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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Gaston calls for survey of staff at MEABC after concerns raised on council culture

Updated: Jun 11, 2022

Bannside TUV Councillor Timothy Gaston has urged Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to proceed with carrying out a staff survey.

Speaking at a meeting of the local authority at The Braid in Ballymena on Monday evening, Cllr Gaston said:

“Regarding the independent survey that was to take place of all our staff within Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, I understand there has been a delay in rolling that out.

“Now that there is going to be a new interim chief executive in post, could we put this on the agenda that we try and formalise and get this agreed with the unions so that we can ballot our members?

“We talked about doing this last September. I feel it is important to get this rolled out to our members to understand the feeling that exists within our workforce. There will be a plan of action come out of that and then we will be able to take forward.

“But we can’t do anything until we get the ballot off our members.”

Trade union NIPSA said last year that it had 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, the union carried out a survey to ascertain members’ experiences at work.

A Council spokesperson said:

“Council takes all such concerns raised, including by NIPSA and others, extremely seriously.

“One incident of alleged bullying and harassment is one too many at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and we would encourage anybody who has any concerns to raise these at the earliest opportunity.

“Appropriate processes are in place to ensure staff who raise such matters are fully supported.”

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