Council defends role in strike dispute
South Ayrshire Council has defended its conduct following a dispute which has seen workers in its property maintenance division go on strike.
SCN reported this week that around 100 council workers had began a week-long strike over long-running allegations that a manager had bullied and intimidated staff.
The striking staff claimed a manager was allowed to remain in his post despite being the subject of dozens of complaints.
Construction union UCATT and Unite say the dispute has been brewing since August 2013 and concerns the conduct of the council’s property maintenance manager William Andrew.
According to the unions, there have been 37 separate complaints made against Mr Andrew concerning bullying, victimisation, goading and intimidation.
However council chief executive, Eileen Howat, said the grievance was “extensively investigated” and stood by the council’s complaints process.
She said: “We are very concerned about the approach being taken by the unions around the current strike action and some of the comments being made both about the council’s conduct as well as a named individual employee.
“The grievance involving this individual – and referred to by the unions as the basis for the strike action – was extensively investigated and concluded in line with the policy collectively agreed with the trade unions.
“We firmly stand by the process that was followed, including the appeal to a panel of councillors, which was not upheld.”