Former care worker Lisa Altan has given us permission to publish her heartfelt letter to the managers of Shelley Park, a specialist neurological care and rehabilitation centre in the south of England, who sacked her a week ago last Friday for refusing to have the experimental Covid-19 vaccine forced on her as a condition of work.
IT IS with great sadness and disappointment that I am writing to you with regards to my dismissal and my colleagues’ dismissal, due to our decision to oppose your vaccination campaign.
I have worked with your company for 11 years during the night, and recently I was supporting the Night Team in the capacity of Team Leader. I can honestly say during the time of my employment, I have given to your company my 100 per cent, working relentlessly, never leaving a shift unless everything was done properly, it didn’t matter how late I left, I always made sure our residents and my colleagues were safe. I have also built the Night Team to its best, and believe me it was not an easy task.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, as I was one of the few people that never got sick or ill, I carried out my duties in terrible working conditions: we were understaffed, often working with inexperienced agency staff, and having to manage our residents being sick and dying. At that time my colleagues and I were considered heroes, as we came to work and looked after our residents, putting our lives and our families at risk. Now after all of that, we are considered and treated like outlaws and criminals because we refuse to take a vaccination that clearly does not work as advertised.
I would like you to take a moment of your time and for once ask you to try to put yourself in my shoes and try to understand as another human being how this experience and situation would make you feel.
My whole career, my life has been tipped upside down only because I have decided to abstain from a vaccination, which is my human right.
I understand that as a business you are following Government guidelines and I am not here to dispute that with this email, I am just here to make you realise as a company how dreadfully you have been processing my dismissal and my colleagues’ dismissal.
On 09/11/2021, a few hours before my shift I received a phone call from [a junior administrator, name redacted] telling me: ‘Don’t bother coming to work today, you will be paid for your shift, a letter is in the post to say your role is terminated, you are dismissed.’
As a human being, after 11 years of service, how would you feel? Would you like to be processed and dealt with in such a manner?
I wasn’t expecting a bunch of flowers, but a thank you for what my colleagues and I have done throughout the years would have been a more civilised and humane way to terminate someone’s contract.
I don’t think it ever occurred to you that we didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye to our residents and colleagues, who we have cherished and loved for many years.
Working with brain injury and looking after vulnerable people is no walk in the park, I don’t think you realise the challenges and the emotional pressure we are under, the only thing that can make a difference for us workers is someone in charge that can empathise and value what we do.
You run a very successful business, and I am sure that a good reputation is very important to you; the way you treat service users and your staff, will reflect upon you, not just as a business but as a human being.
Regardless of our different views with regards to the vaccination programme, regardless of our positions, first of all we are all human beings, and respect, consideration and empathy, should be at the base of any civilised interaction.
If we lose our humanity, we stop being humans and therefore we cease to exist.
My words are not filled with bitterness or anger, I just wish for you to open your eyes and understand that people who work for you are the very ingredients that make your business successful, so please be considerate and kind and ask yourself how they feel and how they are treated.
I really hope you will take a closer look at your dismissal procedure to make it better. After all these years working for Shelley Park, I would have wished for a better way to end our working relationship.
Thank you for taking the time to read my email, I wish the best to you and your business.