Campaign mail from Peter Gregson, a council worker and campaigner for the council to have system for its workers to do whistleblowing on malpractices, anonymously so they can avoid getting victimised in their jobs for it. Sarted as an Edinburgh campaign but this petition applies the idea to all Scotland, because why not? His campaign is [was: at 2015 the link has disappeared] at www.kidsnotsuits.com
Anyone who has experienced the corrupt standards Edinburgh social care works to, going out of their way not to take positions or intervene on any wrongs done by any projects they support budgetarily, will know it affects aspies’ wellbeing to stop council workers living in intimidation against exposing bad goings-on. The position where they were not allowed to disclose malpractice to anyone outside their work departments, not even top councillors incredibly, and were subject to sacking for it or worse, was contributory to the Property Conservation and Mortonhall crematorium scandals, and to overlookings of problems in the trams plan. He wrote from experience of workers fearing witch hunts by their bosses for seeking to get any violatory practices stopped. According to his letter in the Evening News on May 13, the last such whistleblower ended up cost £30 000 of legal fees to clear his name, and the Mortonhall whistleblower £40 000. Further, he wrote:
“To ensure whistleblowers aren’t victimised, a chief risk officer needs to be appointed, whose job would be to train staff on disclosure arrangements, protect them and ensure investigations don’t turn into witchhunts. Union know staff are victimised. Last week, Edinburgh Unison passed a motion calling for better whistleblower protection for council workers, which would include allowing staff to report malpractice to councillors. Present policies forbid this.”
As well as the article, the Sunday Express Opinion leader gave the petition a nice puff yesterday. If you want to add comments and sign the petition, be my guest. It’s at www.scottish.parliament.uk/gettinginvolved/petitions/whistleblowing and has 38 signatures now. It’s “Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to support the introduction of staff whistle-blower hotlines to report mismanagement in Scottish local authorities, with reports overseen by councillors from each party.”
Forward this e-mail onto others; folk who live anywhere can sign- there’s no restrictions – and no minimum number needed to get the petition heard. Edinburgh council, due to discuss the matter on Aug 29, proposes a weak whistleblowing policy – hiding behind the Scottish Government Councillors Code of Conduct which tells Councillors “not to engage in direct operational management of the Council’s services; that is the responsibility of the Council’s employees”. Clearly this piece of legislation is being misread, and this is our chance to show that.