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Mon 20 February 2012

UNISON seeks independent probe on bullying and harassment at Adam Smith College 

UNISON seeks independent probe on bullying and harassment at Adam Smith College

UNISON has called on the Education Secretary Mike Russell to set up an independent investigation into allegations of bullying and harassment at Adam Smith College in Fife. The union, which represents 100 staff at the college, intervened after press reports and concerns expressed by members regarding a “culture of bullying and harassment” by some senior staff.

Douglas Black, UNISON Regional Organiser said:
“There is a pressing need for these issues of bullying and harassment to be investigated to ensure our members can work in an environment free from intimidation.

“The allegations are so serious that I understand the Scottish Funding Council - a public body with responsibility for all Further Education Colleges Governance - has been asked to provide a report for Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education. This is welcome but it doesn’t go far enough. Given the level of public exposure this issue has and the many concerns being raised confidentially by our members there is a need for thorough independent investigation. I have written to ask the Cabinet Secretary to initiate this.”

Douglas Black said:
“Bullying and harassment in any shape or form is simply not acceptable in Adam Smith College or in any walk of life and UNISON will actively pursue all such issues on behalf of our members.”

“This is not a matter that can simply be dealt with internally within the college - given the fact that the allegations go to the very highest level. An investigation independent of the college is the only way that our members can have confidence that these issues will be dealt with on an open, transparent and fair basis.”


For further information please contact:
Douglas Black, Regional Organiser - 07958 121 851

Note to editors

1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing over 160,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland, including staff in further education. UNISON represents 100 staff at Adam Smith College.