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.

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