Orkney Islands Council bosses are probing serious claims of bullying and harassment which have been revealed in a staff survey.
Union chiefs last night claimed the local authority needed to “seriously address the inappropriate behaviour” of senior staff who they claim are responsible.
An action plan is being put in place by chief executive Alistair Buchan following the allegations contained within the survey.
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They come just days after similar bullying claims were made at NHS Highland.
Tommy Campbell, regional organiser of the Unite union, said the revelations in the internal survey should come as “no surprise” to council chiefs.
He said: “There appears to be a culture of bullying and harassment within the council and these are proving to be psychologically damaging to staff.
“This is a significant problem all over the public sector, with Orkney Council being the latest after NHS Highland to be criticised about such behaviour.”
He added: “The outcome of the survey about how they [staff] are treated at work should come as no surprise.
“Unite have represented and supported a number of staff over the last few years who have been subject to inappropriate behaviour from their line management and some other senior employees, some of which may be tantamount to bullying and harassment.”
Mr Campbell has written to the chief executive, stating: “The Orkney Council needs to seriously address the inappropriate behaviour from some of its line managers.
“A lot of staff have become ill with stress due to this inappropriate behaviour, bullying and harassment.
“It’s time for you as the Orkney Council chief executive to bring to an end the inappropriate behaviour towards staff.”
Orkney Islands Council last night said it was putting an action plan into place to deal with complaints.
And in a memo to staff following the survey’s findings, the chief executive said: “There are results that concern myself and the senior management team, including that many of you are finding your workload less manageable than previously.
“Also, many of you have reported you continue to be concerned by the behaviour of others towards you whilst at work, and lastly that some of you feel there continue to be areas of deficit in terms of communication.
“On that basis we intend to follow up on three key thematic areas as a result of the staff survey results – behaviours at work, communication and engagement, working environment and wellbeing.”
He added: The information you have provided will help us identify those issues that we need to explore further with you.
“We are currently finalising a draft action plan around this and I anticipate seeking input and involvement with staff on that as well as our recognised Trade Unions.”