clear instruction from the union, and broke the 30 November public sector pensions strike, which was supported by the overwhelming majority of all trade union members at Haverstock and across Camden.

‘The terrible mismanagement of William’s case (by the management) led to the termination of Haverstock’s relationship with the private HR contractor, Strictly Education.’

Despite this huge setback’the head teacher continues to push for William’s sacking’.

William Westwell works as senior science technician in Haverstock School’s science department, where he has been since 1998, without a single complaint being made against his performance of his duties.