We wanted to write to you jointly following the outcome of the trial of the former First Minister.
As unions we were at the forefront of negotiating the fairness at work policy that covered Ministers as well as staff. We did so because we know how incredibly difficult it can be to raise concerns about behaviours in the workplace, whether that be about a colleague, a manager or in particular a minister, given the unique position of power they have over officials.
Every member of staff has the right to work in a respectful and supportive environment and should feel able to challenge inappropriate behaviour wherever it exists or whoever it is from.
As unions we will be considering the evidence provided in the trial and the issues that it raises, regardless of whether these were considered by a jury to be criminal. We are also deeply concerned about evidence which suggested that individuals did not feel able to challenge behaviours through the mechanisms which we as unions had sought to introduce for these very purposes.
As you know, a number of inquiries have been launched and we will consider how we may interact with these to raise our concerns. We will also be considering issues related to these events and whether changes need to be made to current processes in light of these and other factors, such as people survey results.
We have also been alarmed by the targeting of individuals on social media and statements from politicians regarding “sackings” and targeting of individuals. We will continue to work with Scottish Government to ensure staff have the support in place that is necessary to protect their safety and reputation.
Critically, we also want to assure members that we will continue to support individuals who come forward to challenge inappropriate behaviour.
If you have any concerns about how you are treated in the workplace or regarding the events surrounding the trial, please speak to your local or national representatives.
Cat Boyd – Acting PCS National Officer
Richard Hardy – Prospect National Secretary Scotland & Ireland
Allan Sampson – FDA National Officer