Ian Powell, executive director of the senior doctors union, defended the “inalienable right to strike” in a weekend speech. But he said it was being misused, and therefore undermined – to the detriment of patients’ safety – by unions clustered around Deborah and Terry Powell’s company, Contract Negotiation Services (CNS).
Ian Powell is certainly not the first person to note the effect of Deborah Powell on the health system – her unions do tend to strike without fail.
Ian Powell characterises the CNS unions as “bargaining agents”, in contrast to the “broader-based unionism” of his own organisation.
He told a dental conference on Saturday that bargaining agents focused on what they could “scratch out” of the health system, while unions like his also focused on what they could put into it.
“Regardless of motivation, seeing patients as weapons is an inevitable consequence of a bargaining-agent approach, whereas the broader unionism approach sees them as natural allies.”
Not unfair criticisms.
Deborah Powell accused Ian Powell of hypocrisy, saying his own union had come close to strike action.
Also not unfair criticisms back.
I actually don’t like it when unions fight each other as it is just like the Iran-Iraq war – never knowing what side to back 🙂