Mid and East Antrim Council rocked by bullying claims
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council (MEABC) has been rocked by claims from a number of staff members of an alleged toxic culture at the heart of the local authority and a systemic problem of bullying and harassment.
Yesterday (16 September), NIPSA the largest Public Sector Union in Northern Ireland, representing almost 300 members in Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, launched a survey into Bullying and Harassment in Council.
Alan Law, Assistant Secretary stated:
“NIPSA has received a number of complaints from members employed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council raising concerns about a culture of bullying and harassment within Council, as a result of these complaints we have launched a survey to ascertain our members' experiences at work.
“Bullying and Harassment can only thrive in environments where others turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour and conduct, anyone doing this is as guilty as the bully. NIPSA will ensure our members can work in an environment where bullying and harassment is not tolerated and will strive to protect members' interests.”
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, who appeared to be blindsided by NIPSA’s actions, issued a statement today rejecting the allegations.
MEABC said in the statement:
“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has a zero tolerance for bullying and harassment and strongly rejects allegations made by the NIPSA Regional Representative.
“Council is extremely disappointed NIPSA has failed to engage with management around these unfounded claims prior to issuing an online survey on surveymonkey with leading questions, and a statement to the media.
“Council management continue to work closely with staff regarding the safe return to work, with staff health, safety and wellbeing our priority at all times. The return to work of our staff is vital to ensure the restoration of all our services to deliver maximum benefit for citizens.
“A wide range of policies, reporting avenues and measures are in place for any staff to raise any concerns they may have.”