Union calls for reinstatement of worker allegedly sacked for raising fire concerns

Unite claims Alison Morris was dismissed by the health and social care charity change, grow, live after she allegedly said an office might have to be closed because of faulty fire alarms

Alison Morris
Alison Morris

The trade union Unite is calling for the immediate reinstatement of a health and safety representative who was dismissed by the health and social care charity change, grow, live after an alleged row about a fire inspection.

Unite said Alison Morris, a drugs referral team leader with 14 years’ service in the NHS and for the charity, was summarily dismissed from her role at CGL’s Birmingham operation Reach Out Recovery earlier this month.

This happened after a joint inspection with a fire officer of the charity’s Scala House office in Birmingham city centre in January, where some fire alarms were found to be not working, Unite said.

The union said Morris, who had been at the charity since March 2015, reported that the building might be closed if the problem was not addressed by the next day.

Senior management claimed she said the building would close, according to Unite, which the management team said constituted allegedly "intentionally misleading management".

The union said it strongly disputed the views of the charity’s senior management views on what Morris said.

It has also warned that a ballot on industrial action might be held if Morris was not reinstated.

Caren Evans, regional officer at Unite, said: "This is one of the most extraordinary cases I have come across in my experience. Alison should have been praised for going the extra mile in her own time to protect her colleagues from death in fire, not dismissed for carrying out her duties.

"Alison was transferred from the NHS in March 2015 to CGL and now she has been treated in the most horrendous way by a draconian management that has a vibrant anti-union bias.

"We are calling for Alison’s immediate reinstatement after what can only be described as a drumhead court martial. Unite has lodged an appeal against the sacking and Alison’s case has gone to Unite legal services to lodge an unfair dismissal claim should she not be reinstated."

A spokeswoman for CGL said: "CGL would not normally comment on ongoing disciplinary matters but will confirm that a member of staff has been dismissed. This matter is subject to appeal and, as such, we are unable to comment further on the details of the case at this point.

"CGL takes its responsibilities as an employer seriously, with robust policies and procedures in place to ensure staff are treated fairly. The safety and wellbeing of staff and our service users is our absolute priority and something we rightly invest considerable resources and effort into getting right, as demonstrated by our OHAS 18001 accreditation for health and safety."

The union said Morris was not available for comment. 

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