Me v University of Stirling

Happy Christmas to all my readers. And thank you to those of you who find my blog so interesting that you copy some of my posts and send them to others, regardless of any copyright laws you may be infringing! :)

Weather permitting, St Johnstone travel to Celtic Park on Boxing day. The bookies estimate there's a probability of roughly seven per cent that they'll win. Hardly fair, is it?

Maybe they should suggest to the Premier League that they bend the rules in their favour to give them a fighting chance. How about Derek McInnes, the Saints' manager being allowed to select the Celtic team, and how about making Celtic play with just seven players, and any goals Celtic score in the first half don't count towards the final score. That should just about do it, but just to make sure, allow St Johnstone to make eleven substitutions.

I think the Premier League would give their suggestions short shrift, and rightly so.

Stirling University see themselves as having little hope in successfully defending my claim at the Employment Tribunal. So they've made some suggestions to the Tribunal that, if accepted, would give them a bit more of a chance. Of course, they're not suggesting that it's for that reason, but for honourable reasons, like saving time in a case they say I have little hope of winning, and even if I did win, it would be of little value to me.

When you make a claim to a Tribunal, the employer has to respond stating the grounds on which they resist the claim. The Uni put all their effort into trying to convince the Tribunal that my claim should just be dismissed, by saying it's unreasonable and misconceived. They said that the grievance and disciplinary procedures were handled fairly and appropriately, and that my complaints were all investigated and rejected. There was no sex discrimination, they said, apart from the sex discrimination they allege I displayed. They said that I was the major contributor in the breakdown of my working relationship with Kathy McCabe and two other colleagues. They also said that they didn't accept that I made a protected disclosure, and that, even if I did, I didn't receive any detrimental treatment. They failed to convince the Tribunal to dismiss my claim, and a hearing was scheduled to take place over January, February and March 2011.

I'm allowed to ask the Uni for written answers to questions. I asked them for the reasons why they don't accept that I made a protected disclosure. They refused to answer, saying it's irrelevant. I asked them for the facts that Eileen Schofield relied upon when deciding to reject the allegations in my grievance and to uphold Kathy's grievance. They refused to answer, saying that it's irrelevant. I asked them if they now accept that I wasn't given an opportunity to present my case at my grievance hearing. They refused to answer, saying it's irrelevant. If these issues are irrelevant, then they shouldn't have included them in their grounds of resistance! However, they are very relevant, and if they are as concerned about time as they say they are, the sooner they answer my questions, the better.

Both sides are allowed to call witnesses. The Uni has decided not to call their star witness, Kathy, even though she was allegedly able to point to evidence that persuaded Eileen Schofield that she hadn't bullied me or discriminated against me on the basis of my gender, and that I had in fact bullied Kathy. The reason they are not calling her as a witness is because she couldn't possibly have done that. This means that I have to call Kathy as a witness for cross examination in order to see that evidence she pointed to. The Uni has suggested to the Tribunal that I shouldn't be allowed to cross examine her, because they say I am "an aggrieved employee with a difference of view". That would surely describe every claimant at a Tribunal.

They are not calling the other four women, (Eileen, Selina, Jackie and Una) on whose evidence they allegedy based their decision to dismiss me. So I've called them as witnesses. I suspect the Uni realises that those women won't be able to convince the Tribunal that I should have been dismissed. I also suspect there are other, even more important reasons why the Uni will not want them to be cross examined.

They are not calling Eileen Schofield, despite her being convinced that I was the cause of the breakdown in my working relationship with Kathy. I need to call her as a witness to hear how she arrived at that decision.

They are not calling Kevin Clarke who said he couldn't see any flaws in the
grievance procedure. I'm calling him as a witness too, because I want him to explain to the Tribunal how the flaws I described to him aren't flaws.

They are not calling the two managers (Graham and Gail) who carried out the disciplinary investigation, but I need to find out from them why their investigation was so flawed. Who knows, they might tell me the truth, as they are required under oath!

The Uni is asking the Tribunal to restrict me, or my representative, to cross examining only those who made the decisions, claiming that they are the only ones with relevant evidence. They cannot possibly think that's true, especially when they are being advised by a lawyer.

They don't stop at that though. There are other advantages they want too. Normally, in a case like mine where there are elements of discrimination and victimisation as a result of protected disclosures, it is the employee who presents their case first, followed by the employer. The reverse is true when it's only unfair dismissal. I think that makes sense because the party that has to refer to the earliest incidents should go first. The Uni has decided that it would be best for them if they present their case first.

They also wish to treat my claim as if it was just one of unfair dismissal. That's their comfort zone. They want to force the Tribunal to decide if I was dismissed for a fair reason before they've heard from me about any victimisation and discrimination. They probably still wouldn't win, but their chances would be significantly greater, especially if, as they suggest, the Tribunal doesn't get to hear the very dodgy evidence from those five women and others, and they don't get to hear about the flawed grievance procedure or any of the mistreatment I had been subjected to for several years.

They were offered an opportunity to have the matter of the protected disclosures decided first. I'd imagine that wouldn't take very long because there is a clear definition of what qualifies as a protected disclosure, and the Uni is struggling to find a reason to argue my protected disclosures don't qualify. However, they rejected that offer, and I suspect that's because the natural thing to decide after that would be whether or not I suffered detriment (from which I was protected) as a result of the grievance procedure, and they wish to avoid that subject like the plague. The Tribunal would also have the protected disclosures at the forefront of their minds while listening to evidence on my dismissal.

So far, they haven't insisted that I be blindfolded and have my hands tied behind my back; but it's still early days...


Kathy McCabe - Silent witness

"Honesty goes to the core of my very being."
Kathy McCabe 6 June 2008

Kathy is undoubtedly an intelligent woman, but she is also a compulsive liar.

We all have to lie at some point, even if it's just to spare a friend's feelings. "No dear, it doesn't look big."

Kathy, however, lies constantly and possibly uncontrollably.

Lying, just like drugs and alcohol, can be addictive. It's an escape from reality and can provide the user with comfort or even a buzz. Kathy also uses it to avoid discomfort, often in an attempt to cover up previous dishonesty, or, heaven forbid, that she has made a mistake.

As with other addictions, there is a down side. Too much alcohol can damage your health and kill you. That can be a problem if you, or your friends, want you to live and be healthy. I'd imagine that being a compulsive liar would be a nightmare, but that's just the opinion of someone who claims to be fairly honest. I'd much prefer to be an alcoholic. It's much easier.

One downside is that to lie effectively, you would have to make an awful lot of effort to ensure that your lies are not detected, because that could be embarrassing and you could lose credibility, and whatever you were lying about in the first place would be uncovered, and it may lead to other lies being uncovered in a domino effect. (I tell a lie; dominos aren't uncovered, they're knocked down!).

You would need to keep a diary of all of your lies to remind you of stuff you've blurted out under pressure. Make sure nobody finds your diary. Best to deny that you own one, then you won't have to lie about what you keep in it.

Number your lies. This will help you to cross reference them, to ensure you don't ever look foolish by digging yourself into deeper and deeper holes. For example,

0001 I do not own a diary.
0002 This is not my diary. It's somebody else's. - 0001
0003 Honesty goes to the core of my very being.
0004 He has never asked to attend a conference. - 0005
0005 I have never attended a conference with him. - 0004
0006 He did receive a merit award from me. Honest!
0007 I treat the team fairly and consistently. - 0003
0008 The Uni doesn't use Oracle anymore. - 0004
0009 He bullies me, so he does!
0010 He keeps threatening to raise a grievance, but never does.
0011 He used an inappropriate procedure when he asked to attend. - 0004
0012 It wisnae me; a big boy did it and ran away.

The Uni intends to fight my claims of discrimination, victimisation and unfair dismissal at the Employment Tribunal. They are allowed to call any witnesses with relevant evidence. However, they have decided not to call Kathy. It cannot be because she doesn't have relevant evidence. Just as she did at the grievance hearing, she could easily refute my allegations and point to evidence that supports her case that I bullied her. I wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Job done! Case dismissed!

No, that's not why they are not calling her as a witness. Imagine the scene...

Judge: Before I ask this question, Mrs McCabe, may I remind you that you are under oath and you could go to jail if you lie.
Kathy: Honesty goes to the core of my very being, m'lud.
Judge: Do you own a diary?
Kathy: No, m'lud, and I don't keep anything in it either.
Judge: Then what's that you're reading from, Mrs McCabe?
Kathy: Erm, my diary.
Judge: So you lied to me?
Kathy: No, you asked me if I own a DAIRY, and I don't.
Judge: What do you write in your diary?
Kathy: Look, m'lud, I prefer to look to the future. So if you ask me any more questions about the past, then I'm going to look upset and leave the court. I've told you that honesty goes to the core of my very being, and that's all you need to know. If you don't trust me then there's no point in us having this conversation.

The reason the Uni won't call Kathy as a witness is because she could then be cross examined, and she would be seen as a loose cannon. There's no predicting what she might say, especially since she would be asked some very difficult questions about issues where it is obvious she has lied. She could literally say anything. Kathy lies under very little pressure and she is convinced that her lies are undetectable. There are no boundaries. Kathy won't even admit to making a mistake, so she is highly unlikely to admit to lying. That will mean that each lie (and there are lots) will have to be covered up by a bigger lie made up on the spur of the moment which she will think is undetectable, but isn't, and then she'll quickly reach the point where normally she would just change the subject or leave the room, but she won't be able to. She'll quickly pass the point where she would normally call Mark Toole and ask for help, but he won't be there to help her. The panic will increase exponentially. This will have the effect of making the lies even more absurd and even more inconsistent with previous lies she has given under oath. There will be a lot of temptation for her to pass out; just drop to the floor a la Gillian McKeith.

Judge: So if I understand you correctly, Mrs McCabe, you say that you are from the planet htraE where you were chosen by the rulers to come to Earth in an invisible spaceship in order to carry out experiments, and you can't return to htraE because you can't find your invisible spaceship and you don't remember where you parked it?
Kathy: Honesty goes to the core of my very being, m'lud.


Has Stirling University got something to hide?

Stirling University wrote to the Employment Tribunal recently, and in response to my claims, stated:

The allegations he made in his grievance were investigated and rejected.

His complaints should be dismissed.

We reserve our position in relation to any claim we may make that he has acted unreasonably or that his claim has been misconceived.

I consider these to be very bold statements. One would imagine that if that was their genuine belief, they would be only too keen to provide information in support of their claims, and to demonstrate that they have acted in good faith. Why wouldn't they?

I received a list of questions from the tribunal, and I replied with great detail which required eight A4 pages of closely typed text. I have nothing to hide, you see.

Similarly, the University received questions about how the allegations in my grievance were investigated and rejected. To be clear, they were not being asked to carry out another investigation, they were just being asked about the investigation that they say had already taken place. In other words, the information should already exist. All they had to do was print it and send it off.

My grievance included allegations of bullying, harassment, victimisation and sex discrimination over several years. The University claims that I was dismissed because I was the major contributor to the breakdown in the relationship between me and my manager, Kathy McCabe. They also claim that I was dismissed because I bullied colleagues based on gender over a period of time.

However, the University objected to providing answers to the questions, saying that the issue of my grievance is irrelevant to my claims.

They will be required to show that I was dismissed for the reasons they gave, and not because I had justifiably submitted grievances against my manager and Eileen MacDonald, and because I had raised my concerns with the Principal that HR and senior management were failing in their duty to care for me. It would certainly be to their benefit to show that my grievances were treated fairly and that my allegations were investigated thoroughly as required by the grievance procedure.

My allegation is that Eileen Schofield, aided by Karen Stark, conducted what amounts to no more than a sham of a grievance procedure which was designed to turn my colleagues against me, and that Kevin Clarke conducted a sham of an appeal hearing.

Has Stirling University got something to hide?


Stirling University loses at Employment Tribunal

Glasgow Employment Tribunal has ruled that Stirling University broke the law when they failed to consult with the unions over redundancies. The tribunal will reconvene to consider awards estimated to be around £500,000.

You can read the full story here and here.


Bad employers hate whistleblowers. Good employers love them.

The University of Gloucestershire invested in excess of £150,000 of public money in order to defend a claim brought by Jan Merrigan at an Employment Tribunal. She claimed that she suffered a detriment after blowing the whistle on the state of finances at the university. After hearing the case over four days, the Tribunal upheld her claim and awarded Jan, who still works at the university, £6,000.

The university, which was recently reported to be in danger of going bankrupt, is considering spending more public money by appealing the decision. They have also expressed their disappointment that Mrs Merrigan decided to make her views public.

You couldn't make this stuff up!

Oracle Database Administrator (DBA) Stirling University

Some people are finding their way to my blog following searches they have made in relation to the above job that is being advertised on line.

I can provide additional information to those people who may be thinking about applying for the job.

This is the job from which I was dismissed. I have lodged a complaint with the Employment Tribunal about, among other things, the unfairness of my dismissal. I hadn't intended to discuss that complaint on here, but I think it can only be helpful for those particular people who may be thinking about applying for it. Without wishing to prejudge the outcome of my complaint, one of the options open to a Tribunal is to award the employee reinstatement to their old job. This can happen especially with a complaint of the type I have made, and especially if, as in my case, the employee seeks to be reinstated.

The University appears to have prejudged the Tribunal's decision by advertising this job as permanent. Or possibly they are stating their intention to refuse to comply with such an award if it were to be made.

If I was currently employed, I would certainly think twice before giving up my job to take up this post which may be of a very temporary nature. As you may know, employers can quickly get rid of an employee within the first year, and the employee has very limited rights in those circumstances.

Secondly, the advertisement states that the University is an equal opportunity employer. Do not believe a word of that. In fact I firmly believe that any employer should require agreement from a regulator before being able to make such a claim. Further, if a Tribunal finds that an employer unlawfully discriminates, I would strongly argue that they be forced to disclose this to prospective employees until they can demonstrate to the regulator that they have learned the error of their ways.

Thirdly, you would be working for Kathy McCabe, as described within my blog, and you would be part of a team which has become dysfunctional due to twelve years of her mismanagement. Thank me later.


I've just realised there's a flaw in my argument. If an employer is allowed to describe itself as a non equal opportunity employer, it may attract the type of employee it wants.

It would be far better that people were taught from birth that discrimination is wrong. However, it is possible that people are born with no natural discrimination, but that they learn it from people who do.


King's College London: Support Virginia Jibowu

"Harassment and injustice in an institutionally racist environment."

Please sign the petition:

Letter released under Freedom of Information Act concerning Virginia Jibowu

From: John Rees
To: Hannah Sewell

Subject: FW: Urgent problem- confidential

Dear Hannah

I wonder if you would be prepared to meet this student with me next week. It seems to me we have to ask her to withdraw her accusations in writing or it needs to go to the college complaints system as harrassment.

My view was that we ask her to withdraw in writing and suggest that this looks as if there might be a problem and suggest she sees a psychiatrist.

If she agrees to neither we go to a formal complaint if she agrees to the withdrawal but not the psychiatrist we say, ok if she doesn't agree to that and there really is no problem then we don't expect to have any further issues, if there were we would need to readdress this.

Best wishes


More information:


Corruption at Stirling University

I have been contacted by a number of employees and former employees with supportive messages. Thank you. I appreciate it.

I have also been contacted by people who are, or have been, in similar situations to my own, and it appears that the Human Resources department at Stirling is seen to be very unhelpful when approached by employees with genuine concerns. One described HR as "completely crooked".

Just as I did, I think most people would naively think that HR exists to protect and support employees. What I've discovered is that HR's primary role is to protect management; no matter how badly management behaves. Although HR produce documents stating that bullying will be taken extremely seriously, you should be aware that that is not the case, and that if you report a member of management of any wrong doing, you run the real risk of quickly being the subject of disciplinary procedings, and no matter how innocent you may be, if management wants rid of you, they will get rid of you. You may think they would need evidence, but you would be wrong. Unfortunately the unions have no power to stop them from doing that either.

So what should someone do if they are being ill treated by their manager? My only advice is be careful. Keep notes and written communications of all incidents of ill treatment. You might even want to consider making audio recordings when you think you might be about to be ill treated. I wouldn't rely too much on witnesses because they may be unwilling to testify against their manager, no matter how well you think you get on with them.

A word of caution to those who wish to contact me. I know that any communication between me and the university is being intercepted by management. I strongly suggest you do not use your university account when writing to me. If you wish to write to me, you can post a comment here. Please indicate if it's not for publication. Alternatively you can email me from a non university email account.



As part of the University's blurb that they serve to the public, they claim to be committed to equality and opposed to discrimination.

That commitment falls far short of my own.

Several years ago, I received a very good offer to join another company. Former Director, Tony Osbourne heard about it and offered me a raise of roughly 50% in order to retain my services. Although I loved my job, I turned down his offer because he was unwilling to offer the same raise to my colleague, Jaana who did the same job as me, and whose performance I felt was much better than mine. I couldn't work alongside her knowing that I was earning 50% more than she did while she was worth more than me.

It was only when I was about to hand in my notice that Tony agreed to offer Jaana the same raise.

Since then I witnessed extraordinary inequality, and especially by Kathy McCabe. Unfortunately, my colleagues (including Jaana) could see that I was being deliberately disadvantaged by Kathy, but they were unwilling to speak out about it.

One of the first things that Kathy wrote in her grievance was "I treat the team fairly and consistently". It's an unbelievable claim that would be very funny, if it wasn't so serious. The only thing consistent about Kathy was her unfairness and how she would give special treatment to her friends.

She also made this claim to me during a meeting I had with her after she had turned down my request to attend a conference for the sixth year running. That was the second lie she made on the subject. Her first lie was made publicly to the entire team in an email. She unbelievably claimed that I had never in any year asked to attend a conference, and that she would have to be a mind reader to know that I wanted to attend a conference. She had to ditch that lie when I informed her that I had written proof of my requests as well as her acknowledgements. I had also raised the same topic as part of my informal grievance. Faced with her second lie, I suggested she provide the team with a breakdown of how she had allocated her Staff Development budget, because I know that I'd received very little of it during the 12 years that she had managed the team. She said that it would prove embarrassing to those team members who don't ask to attend training or conferences. In reality, it would have been embarrassing how much of that budget went to her friends. She didn't see it as a Staff Development budget, but money she could use to buy popularity from those she favoured.

She introduced a third lie during the grievance hearing by saying that the conference I wished to attend was no longer important to the university because it didn't deal with the software we use. It was an Oracle conference, and I was an Oracle Database Administrator. Just about every system in the university uses Oracle databases, and Mark Toole had announced to everyone in IS Services that the university was committed to using Oracle for future systems, even if there was a non Oracle system available that was considered advantageous.

Still at the grievance hearing, Kathy then reverted to her original lie by claiming that I hadn't asked to attend the Oracle conference. Mark Toole, Karen Stark and Lynn McDonald had witnessed Kathy's behaviour at informal grievance meetings. It was extremely embarrassing. Following those meetings, I suggested to Mark that Kathy would struggle to answer questions at any grievance hearing, because she either avoids the questions or she lies in obvious ways and then ties herself in knots with her lies. I expect it was due to this that Kathy wasn't asked to respond to the allegations in my grievance, and why I wasn't invited to attend her grievance hearing, or given an opportunity to respond to her statement.

In 2008, Kathy turned down my request to attend the Oracle conference and instead sent Karen Eccleson who had already attended since the last time I attended. She also sent Lynn McDonald, a Project Manager. Karen came to me and asked if I had put in a request to attend, because she didn't understand why Kathy would not have selected me ahead of the two she did select. Karen then went to see Kathy and asked her why she hadn't selected me. Karen told me that Kathy more or less told her to keep quiet about it. As I predicted, Lynn returned saying that she gained nothing from the conference. It's a very technical conference, and Lynn is non technical. When I first became the DBA, Kathy said I would attend that conference each year. It's predominately attended by DBAs. I used Oracle every day. To send a Project Manager when I hadn't attended for five years was just pure bullying. It was as if she received some evil pleasure by forcing me, a senior member of staff, to have to ask to attend the conference which covered my area of expertise, and then turn down my requests in favour of my colleagues.

Kathy wasn't slow to spend money on herself either. I'd heard from team members that while attending a conference in Dunblane (just a few miles from her home in Stirling), she stayed overnight in a hotel. She also continues to put herself through Project Management training, even though there are two full time Project Managers in the team.

It was also about ten years since I received any Oracle training.

Recruitment and promotion was another area where Kathy would abuse procedures to help her friends. Everyone in the team is aware of it, and a few have confronted her about it. I witnessed this directly when Kathy and I formed part of an interview panel. Following this, I asked Kathy not to include me in any future interview panels. Although I personally hadn't done anything wrong, I felt a certain guilt by association. On another occasion, she had asked me and other senior members of the team to give our approval for a plan she had to give a friend a job in the team at a senior level.

There was another act of deviousness by Kathy in relation to the matter of conference attendance. In answer to the email she sent the team suggesting that I was stupid to expect her to read my mind in order for her to know I wanted to attend a conference, I replied to her and the team confirming that I still had copies of some of my written requests and her acknowledgements. No doubt this would have been a blow to her, as she would have been hoping that I had deleted all of them and not been able to demonstrate that she is a liar. A couple of days later I received an email from her inviting me to meet with her to discuss "the appropriate procedure for requesting to attend a conference". At first her email had me completely baffled as I couldn't understand what she meant by "appropriate procedure". Then some time later, it suddenly hit me what she was doing. Although her email was addressed to me alone, it was a meeting request, and she had chosen to make it publicly visible on her Outlook Calendar with a title of "Conference Attendance". The team frequently had to refer to her calendar, and an item with that title would have drawn their attention. I wrote to Kathy and asked her to remove the email from her calendar, pointing out that it was publicly visible and that it could easily be construed that she was criticising me for using an inappropriate procedure for requesting to attend conference. She was dishonestly and publicly attempting to justify her earlier dishonest email to the team. I also included an excerpt from the university's Anti Bullying policy which showed that her behaviour was an example of bullying. She reset her email to "private", then a few minutes later she made it "public" again. I went to her office to see her about it. When I opened her door, she was on the telephone so I returned to my office. She had seen me and would have known that I was going to speak to her about her email. A few minutes later she removed her email and replaced it with a private email requesting a meeting with me. Her new email said that the purpose of the meeting was to consider how we could improve the procedure. However, when I attended the meeting with her, she used it to try to justify her bizarre behaviour.

Some time later, in the presence of my union representative, Mark Toole said that it was he who instructed Kathy to withdraw her email and to replace it with an invitation to a meeting with a more positive purpose.

I had written to Kathy and listed all of the occasions when I had generously offered her an opportunity to amend her behaviour towards me. I offered her an opportunity to apologise. She didn't take that opportunity. Instead, she sent an email to Karen Stark and Mark Toole in which she was concerned that it was now obvious that she was guilty of bullying behaviour, and that she could tell from the tone of my email that I had had enough of it and would be taking my grievance to the formal stage.


Jackie O'Neil

Jackie O'Neil, 42 Melloch Crescent, Tillicoultry, FK13 6QJ

Below is the statement that Jackie O'Neil gave during the Disciplinary Investigation carried out by Graham Millar and Gail Miller. Needless to say, it's a pack of lies made up following collusion with others including Eileen MacDonald.

Section 4. Jackie gives a false account of the incident that took place on 10th March in an office with up 14 colleagues present, and my DBA colleague, David Black standing right next to us. I was helping Jackie with her upgrade. Her upgrade failed, and she thought the failure was due to me making a mistake and not carrying out an instruction she had given me by email. However, it was due to the fact that she had failed to follow the software vendor's instruction to ask the DBA to increase the size of the database. Because she thought it was my mistake, she felt justified in screaming "I TOLD YOU!" at me while slamming her hand and pen on her desk. I believe she did this to alert everyone to what she considered to be a rare occurence of me making a mistake. David and I just concentrated on fixing the mistake and getting the upgrade restarted. At my next scheduled meeting with David and Kathy McCabe, I mentioned Jackie's latest outburst. Kathy said that Jackie had told her that she had had to work until 10pm because of the mistake. David and I knew that that was rubbish because she would have only lost an hour due to the error. Kathy notified Mark Toole of my complaint, and Mark offered to meet with me and Jackie to try to resolve the difficulties I had to face working with Jackie. I accepted his offer once he confirmed it would be informal. I didn't want Jackie sacked because of this incident. I just wanted her to stop the shouting and to modify her behaviour.

In the grievance I brought against Kathy, I mentioned previous incidents of Jackie shouting at me, and added that Kathy had just said she wasn't interested. Unknown to me, Jackie was interviewed on 16th March and was asked about those incidents. Incredibly, just six days after screaming at me, she denied ever having shouted at me or anyone else. In her grievance report, Eileen Schofield said that my allegations were met with a mix of incredulity and anger.

Mark Toole changed his mind about the meeting, and met with Jackie by himself to discuss the incident. He refused to tell me what she said, but I genuinely didn't think there was a chance on earth that she would deny screaming at me; not with so many witnesses, and especially not with David standing right next to us. I had underestimated the problem within the team, and just how cowardly Jackie is, despite normally being quick to shout her mouth off.

Jackie said I didn't answer an email she sent me with her instructions. I showed Mark Toole the email below which I sent Jackie in reply. I also asked him to refer to the software vendor's upgrade instructions which showed that Jackie was responsible for the upgrade failure. He chose not to. Later at the appeal hearing, Martin McCrindle said he'd get me a copy of those instructions. He didn't. I wrote him a reminder. He didn't even respond to it.

Three investigators including a Director and two Managers investigated this incident as part of the Disciplinary Investigation. Mark Toole emphasised that it would be a fair and thorough investigation, which is why he said it took more than two months to complete. Yet none of the investigators chose to interview David Black about it, even though Jackie and I both agree that he was right beside us at the time. Nobody else in the team was asked about it either. This wasn't due to any extraordinary mental lapse in those three investigators. It was because it was obvious to all three of them that Jackie and her partners in crime were lying, and any evidence confirming that was to be avoided.

Motivated by having been talked to about her behaviour, Jackie grasped the opportunity to get together with others and make up false complaints about me. I still had a grievance against Eileen MacDonald that Mark Toole was to deal with, and Una Forsyth was upset at having been talked to about assaulting me. Somehow they had managed to persuade Selina Gibb, a close friend of Eileen's, to become involved in their ill conceived plan. None of them had given any thought to the fact that evidence existed that refuted their claims. In any normal organisation, they would have been sacked for making malicious complaints. Stirling University is not a normal organisation.

Section 2. In 2003 at my appraisal meeting, Kathy said she wanted me to become more assertive with the programmers, so that they would gain more from my greater knowledge and experience. I am naturally very quiet and I hate confrontation. I was always keen to help my colleagues, but because of that I had somehow become a doormat. Jackie is a very loud, aggressive and arrogant character who had shouted at me many times despite always being in the wrong. There were many times that I tried to explain certain things to her, but rather than focus on what I was saying, she would go off on a tangent to irrelevant matters, and I'd have to keep bringing her back to the main issue. Sometimes she would argue aggresively when I was telling her matters of irrefutable fact. It's for that reason that Jackie has now been in her role for over 12 years and accomplshes very little without a great deal of help from her colleagues.

Despite her limited ability, Jackie's salary was upgraded after the role evaluation (Framework) process to Grade 8 (£43,000 per year). It was an advantage to be in a role occupied by several employees. In order to claim a requirement for the role, it was only necessary to show that one of the role holders had carried out any particular task. Obviously if the role is occupied by one person, they could only include work in their role description that they had carried out themselves. The Programmers produced a description which was an aggregate of their individual responsibilities. Jackie benefitted because she shared the job title.

Jackie is a blagger, and makes a lot of noise about very small achievements. Shortly before I was suspended, she had sent the whole team an email telling us that she had completed a piece of work. I personally didn't know anything about it. Paul became very frustrated by the email because the work she was referring to was a very minor piece of work which would have taken her about two minutes, yet the Programmers had asked her to carry it out more than a year previously, and Paul felt frustrated that she was making a big fuss about it. He was already in a bad mood with her because he had been reading through job applications in order to produce a short list, and Jackie was making a lot of noise as she frequently did. He did something I'd never seen anybody do before, he turned to her and asked her to keep the noise down. I feared she would blow up, but she appeared to comply quietly. Then five minutes later, she left the room, slamming the door behind her. Shortly afterwards, a few of us considered what would be an appropriate job title for each of the "Programmers" based on what they did as individuals. As a job title for Jackie, Stephen suggested "System Assistant", which is a Grade 6 role. I don't remember exactly what Paul said, but it included the word "bastard" and it inferred that Jackie was worth less than zero. He followed this by insisting he wasn't joking. Even Paul wasn't aware of the depth of the problem. I had worked very closely with Jackie for 12 years, and she would test the patience of a saint.

Around the same time, Jaana became very frustrated with Jackie over this upgrade too. It was a special "unicode" upgrade which required the system to be able to handle student names that contain characters from different character sets. Jackie had attended conferences, workshops and user group meetings about the topic, but when she came to implement it, it became clear that she didn't have sufficient understanding of what was required. Kathy had to bring in Jaana, who hadn't attended any of the conferences, to get things sorted out.

Jackie demonstrated her lack of understanding during one meeting when she said that the upgrade would have to allow French characters with acute and grave accents to be entered. I explained that these characters belonged to the existing character set, and examples already existed in the system. Two days later at another meeting, she repeated the same thing. Then a few days later, she set up some test data including students with foreign names for the team to work on. These were all names that were covered by the existing character set. When I pointed this out to her, she admitted that she didn't see the point of the upgrade.

Jackie, as usual had waited too long to start investigating the requirements, and there was a slight panic within the team because they were having to be drawn from their other work at short notice. Stephen criticised me and David for not being more proactive with regard to the upgrade. I sent him a copy of an email I had sent Jackie suggesting that she make an early start on it, because it was common for Jackie to leave things to the last minute, and end up having others do her work for her. Although Stephen found it easy to criticise me (albeit unjustly), he lacked the courage to criticise Jackie face to face.

There were further mistakes that Jackie made during this upgrade, even though she had already had the benefit of a rehearsal for it. There were additional steps required to allow programs that had been written in-house to work correctly following the upgrade, but Jackie hadn't noted these additional requirements to ensure they were implemented. For example, it had been identified that an amendment had to be made to a program I'd written, and which had to be run immediately after the upgrade. Jackie didn't notify me of this, so when she ran it, it failed. Again she became agitated, and started raising her voice at me. I calmed her down, worked out what the problem was, and fixed it quickly. I then sent her an email with very simple instructions for her to run two programs. A short time later she started acting up again, because she thought the program hadn't worked properly. She started raising her voice yet again, and was raving about how busy she was and that this was holding her up. I had to ask her three times if she had followed my instructions correctly and run the two programs. Eventually she admitted that she had only run the second of the two programs. For the grade that Jackie works at, she should be able to write the programs that she was running, but there is no way in the world she would be able to do that. At the very least, she should be able to follow simple instructions. However, even that proved to be too much to expect. A week later, Una asked me to investigate a problem with a system. I worked out that it was due to Jackie not notifying the programmers of the amendments that had been identified as being required during the rehearsal.

The plan was for Jackie to apply this upgrade a third time; in the live system. I wrote to her and suggested how she might best ensure that nothing was missed. Jackie said that she didn't have time.

I often had to help Jackie with her work, and clear up the mess she'd made. It became the norm for her to just delegate parts of her work to me. I think it was counter productive for me to have done it for her, because she never progressed. Kathy too should have kept a close watch on her work to ensure that she made sufficient progress. Instead, Jackie continued wasting time by getting involved in anything that would take her focus away from her real work. She also got involved in such things as green issues, first aid training, union executive duties, organising Christmas lunch and Secret Santa, and anything else that she could find to do instead of work. Jackie was trapped in a vicious circle of having to try to appear as though she was good at her job. That takes a lot of time and effort when you achieve as little as Jackie. She frequently complained of lacking time to get her work done, and it was becoming clear that she had been going to Kathy and complaining that I was the cause of her shortage of time, knowing that Kathy would be just too eager to hear of such things about me.

During the informal grievance meetings with Mark Toole, Kathy had attacked me over a piece of work I'd carried out. I had worked till 11pm at home on a Friday night to complete this work on a project. Any normal manager would have been delighted with my dedication. Kathy criticised me for not doing it the following day as had been originally suggested, and for doing it at home instead of the office. She said that I had greatly inconvenienced my colleagues, and she named Jackie in particular. This was an absurd criticism. We had met about two weeks before I carried out that work, and everyone was in favour of it being done earlier as it gave the team more options for them to carry out work that was to follow. Also I had done similar work many times before at home in the evening, and Kathy never said anything about it. Kathy said that Jackie had wanted to be with me while I carried out this work. The work I was doing was to upgrade and migrate a database. This meant that nobody else could do any work while I was doing it. I later discovered that Kathy had planned to buy pizza for me, Jackie, Stephen and Phil to eat while I carried out that work in the office. Kathy was desperate to criticise me for anything, no matter how stupid it made her appear. My union rep told Mark that that was just one example of bullying. Mark was careful not to admit to any bullying.

Kathy frequently allowed certain team members to work from home during the day. Often we'd only find out about it on the actual day, and sometimes meetings would have to be rearranged because of it. Yet here she was criticising me in the presence of senior management for having spent my Friday evening working on a task that required only me, and I'd given the team a week's advance notice of it. The reason I did it outside normal hours was to allow staff to use the systems uninterrupted during the day, which wouldn't have been possible while I was upgrading the database. It takes an extremely twisted and wicked mind to turn that into a reason to criticise an employee. And this came just a few weeks after Mark had told Kathy that criticism had to be delivered privately and be evidence based.

There were other reasons for Jackie being short of time. One of them gave rise to the game played by the other team members, "Guess what time Jackie will return from lunch". Somebody would take a note of the time she left for lunch, and then ask us all to guess when she would return. The closest guesser would be the winner. It was not uncommon for Jackie to have a three hour lunch hour. When she returned, we'd announce the winning guess and congratulate the winner, and Jackie never knew what we were talking about.

Sometimes she'd enjoy a mid afternoon sleep at her desk. One time, Eric photographed her asleep and emailed the team with it. Some of us added captions for a laugh.

I had been getting used to the noise that Jackie made every day in the office we all shared. I sat furthest away from her, and when she started up, I would sink down in my chair to avoid distraction. Others, like Paul, Stephen, and especially David frequently grumbled about the noise. It was only a problem for me when I was having to concentrate on a serious, urgent problem; especially if my concentration was repeatedly broken by Jackie shouting "Have you fixed it yet?"

Before Jackie joined the team, our office had been fairly quiet but friendly. Then it was like a tornado had hit us. If Jackie wasn't screaming at me, she'd be screaming down the phone at people in other teams, or making long private phone calls at the top of her voice. Then when she'd finish her private call, I'd have to hear it all again as she'd turn to colleagues and repeat the telephone conversation to them. At the time, I was new to my job, and had to concentrate a lot. I spoke to Kathy about it, but she more or less told me to get used to it. A few years later, I was moved to another room to make way for new programmers. Next day, everybody in that room complained to Kathy about the amount and volume of noise Jackie made. Kathy held a meeting with everyone (except Jackie). The outcome was that they'd all have to get used to the noise.

In 2009, all university office staff were required to complete online training about the office environment. The training said that if you feel your work environment is noisy, you must see your manager about it because it's a source of stress. Kathy enjoyed a nice, quiet office to herself. Perhaps she should invite Jackie to share her office, and just "get used to it".

The screaming incident with Jackie was similar to another Jackie incident a few years previously. Although her technical knowledge was extremely poor, Jackie, for some inexplicable reason, imagined that it was superior to mine, and she would demonstrate that extraordinary belief with incredible arrogance. The best way I can think of to describe this arrogance is to compare her with those X Factor applicants who quite obviously cannot sing, but who argue agressively with Simon Cowell and the other judges that they can, and that the judges are wrong. However, these tone deaf singers can genuinely believe that they sound good if that belief has been due to them singing along to music alone in their bedrooms. What they are hearing may sound good to them, and nobody has told them any different. Where this analogy falls down is that Jackie frequently had to come to me and others for help even with very simple matters. That should have been a major indication to herself that she was technically weak.

The previous incident happened when she was trying to run a program on a database, and the database reported an error. It was an error I was very familiar with, having first seen it when I was a student. Jackie had been a programmer for about 7 years at the time. While virtually all programmers would have known the cause of the error, any that didn't would normally take a minute to look up the error in one of several ways available to find out what it meant. Not Jackie, however. She burst out of her room and barged into mine, the way that only she can. She loudly announces the problem and demands that I fix it quickly because it's holding her up and her work is very important, etc, etc. Jackie loves making a scene. It's her favourite thing. I calmly explained to her that the error wasn't due to a problem with the database, but with the program she was running. I explained three ways in which the problem could be resolved. Jackie was having none of it. She was convinced that the problem was with the database, and that I was just fobbing her off. And besides, she had probably waited for years for the moment when she could tell everyone that I was no good at my job. She stormed out my room and back into her own. She phoned the software vendor who had provided her with the program to run. She angrily described me as "our useless DBA". They told her exactly what I had told her in order to fix the problem.

Of course, Jackie denied this when she was interviewed, but a witness confirmed this in an email I presented to Mark Toole. As with anything else that was true, Mark simply ignored it.

When I told my manager, Kathy McCabe about that incident she said she wasn't interested because she expects her employees to sort these things our between themselves. She proudly repeated this at a meeting with Mark Toole. Yet she was obsessively interested in any gossip about me. If I was to draw Kathy's attention to the massive inconsistency, she would just say that she didn't want to discuss it. When I submitted my formal grievance, I had hoped that I would finally hear Kathy explain why she behaved that way, but due to the cover up, I was denied any explanation. Perhaps I'll finally get my long awaited answer when she is cross examined at the tribunal. "I don't want to discuss it" might not be considered a satisfactory explanation.

I'd be very happy for Jackie and me to take polygraph tests to show who is lying. We can do it on TV if she likes!

As at 22 June 2011, this is the fourth most frequently visited post on my blog.

To be continued...

Una Forsyth

This is the statement that Una Forsyth gave as part of the disciplinary investigation carried out by Graham Millar and Gail Miller. It is clear that she had colluded with Eileen MacDonald, Jackie O'Neil, Selina Gibb and Karen Eccleson in order to portray me as someone who has issues with women. Eileen MacDonald had even admitted to collusion in her statement, saying that Una had asked her what she should say at her interview. Eileen claims to have instructed Una to "just tell the truth". The question is; how is it that she tells so many lies, including lies that are very similar to lies told by Eileen in her own statement. The witnesses were instructed not to discuss the matter with other employees, but as usual Eileen does things her own way. Una was accompanied at her interview by Karen Eccleson who knows that Una was lying. Karen had been very supportive of my grievance with Kathy. She shared my opinion of Kathy, and particularly her dishonesty. She kept asking me how it was going, but I wasn't allowed to say anything once Eileen Schofield said there would be an investigation. However, immediately after Una was interviewed for the grievance, Karen's support shifted to Una. She probably thought I was trying to cause trouble for Una. The team needs a full time psychiatrist in my view. This is a direct result of being badly managed for so many years. They're all too frightened to tell the truth. Everybody in the team will know that Una was lying.

While reading this, it should be kept in mind that this comes after 13 years service in which no official complaint has been made about me, and that I worked for a manager who was desperate to find any fault with me whatsoever. So much so that she criticised me for incidents where she should have been thanking me. Yet once she realised she was wrong, she never apologised.

Section 4. In December 2006 at a work's night out, Una travelled about 12 feet to where I was dancing, and pushed me as hard as she could in the back with both hands. I could see that her face was contorted with anger. She was indeed perfectly sober. I was completely astonished by it because there had been no interaction between us at all that night. I had had a couple of drinks from the drinks kitty, but I was certainly not drunk. It was early in the evening, and I'd spent most of my time dancing with colleagues and other women that I'd known from dance classes. I had just sat down when a woman who had seen me dancing came over and asked me to dance. I could see that she had been drinking, but I didn't want to offend her by refusing to dance with her. It was while we were dancing that Una assaulted me. A few minutes later, I approached Una and asked her why she did it. She was with EB who told me to leave her alone.

The reason I had not danced with Una was because it was during a period in which she wasn't talking to me. I never knew the reason for her not talking to me either, because we had been fairly close friends up until then. There were a couple of possible reasons. There's a strong gossip culture in the team, and I knew that Eileen MacDonald had been very jealous of me. I also know that Una is very impressionable and could easily be taken in by any lies. The other possibility is that she had a soft spot for me, and that she was in some way doing it to attract attention, and the assault may have been due to her being jealous of me dancing with other women. I feel that this is the more likely reason having read Sections 16 to 18.

That same night, I approached a colleague who works very closely with Una to ask her if she knew the reason for Una's behaviour, but she said she didn't want to get involved. Back at work on the following Monday, I talked with two colleagues who were there (Paul and Stephen). They knew that Una had assaulted me, but they said they didn't know why she did it.

Just before my grievance hearing, Paul Scott had heard gossip that I had complained about Una assaulting me. Una regularly babysat for his children. He was fearful that Una could get into trouble for it, and that it was so long since it happened. I assured him that I had not, but that I had merely given it as an example of Kathy's inconsistent behaviour of how she had taken no action when she had found out about me being assaulted, yet she had written a letter to the university complaining about me having my arms folded during a team meeting, saying that she believes arm folding is aggressive. I also assured him that I had not named Una in my grievance. When I was talking with Paul, I also mentioned another occasion about two years earlier when I was abused by another colleague. He immediately said that he couldn't remember it. He certainly remembered it, because he had spoken to me about it only a few days before, and he remembered it so well that he was able to demonstrate the gesture I had made with my hands at the time of the incident. Knowing that I'd submitted a grievance, he denied having any knowledge of it. Cheers Paul!

In truth, I still don't know for sure the reason for Una's behaviour, but it's certainly not as she describes in her statement. If the roles had been reversed, and I had bizarrely assaulted a colleague and they didn't report me for it, I would have been extremely grateful. However, Una who assaulted me in front of about 100 witnesses, 10 of whom work for the university, and her manager knew about it, has succeeded in having me dismissed. It's a mad world! How does she and all of those witnesses sleep at night?

Sections 11, 21 and 23. Una talks of me gloating and looking smug because she has been spoken to about the assault. Yet I had no way of knowing who was interviewed or when they were interviewed. I had also objected to the interviews taking place. Also I hadn't named her in my grievance, and I didn't think she would be interviewed. So this is all either a lie, or it is all in her imagination.

Sections 16 to 18. This is completely false and impossible. I had been living with my girlfriend for over 6 years. Una's marriage broke up at the same time as mine, eight years ago. Not long afterwards, she had a long term relationship with a man called Ricky from Edinburgh. She moved home from Bannockburn to Bo'ness to be midway between him and her children. Why would she be "visibly upset" by this 4 or 5 years later? Karen Eccleson and Graham Millar who was interviewing her would have known this.

Section 8. At the lunch she refers to, which Graham Millar attended, it was impossible for her to sit close to me, because all of the seats at my end of the table were taken. At the previous lunch outing, Una sat across the table from me, when she had the choice to sit anywhere. At one lunch she was arranging, I said I didn't want to go in case Kathy was there. Una coaxed me into attending and said that she would sit close to me so that Kathy would be further away. At the previous two Christmas nights out, Una came over and sat beside me and on both occasions she complimented me on my dancing, and said that she thought my girlfriend was very pretty.

At another Christmas night out, during a period when she wasn't talking to me, she came over to me and held my arm and told me she was very upset and thinking of going home. I asked her what was wrong. She told me that a young male colleague had been looking at her breasts. She was wearing a revealing top, and I had no idea what I was supposed to say in response. There were at least two other occasions when she told me stories that involved her breasts. I felt she may have been doing it to embarrass me or to try to draw my attention to them. On another occasion during the period she wasn't talking to me, she came over to my desk which was at the opposite end of the room to hers. It was first thing in the morning and followed a quiz night that most of the team attended, but Una hadn't attended. I attended with my girlfriend Ruth, and Una knew this because there had been emails sent around the team beforehand saying who was going. Everyone else in the team was in the tea room at the time and would have been discussing the quiz night. Una was dressed sexually provocatively. She was displaying more cleavage than I had ever seen her doing at any other time before or since. It looked like she was wearing a push up bra. The conversation we had was completely social and it was out of context for our relationship at that time. As she was standing and I was sitting, she leaned over showing more cleavage. She had a pen in her hand for no apparent reason. She dropped the pen, and bent down to pick it up revealing more cleavage. I definitely felt sexually intimidated.

At nights out, Ruth often caught Una checking her out in a way that made her feel that Una saw her as the competition.

Una also showed me a photograph that her boyfriend had taken of her coming out of the shower with just a towel in front of her. She also sent me two animated files that showed cartoon characters Bart Simpson and Betty Boop having oral sex. Another email she sent me was of a story of a man who had his genitals stuck in a pipe. Other emails she sent me contained sexually explicit jokes.

Una and I used to play squash regularly for several years. Una would wear a very skimpy outfit. She'd often compare me with her husband and say how she wished he was more like me. When her marriage broke up, she told me that her husband thought that she was having an affair with me. After my marriage broke up, my lifestyle changed and I joined the university squash club and began taking squash more seriously. It meant that I didn't have time to play Una, so I suggested other people she could play that were closer to her level of play. She only played one of them once, and said she didn't like playing him. It seemed she only wanted to play with me.

Section 29. LM was a woman who worked in the team for a year or two. Due to the type of work she did, there was very little interaction between the two of us. She worked in a different part of the building, and we rarely saw each other. To claim that I ruined her life is absurd. The "investigators" didn't even ask how I ruined her life or if she reported me for ruining her life. Mark Toole said this was to be a "thorough and fair" investigation.

Section 31. Una claims that I get on with just one or two of the eleven female team members. This was to support her lie that I have a problem with women. The "investigators" didn't interview all of those women to find out if or why I don't get on with them, including the ones I went to lunch with once a week. They also don't ask Una why she cooked a meal for me if she didn't get on with me.

They also didn't ask her why she chose to confide in me that she didn't like being line managed by Eileen, and that she was upset by how Eileen treated her. They also didn't ask her why she invited me to become her friend on facebook, or why she collected the lottery subscriptions for me. The reason they didn't ask these obvious questions is because they knew she was lying, and that's what they wanted.

I'd be very happy for me and Una to take a polygraph test.

As at 22 June 2011, this is the second most frequently visited post on my blog.

To be continued...


Kevin Clarke

[Kevin Clarke, Kepphill, Arnprior, By Kippen, FK8 3EW]

Kevin Clarke chaired the hearing for my appeal against Eileen Schofield's decision not to uphold my grievance, but to uphold Kathy McCabe's grievance.

Kevin always seemed like an amiable bloke to me. Although he didn't know who I was, he would always say hello with a smile on passing. Unknown to himself, he referred to me once about ten years ago at a celebration just after the SAP system was implemented for Human Resources. In his speech he commended the project team for its efforts, and said that one employee had even worked until 4:30 in the morning. I was that employee.

However, at union meetings, several members had expressed their strong concerns about him. Many regarded him as the main source of the university's problems. I recall at one meeting that someone called for his head on a plate.

My union rep was fairly confident that Eileen Schofield's decision would have to be overturned. The procedure was so flawed in his view. My view was that it was far too flawed for there to have been any possibility that it had been an honest decision. Eileen Schofield was a fairly new employee having come from Aberdeen University, and the few people I knew who had any contact with her had all been impressed by her. Any intelligent person couldn't possibly have come to the decision that she did with the facts available to her.

I'd also attended meetings where Mark Toole had witnessed Kathy bullying me, and he simply refused to acknowledge it. I suspected that Kevin Clarke would also pretend that Kathy wasn't a bully, and uphold Eileen's decision. I just didn't know how he could do it while appearing professional.

Eileen Schofield's report was deliberately misleading. It falsely implies that all of the witnesses considered Kathy to be a wonderful manager. Eileen had not intended for me to have seen the witness statements. Nor had she intended for me to see the transcript for Kathy's hearing. Eileen had denied me any opportunity to respond to the statements. Therefore she wasn't interested in any evidence I may have that would have refuted any false statements. I had pointed to examples where Kathy had lied at her hearing and in her grievance letter on matters that Eileen could easily have checked out. Eileen's report said that Kathy had pointed to documentation to support her allegations and to refute mine. She couldn't have, and hadn't. Eileen hadn't even put my allegations to Kathy. Many of the questions she asked witnesses were irrelevant, and she failed to ask a witness, who had seen me being ill treated, anything about it. I had even given the name of a current employee who had witnessed me being abused, but she avoided interviewing that person. She also deliberately avoided interviewing another witness who would have confirmed Kathy's dishonesty. Documents I had submitted that showed irrefutable proof of Kathy's dishonesty were just ignored. The whole process was dishonest.

The university's Grievance Procedure states that I sbould be allowed an opportunity to state my case. Eileen Schofield only offered me an opportunity to state a brief summary of my case, but in her report she said that I was asked to present my case. The Grievance Procedure also states that the chair of the hearing will decide on the outcome based on the facts of the case made available to them. However, Eileen ignored all of the facts I submitted, and falsely claimed that Kathy had been able to point to documents that refuted my allegations and supported her own.

Kevin Clarke just ignored all of this and said I can find no evidence of procedural flaw as asserted as the grounds of your appeal.


Legal Action Imminent?

Stirling Uni guilty of fraud.


Selina Gibb

Selina Gibb, Riverbank Lodge, Auchinlay Rd, Dunblane, FK15 9BF

This is the statement that Selina made to Investigators Graham Millar and Gail Miller. Later, when they interviewed me, they made no reference to anything she had said. Nor did they tell me that she had been interviewed.

Section 3. Selina, to her shame, has completely misrepresented a private conversation we had in the office.

He came over to my desk at the other end of the office, which I found very strange as we don't have a close working relationship, and asked if I'd heard about the KM situation. I was on my way to fetch drinking water from the tea room which means exiting through a door acrosss the room from where Selina sits. She asked me why I wasn't at the Developers' meeting. I said that I was working on my grievance against Kathy. Selina said she hadn't known about it and asked if it was because of the email that Kathy had sent the team about conference attendance. I said that was part of it. She asked if it was true that I had emails that I'd sent Kathy asking to attend. (Kathy had falsely claimed in her email that I'd never asked to attend a conference). I said yes. Selina said that was weird. I added that I also had some of her acknowledgements. Selina said that was really weird. I said that Kathy had been ill treating me for years, and then I left the room to get some water. When I returned, Selina asked how it all began. I said I wasn't sure but I suspected that Eileen was involved because I knew that she had misrepresented my performance in an email she sent Kathy. I also told Selina that I'd raised a grievance against Eileen because of this. I said that I thought Eileen was probably the root of the problem. I referred to a time about two weeks earlier when Selina and I were talking as we climbed the stairs together. Selina had noticed that when we reached the top that I was out of breath. She had joked that I was like "an old man". I explained that that was a symptom of the stress caused by bullying. I told her that I drink far too much alcohol and can no longer take exercise. By now Selina had stood up and crossed the room to where I was standing. She said two times, "You need to look after yourself, Allan". She was still standing there as I returned to my seat saying "That's probably the correct thing to say, but it's not that simple." I felt she was genuinely concerned for my health.

He started talking about EM and lost control. I hadn't lost control in any way. This is pure fiction.

His facial expression changed and became very red in the face and really angry and irate. His demeanour seemed quite wild. He was calling her names and said she was the ring leader behind the deterioration of his relationship with KM, was not to be trusted and was malicious and a trouble maker. Pure fiction again. Interestingly, I had never considered that Eileen was a ring leader, however since the orchestrated complaints emerged, I now believe that to be true.

He didn't mention her by name, he just kept pointing at her chair and saying 'her'. The first time I mentioned Eileen's name I pointed at her desk in order to clarify which Eileen I was referring to. There are two Eileens in the team.

I felt really uncomfortable and tried to indicate I wasn't interested by my body language. I would turn to my computer and continue with my work. False. Selina had instigated the conversation twice, and had stood up and crossed the room to get closer to me. As I walked away, she was still standing there. I was mainly responding to her questions.

I didn't want to say anything in case I made him even angrier. He was so angry that he was spitting on my desk. He seemed to be going around in circles in the actual content of what he was saying. Selina hadn't said anything to make me angry, and I wasn't angry. I had no reason to be angry with Selina. There was no going around in circles. The conversation was fairly brief, and I wanted to get back to what I was doing. I didn't spit on her desk. We were at the other side of the room, and I wasn't angry.

Section 12. Does this sound like someone who is nervous, frightened and anxious around me? Selina came to me one day soon after that conversation to ask me about skiing lessons, and we laughed as I described my own experience as a beginner and being the only adult in the class. The reason she is not anxious and nervous is because she misrepresented our conversation.

Even on the day of the grievance hearing (26 Feb), Selina and Una were both laughing and joking with me as I left the office to go home early. Selina was joking about me wearing what she refers to as my "dancing shoes".

Sections 6 and 7 are also false and are explained in the Disciplinary Investigation post. LINK.

Section 8. I do feel he enjoys upsetting people. He may have issues with females and tries to pull you down. False, and clear collusion with the other complainants. For 13 years there's no complaint about me having issues with females, then suddenly there's a batch of them immediately following three of them being spoken to about their ill treatment of me, and one of them being spoken to about having screamed at me a few days before. As described elsewhere, there's no way in the world I'd have upset Selina.

Section 10. This paragraph describes another symptom of poor management in IS Services at Stirling, and particularly my own team. It is also a perfect example of how I am seen as the scapegoat. Let me try to explain this. Selina's background is in clerical work. She worked in our team in a clerical role. Then Kathy McCabe created a new job as a System Assistant which requires a level of technical skills. The role evaluation form that Kathy signed states that five years Oracle experience is required for the job. Firstly, that in itself is nonsense because it is a fairly junior role which doesn't require anything like that. Secondly, when Selina took up the post, she had no Oracle experience. Selina is on friendly terms with Eileen MacDonald and Kathy McCabe, and I was told that she got the job for that reason, and that employees from other teams who were interested in the job were prevented from applying. Thirdly, at the time of the incident that Selina is referring to (albeit incorrectly), she still had no Oracle experience. Selina was in the job for five or six years when I recently set her up with some Oracle training materials. So although she is in a Grade 6 role which has potential full time earnings over £28,000, she is basically carrying out a clerical role. There are employees in other teams on Grade 6 with specialist skills and who can work on their own initiative. Try finding a clerical job in the real world that pays over £28,000.

I have 15 years Oracle experience. On the one hand my colleagues recognise that experience by constantly coming to me for help. However, I felt I was constantly under suspicion as someone who didn't know what I was talking about. At times I'd explain something to a Programmer, and they wouldn't accept what I was saying because they were thinking that I was in some way being devious or difficult. So I'd have to call over another senior member of staff to get them to confirm that what I said was correct. This example with Selina is even more stark. She has somehow learned through gossip, probably from Eileen MacDonald (who is also very weak technically and a saboteur), that I'm difficult and that I'm a nitpicker. So a very inexperienced, completely non technical, clerical worker makes a judgement that I, a Database Administrator with 15 years experience and responsibility for the security of the University's databases am just nitpicking.

Let me describe what happened. As I said, Selina had no technical experience at all, but somebody gave her a technical task to do. Since it was the first time she had attempted this, I would have expected her to have been supervised because the consequences of what she was doing were potentially very serious. She was requesting me to run programs in the live student records database which would delete some records. We have a procedure in place for this for efficient and secure completion of work.
1 Requester writes the programs using SQL. As I said, Selina had no knowledge of SQL.
2 Requester runs the programs in test database to ensure it works. I'll explain later how I know that Selina couldn't have done this.
3 Requester completes a form giving the DBAs instructions for running the programs.
4 Requester sends email to DBAs with a link to those instructions.
5 Requester places programs in specific folder for DBAs to run them.
6 DBA runs programs
7 DBA records in form that program has been run.
8 DBA moves programs to another folder

And here's what happened.

4 Selina created three forms when only one was required.
She sent me the email with three links. The links didn't work, I asked her to fix them, and copied to her more experienced colleague. Instead she sent the forms as attachments to the DBAs. This is a problem because it now means there are two copies of each form.
5a The programs were not where they should have been. So Selina had another go.
5b This time two of the programs were in place, but one was still missing.
6 I checked the programs, and only half of each program was there. For example, a program should say "DELETE FROM students WHERE student = 1". Selina's programs said "WHERE student = 1". If she had sent the other half "DELETE FROM students" instead, and I had run it, all of the records in the table would have been deleted. That would be very serious because the software suppliers don't like us deleting records unless we use the application they have supplied us, and they've told us they won't provide any support if we mess up. Obviously these programs couldn't have been run in the test database because they wouldn't have worked and would have produced an error. Eventually we got that sorted out, but then there were more problems because the other DBA began running and moving the programs too because he had separate forms.

I emailed Selina saying "Sorry Selina but the files don't seem to be there. Can you maybe ask Una or Eileen to help". She replied calling me "patronising". I reply "Not patronising at all. I was merely concerned that after three attempts, we were still having difficulties." Selina again says that I was patronising, to which I take offense.

We were in a complete mess, but she thinks I'm nitpicking and patronising! And again, her story has grown arms and legs.

Compare that with Kathy who criticised me in the presence of Mark Toole and others for not having replied to an email (that I hadn't seen) within 23 minutes. Her email invited me to a meeting which I attended when a colleague pointed it out to me on her way to the meeting. When we arrived, we had to hang around waiting for someone else who hadn't seen Kathy's email. THAT is nitpicking!

It's really sickening that someone I loved like a daughter could make up lies to take away my livelihood. She did it in collusion with others, not realising that there was evidence to show that they were lying. Selina had everything she could wish for; a husband and three beautiful daughters that she adored; a big house; a very good salary for easy work. Everybody loved her. If anybody was to carry out research into mobbing, then they should definitely interview Selina to find out why she did this after seeming to be genuinely concerned for my health.

I'd be happy for Selina and me to undertake polygraph tests to determine which of us is being honest. However, emails that I've published demonstrate Selina's dishonesty.

As at 22 June 2011, this is the most frequently visited post on my blog.

Please see my post that relates to the dangers of gossip which features Selina.

To be continued...

Grievance Procedure

[Eileen Schofield, 50 Fonthill Road, Aberdeen AB11 6UJ]

See Timeline and Personnel
I submitted my formal grievance against my manager, Kathy McCabe on 9 February 2010. Kathy also submitted a formal grievance against me. This was a tactic she had used before when I had submitted an informal grievance against her. Bully Online states that this is common among bullies, and is tantamount to an admission of guilt. It muddies the waters. I had set out a very large number of allegations of bullying, dishonesty and sex discrimination in my six page grievance document, and I submitted lots of documents to support my allegations and to refute Kathy’s allegations.

Eileen Schofield was to conduct the grievance hearing. She was working closely with Kathy on a project at the time. She arranged three meetings; each one was scheduled to last an hour. Eileen first had a meeting with Kathy, then a meeting with me, and then a meeting with both of us together. I had asked Karen Stark before the meetings what the format would be, but she just referred me to the Grievance Procedure, so I didn’t know what would be expected of me at the meetings. An hour seemed a very short time for the number of allegations and the amount of evidence submitted.

At my meeting, Eileen said she had read all of the documents, and then asked me to just give a brief summary of my case. That’s what I did. I didn’t go into great detail of each individual incident of bullying. Most of the time was spent with Eileen asking me questions, and I was happy to answer anything she asked because I had nothing to hide. I naturally assumed that Eileen knew what she was doing, and that she already understood the allegations and that she didn’t need to examine me in depth about them. I could have had no idea that Eileen would later claim in her report that she had asked me to present my case, and not just a brief summary.

I asked Eileen what the format would be of the joint meeting with Kathy arranged later that afternoon. She seemed either unable or unwilling to say. I explained that, during a meeting with Kathy and Mark Toole that was supposed to help resolve the dispute informally, Kathy had been allocated about 90% of the time and used it to bully me with outrageous and false criticism, and that I was fearful that the same may happen again. The afternoon meeting lasted only a few minutes, so I never got to hear Kathy’s response to my allegations of bullying. Just what was the original purpose of that meeting, I wonder.

A few days after the hearing, Eileen wrote to say she was going to interview people who were mentioned in the documents submitted by Kathy and me. I wrote to protest at this because it was bound to cause bad feelings within the team. My union rep wrote to ask that the process be transparent, and that I be given an opportunity to respond to the statements, particularly since there was evidence of scapegoating. However, Eileen wrote her report with her decision to dismiss my grievance and uphold Kathy’s grievance without giving me an opportunity to respond to the statements; without me seeing the statements; and without telling me who was interviewed. Even the report doesn’t say who was interviewed.

Afterwards, I wrote to HR to request copies of the statements from those who were interviewed. The first thing I noticed was that all of the statements were dated AFTER the date of the report. The report gives the impression that Kathy is a very good manager, and that it is me who is the cause of the problems between us. It states that a total of eleven witnesses (current and former employees) were interviewed and that they expressed the common view that Kathy is considered to be a determined, focused and supporting manager who leads the team well.

The report does not refer to the view of a former employee who said in his statement that Kathy had ill treated him, and that he had to attend Occupational Health due to it. Neither did it refer to another witness who had stated he had witnessed that ill treatment and was aware of Kathy’s ill treatment of other employees. Nor did it refer to the witnesses who had referred to Kathy’s partisan treatment of her employees, and in particular how she favours female members of the team. Neither did it mention that a witness had spoken of a group of team members who felt the need to confront her on that very topic. I believe the reason the report does not refer to any of this is because it supports the allegations I made in my grievance. It clearly demonstrates suppression of dissent. However, it does not negate my grievance to say that some employees are happy with Kathy. In fact it supports my claim that she treats employees inconsistently.

The report does not refer to a team member who returned to our office crying uncontrollably following a meeting with Kathy. This was an incident which had been reported to Karen Stark. Nor did it refer to another team member who needed to take two days sick leave with work related stress following what she described as "bullying" from Kathy.

After I read the report, I spoke with two former employees who were mentioned in the documents, because I knew that the report did not reflect their views of Kathy. They confirmed that they had not been interviewed, and both expressed their strong dislike of Kathy. One described her as "macho" and "overly agressive". The other strongly objected to Kathy's partisan behaviour towards her staff, and particularly the special treatment afforded to Eileen MacDonald. He, rightly in my view, said he was unfairly treated by Kathy. He also referred to the large number of extra hours work I carried out regularly over many years. He was in regular contact with two other people who he felt were dismissed unfairly from their jobs in Information Services, and expressed his concern that there was something seriously wrong with the university's management.

Another former employee who was mentioned in the documents was JH who was the Departmental Secretary. In my grievance, I referred to Kathy's dishonesty, and gave examples. One example was that Kathy had falsely claimed to have instructed JH, while I was on sick leave, to tell me that I was not to return to work without my doctor's consent. JH had already confirmed this to be untrue, but Kathy repeated the same lie in her grievance papers. JH was not invited to be interviewed. I wonder why!

Another person mentioned but not interviewed was my girlfriend, Ruth who attended the mediation meeting with me and Kathy in my support. However, Colin Sinclair who attended in support of Kathy was invited. In my grievance I said that during mediation, Kathy wouldn't follow the procedure for which the mediator had prepared us, by refusing to answer any of my questions. She added that if I tried to ask her a question, she would leave the mediation. In his interview, Colin falsely claimed that Kathy answered my questions. Eileen did not ask him for any examples of questions I asked that Kathy had answered.

Of course the report cannot refer to what some of the interviewees say about Kathy in private (often using colourful language!). It does not refer to feedback provided by four random team members for a training course she attended. The feedback to certain questions was said to be the worst by far that any manager attending that course had ever received. According to one team member, Kathy received scores of 2 and 3, while other course members received 7 and 8. On discovering her results, Kathy met with the four team members to tell them they hadn't understood the questions. Some said they felt intimidated by this. At the end of the course, they were to answer the questions again, and one admitted to having lied and given better scores than she deserved just for a quiet life.

One of the witnesses later told me that he wasn't asked anything about bullying or ill treatment from my colleagues. He said he definitely remembered when Jackie O'Neil burst into the room and phoned the software suppliers and angrily described me as "our useless DBA". When Jackie was asked about this, she denied it. She was also asked if she had ever shouted at me, and she said that she had never shouted at me or anyone else. She was interviewed on 16 March, just six days after she had shouted at me while slamming her hand on her desk because she thought I had made a mistake. This took place in a room with up to 14 team members. She also denied spreading false rumours about me. My girlfriend, Ruth confirmed in writing that Jackie had falsely claimed that I cheated by taking time in lieu that I hadn't earned.

Una Forsyth was asked if she had physically assaulted me. She gave a false account of this by claiming that she had merely nudged me after I had drunkenly bumped into her. She had in fact travelled about 12 feet to push me in the back as hard as she could with both hands. This was witnessed by about ten university employees.

The report says The specific allegations made by AG against named individuals were refuted strongly by them and were received with a mix of incredulity and anger. These were all incidents that Kathy had admitted in the presence of Mark Toole that she had known about. She had even signed a document confirming this. However, my grievance was not against my colleagues, but my manager's failure to act to protect me from such incidents. She was paid handsomely to do that, and the university has a duty of care for me which wasn't being carried out.

The report states At her hearing meeting, KM presented her case rationally and succinctly and referred to specific examples in the submitted documentary evidence to support her allegations and to refute those made by AG.

This is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, if Kathy was offered the opportunity to present her case, why wasn’t I? Secondly, Kathy’s allegations are nonsense, and she couldn’t possibly have pointed to documentary evidence to support it, and to refute my allegations. I’ve seen a transcript of Kathy’s hearing meeting, and she didn’t. To my disgust, Kathy was not even asked to respond to the allegations I had made. It is possible that Eileen and Kathy had prearranged what could be asked. I knew that Kathy was always very reluctant to discuss her bullying behaviour. While she loves doing it, she hates being asked about it.

The report also states At the hearing meeting AG was asked to present his case and intimated that he believed KM had ill treated him and it was causing him stress. This is false, because I was only asked to give a brief summary. The impression the report attempts to give is that I was asked to present my case, but that I didn’t really have one to present, and that I had just irrationally said that I believed I was being ill treated without any real reason for believing it, other than perhaps due to stress, my mental state isn’t what it could be.

This impression is supported by the following statement from the report: I do not believe that AG’s grievance claim is vexatious on the grounds that he and others think he genuinely believes the allegations made are true. However, by reasonable normal standards in light of the evidence submitted I do not believe the allegations can be substantiated.

In my view it would be reasonable for Eileen to go through each of my allegations giving her reasons why she does not believe it represents bullying (by reasonable normal standards) as described in the university's Anti Bullying policy. She should also explain clearly, with examples backed up by facts, how I have bullied my manager. If she is unable to do that, then I feel she should resign or be dismissed. I believe it is a dishonest decision.

Kathy's statement is littered with lies. She claimed that my grievance contained lots of inaccuracies. For example, I had said that she had never awarded me with a merit, but Kathy said that she had indeed awarded me with a merit. If I had been in Eileen's position, I would have asked Kathy some questions about the merit she alleges she awarded me. For example, why did she award me it, and when. However, no question was asked. At the appeal hearing I pointed out that this was something Eileen and Karen Stark could easily have checked out with HR. In fact I had done that very thing after the hearing, and it was confirmed that Kathy had never awarded me with a merit. Eileen said she did check out Kathy's evidence. Nonsense! She also claimed to have promoted me to Trainee DBA. Another lie which HR confirmed to be false.

To be continued…

I offered Eileen Schofield an opportunity to respond to this statement on 6th September 2010. I have not received a reply.