Oh! what a tangled web we weave When first we practice to deceive!

Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!

Sir Walter Scott

Stirling University has attempted to explain the fraudulent document that they sent to the Employment Tribunal. I asked the following question.

I refer to the answers to questions, and to item "Our useless DBA". It states that in order to investigate this allegation, Mrs Schofield and Miss Stark referred to Mr Flockhart's statement dated 22 March 2010. Please state why they referred to that statement which has no bearing on the allegation. Please also explain why Mr Flockhart was not asked about this allegation.

This is their response.

In the preparation of the responses to questions dated 15 April 2011, Miss Stark refers to Mr Flockhart's statement.  At the time of the preparation of that response in April 2011, the e-mail from Mr Flockhart dated 15 April 2010 had been clipped to other papers including the statement dated 22 March 2010 which had been considered during the grievance investigation.  Reference to Mr Flockhart's statement and his evidence in this part of the spreadsheet and was an error arising as a consequence of the retrospective nature of the exercise being undertaken in March and April 2011.  Mr Flockhart was not asked about the "useless DBA" allegation during the grievance investigation. The subject of his interactions prior to the promulgation of the grievance outcome was around his reasons for leaving the University.  He was not asked about the "useless DBA" allegation as it was not considered a material allegation, but as part of a pattern of day-to-day issues arising within a busy team. 

The university got themselves into this mess when they first wrote to the Employment Tribunal in response to my original claim. I said I had been subjected to a sham grievance process, and they stated that all of the allegations in my grievance were investigated and rejected. Big mistake! This put them in an impossible position of having to try to explain how each of my allegations could have been investigated and rejected. So they had to either admit it was a sham or invent an investigation that could arrive at each allegation being rejected. They made the absurd decision to pretend that there was a proper investigation. So a year after the investigation was supposed to have taken place, they carried out a retrospective investigation to try to come up with a fake reason for rejecting each of my allegations.

When I asked them to give details of how each allegation was rejected, it was not meant to be an invitation to start rummaging through evidence. That was what they were supposed to have done a year earlier before rejecting my allegations. Why would Karen Stark need to investigate evidence in 2011 for allegations that Eileen Schofield rejected in 2010? The fraudulent document clearly shows an attempt to describe a decision making process that results in the conclusion that this particular allegation was upheld, when Eileen Schofield couldn't possibly have made that decision at the time alleged. That "decision" was therefore made in 2011, and not in 2010, and the process that reached that decision also took place in 2011. The whole document is clearly an attempt to fool the tribunal that each allegation was investigated and that Eileen Schofield had gone to the trouble of making a decision about each and every allegation, when in reality her decision to dismiss my overall grievance wasn't based on evidence.

They have also made matters worse for themselves by saying that Mr Flockhart was not asked about this allegation because it was not considered a material allegation. If that was the case, then why did they make a point of asking Mrs O'Neil about the allegation when I had already indicated that doing so would likely cause friction within the team? My allegation wasn't against Mrs O'Neil, but Kathy McCabe, who wasn't asked to respond to it. And if it is typical behaviour that is only to be expected in a busy team, then what the hell have I been sacked for? Even if the allegations against me had been true, they don't compare with phoning a supplier and describing a colleague as useless; especially when that colleague wasn't useless.

By interviewing Jackie O'Neil over this matter, they performed an act in response to my protected disclosure which was likely to cause me to suffer detriment. And that was the only reason they had for discussing the matter with her. It was already decided that it was not material. There was no reason for Jackie to have been asked about it because Kathy had already been aware of it, and Karen Stark had heard Kathy say she wasn't interested. Whistleblowing laws are there to protect employees from such acts. The university will have to explain why they questioned Jackie over that incident if they had already decided that the issue was not material, and having been forewarned by me that it would likely cause bad feelings (detriment).

It was a horrendously bad decision to make up this fraudulent document. Firstly, it will clearly demonstrate to the tribunal that they are lying, and that they were covering up a sham grievance process. That won't bode well for the rest of the case. Regardless of this specific allegation, it was bleeding obvious that the whole process was a sham, so they had nothing to gain by going to all of the trouble and risk of making up that document. Every single allegation in this ten page document is going to be a nightmare for them in court. It will take a very long time for me to go through each allegation with both Mrs Schofield and Miss Stark to show the tribunal that it was a farce. I would imagine that the tribunal would soon become very irritated if they continue to insist that the grievance process was genuine. They really could go to jail, and it would be no more than they deserve!

Here's the entry from that document:

Inequitable handling of complaints and acting on gossip.
[1] our useless DBA

Between 5‐24 March 2010

Eileen Schofield and Karen Stark

Reference to J O'Neil's statement and reference to B Flockhart's statement.

J O'Neil could not recall this incident although one member of staff who was contacted as part of the investigation (who left the university in March 2007) stated that he recalled an incident when J O'Neil was unprofessional and derogatory in her remarks towards AG when speaking to a third party supplier on the phone.

Allegation upheld ‐ but considered not to be material.

That conclusion couldn't have been reached in 2010, but it definitely describes an investigation and decision making process that took place in 2011, rather than a clerical or typing error. And the decision that the allegation was not considered material was also made in 2011, because the decision reached in 2010 was that it was material and should be investigated even though it was likely to cause friction to do so.

They are also beginning to respond to my request for document disclosure. However, there is information that I've requested that they want to keep hidden from me and the Employment Tribunal.

One of the documents they are trying to keep hidden is the role description for the role of System Assistant. It was a role occupied by three women when Kathy McCabe helped them create the description for it in 2008, and to help them get as high a salary as possible, by honest means or otherwise. Kathy grossly exaggerated the degree of difficulty and the level of experience required for the role, which she once described to me as a junior role.

She stated that five years Oracle experience was normally required to do this job. My arse! A job requiring five years Oracle experience would be a very specialist role. Selina Gibb applied for her job as System Assistant in June 2004. The job advertisement said nothing about requiring five years or any Oracle experience whatsoever, which was just as well because Selina had none, and she still didn't have any by September 2009 when I gave her a very basic Oracle training course.

The university is claiming that the role description is personal data relative to Selina. Of course, it's not personal at all. It relates to a role. It will be for Kathy McCabe to explain why she thinks the role requires so much Oracle experience, and why the job advertisement didn't specify that outrageous requirement, and why Selina, who had occupied the role for four years didn't possess it.

I now intend to ask for the role descriptions for roles held by Eileen MacDonald (Senior Programmer Analyst / Support Coordinator) and Jackie O'Neil (Programmer / Analyst). Their roles will doubtless state that they are required to possess the ability to develop programming solutions. Despite each of them having more than ten years experience, their level of programming ability was shockingly low - practically negligible. So, if they can't perform tasks that their role description says they do, then they shouldn't be in that role.

Selina Gibb, Eileen MacDonald and Jackie O'Neil (2) all received merit awards from sex discriminator, Kathy McCabe. None of them have the disadvantage of owning a penis.

The university also refused to provide me with information they hold for Una Forsyth. I asked for the towns of her addresses since 2002. At her interview for the disciplinary investigation, she said that around 2005, I had a soft spot for her and had plans to get together with her. Five years later at her interview, this was still proving too upsetting for her. Her statement describes her as visibly upset, and that Karen Eccleson had to speak on her behalf. It was so upsetting. She added that she was married at the time and felt it was inappropriate. This is a fascinating story she invented after colluding with Karen Eccleson.

Una had split from her husband in 2002, and had moved in with her boyfriend, Ricky from Edinburgh until around 2004 when she got her own house in Bo'ness. At some point around 2007/2008, she split up with Ricky and had joined dating websites. She had also attended speed dating events, and I recall she had dated some men from them. Karen Eccleson, as well as most of the team, was also aware of this. I had also shown Mark Toole evidence that my partner had been living with me since April 2004.

I had told Mark Toole that Una's allegation was impossible, and asked him to check with HR. I asked the university to say whether or not Mr Toole had investigated this. Their response is "This is personal data relative to Mrs Forsyth. She has not consented to its release. Mr Toole did not consider this information and could see no reason why he should."

Of course, the reason why he should is because it was his job to. He was about to take away my livelihood, and should at least have made a reasonable attempt at pretending this was a genuine disciplinary process. Making malicious complaints is a sackable offence. The university is going to be very busy sacking people soon, unless that's one of the policies that is applied differently depending on who you are, and what your gender is.

Mr Toole says that he saw no evidence to support my claim that my colleagues had lied. Well obviously, if you are determined not to carry out any sort of investigation, you will improve your chances of not seeing it. But he will struggle to explain how he saw no evidence when I bloody showed him it.

To be continued...

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