Barnet UNISON notes:
- The suspension by Labour-led Kirklees Council of UNISON Branch Secretary Paul Holmes in December 2019
- That Kirklees Council has had almost two years to carry out an investigation
- That Paul has been a Nalgo and then UNISON steward for 46 years, and Branch Secretary for 32 years, and is currently the President of UNISON
- That Kirklees UNISON is one of the largest branches in the country and had 3 live strike ballots and one pending when Paul was suspended
- On hearing that Paul Holmes had been suspended the Council’s Deputy Leader said at the time, “There is a Father Christmas”.
Barnet UNISON believes:
- That an injury to one is an injury to all – employers must not be allowed to get away with attacking our union organisation and our union activists, reps, branch and national officers.
- The Deputy Leader’s statement shows that UNISON and Paul have been a thorn in their side, and critical to resisting cuts and closures of public services – delaying any investigation for so long indicates the aim was more to undermine union organisation in the Council.
Barnet UNISON resolves:
- To campaign for Kirklees Council to end the suspension of Paul.
- To write to both the Chief Executive and the Council Leader calling on them to lift Paul’s suspension.
- To affiliate to the Defend Paul Holmes Campaign and publicise and mobilise for campaign events and activities.
Barnet UNISON Branch Executive unanimously passed this motion on 8 September 2021.