University of Stirling - Callous Bastards

On 24 June 2010, I attended the Occupational Health Department at the university, and met with the doctor for about an hour. The university referred me to him when I told them that my health was suffering due to my manager's bullying behaviour. I had seen him a few times and we had discussed the situation, and that I had lodged a formal grievance against Kathy because the stress I'd suffered for five years had become unbearable. Something had to be done because not only was it damaging my health, but under those circumstances and for that length of time, there becomes a risk that a target of bullying's mind can snap, and they could end up seriously harming the bully, or possibly even killing them. Anybody thinking of becoming a bully should seriously keep that in mind. I have been there, and I often had thoughts of causing Kathy McCabe some serious injury, although they tended to happen when I was away from work. The ironic thing is that my work was the thing that kept me sane. That's what was most damaging when Mark Toole suspended me from work. I had all of the stress, but magnified a thousand times, and in addition I didn't have my work to help counter the stress.

By the time I spoke to the doctor that day, I had long lost the will to live. I had given up on life. In the previous two weeks I had lost £33,000 gambling. That was triggered by David Black changing his account of the Jackie O'Neil incident. It was more than I earned in a year, and I knew I was about to lose my job, but I didn't care. I had no plans to live. Suicide was inevitable. I had also begun self harming earlier that month. I still don't fully understand self harm. It wasn't an attempt to kill myself, but it helped distract me from the pain I was suffering in my head. Not pain like a headache; much worse. The university has seen the evidence of me having lost that money. I had also lost another £10,000 on a single day. That was the day I had a meeting with Mark Toole, and he wouldn't confirm that Kathy was bullying me. That is sheer mental torture! All in all, since the bullying began, I lost over £140,000. Gambling was also a distraction. And sometimes it required a lot to distract me.

On that day in June, I told the doctor that I intended to kill myself. Naturally, he was concerned. The odd thing is, at the time, he was probably more concerned than I was. I'm not even sure why I told him. I told him that I expected that I would be dismissed, and that I could see no future for me. There was no future as far as I was concerned. I had reached the end. I suppose he tried to say the right things, by talking about the possibilities for the future, but I had made my mind up. He advised me to see my GP. But I told him that that was very unlikely. I didn't want to be cured. I wanted to die. He suggested I take my case to the Employment Tribunal, but I'd already thought of that. I thought it was unlikely that I'd make a claim, because I didn't think I'd be around by the time it came to court, but I also knew that it is rare for tribunals to order reinstatement, and I felt that if I didn't have my job, I didn't want to live. My confidence had been completely drained. If I couldn't keep a job after working as hard as I had at the uni, then there was no point.

He knew I had a strong sense of justice, and I think he used that to try to persuade me that I could get justice, and also clear my name. In an earlier meeting with him, I had told him about my idea of creating a web site and making all of the facts public. He thought that that was a good idea too. He strongly urged me to make the claim anyway. I asked him not to tell the university that I planned to kill myself. I also told him that I didn't think there was any point in us meeting again, and we didn't.

That same day, he wrote to the uni, saying:

"It is evident that he feels a very strong sense of injustice about the process to which he has been subject. He also feels that the experience to date has undermined his self-confidence to the extent that he feels he would have considerable difficulty pursuing alternative employment options if his current employment at the University is terminated."

"I have to say that I have considerable concerns about his current state of well-being".

The very next day, Mark Toole dismissed me. Not only did the university know that I was completely innocent, but a doctor had told them of his "considerable concerns" about my well-being. A little thing like my well-being wasn't going to stand in Mark Toole's way though. Even now, when they know that I planned to kill myself, the university is continuing with their completely unbelievable case that the grievance and disciplinary processes were genuine.

I recently asked the doctor a number of questions. Here are his answers which the university has seen.

Would you agree that if, as I described, the university was carrying out sham processes against me while being aware that I was already suffering from stress, it was likely to cause further damage to my health, and that they were likely to have known that?
I agree that were an employer knowingly and deliberately to subject an employee to 'sham' processes it could well prove detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the employee. I would expect most people to be able to appreciate that such a risk would exist.

Can you please confirm that you did not encourage the university to treat me dishonestly, and you did not advise them that it was safe to treat me dishonestly or unjustly and that as a doctor, when you give advice to the university, you must assume that it conducts its procedures in an honest and fair manner, and not in a manner likely to be hazardous to an employee's health. If the university had asked you if it would have been detrimental to my health for me to be subjected to a sham grievance or sham disciplinary process, what would your response have been?
I confirm that I did not encourage the university to deal with you in a dishonest manner, or advise that it would be safe to do so and can assure you that the advice I gave to your employer is exactly as set out in my reports of 13/03/08, 27/05/10 and 24/06/10, copies of which I believe you have received. You are correct that in advising the university I do indeed assume that it behaves honestly and fairly in its dealings with its employees. In the unlikely event that I were asked to advise regarding the likely consequences of subjecting an employee to 'sham' processes I would be bound to advise that to do so could well prove harmful to the employee's health and wellbeing.

If the university is found to have deliberately subjected me to sham processes in order to force me out of the university and I do decide to take my own life, and leave a note specifying that as the sole reason, would you agree that the university and the individuals concerned would share responsibility for my death?
I'm afraid that I feel that in posing this question you are asking me to engage in a degree of speculation which I feel I cannot legitimately do. However I am concerned to hear that you may still be thinking in these terms and if you have not done so I strongly recommend that you arrange to see your GP without delay to discuss these thoughts with them. They may well be able to offer further help and support and even if you consider this to be unlikely I am bound to advise you to make your GP aware of this state of affairs and to seek their professional advice.

Do you know of any legitimate reason for the university to subject me to sham grievance and disciplinary processes while knowing that I was suffering from stress?

In my view there is no legitimate reason for an employer deliberately to subject an employee to 'sham' processes of this kind.

In addition to the sham grievance and sham disciplinary processes I described, I also believe that the university attempted to cover up the sham grievance process by creating and sending a fraudulent document to the Employment Tribunal giving false details relating to the grievance process. In your opinion, would it be more likely than not that an attempt to cover up a sham grievance process would also be hazardous to my health?
In my opinion had 'sham' processes been applied further falsification, if it occurred, could compound any harm arising from the original processes.

Do you know of any legitimate reason for the university to produce and send a fraudulent document to the Employment Tribunal in an attempt to cover up a sham grievance process while knowing that I was in ill health?

Were it to do so, I cannot personally think of a legitimate reason for an employer to engage in deliberate falsification in such circumstances.

If it is found that the university was deliberately subjecting me to sham grievance and disciplinary processes, what, in your opinion, would have been the purpose of them referring me to the Occupational Health Department without informing you that I was being subjected to sham grievance and disciplinary processes? Do you think it is possible that the university, in those circumstances, may have been attempting to give the appearance that they were fulfilling their duty of care for me?

Again I'm afraid that I feel that in posing this question you are asking me to engage in a degree of speculation which I feel I cannot legitimately do.

In February 2010, I wrote to Professor Christine Hallett who was then Principal of Stirling University. I informed her that my manager's behaviour was damaging my health, and that senior management and the Human Resources department were not taking the issue seriously. It was my hope that Professor Hallett would ensure that my grievance against my manager would be handled fairly. If it is found that I was immediately subjected to a sham grievance process and then a sham disciplinary process, would you agree that Professor Hallett and Stirling University had failed to comply with their legal obligation to care for my health?

See my previous answers; this would however in my view be a matter of legal opinion.

I recently wrote to the university describing the considerable financial hardship I'm now facing. I've had to sell my car, and may soon be faced with the need to sell my house and become homeless, which would undoubtedly worsen my health which they know is poor. I asked them to provide me with a loan of £5,000 to avoid this, but they refused.

I used to work extraordinarily long hours (estimated 4,500 hours) for free because I loved my job, saving the university tens of thousands of pounds, but they wouldn't even loan me £5,000 to help me keep hold of my house, when they know that I'm suffering from depression caused by the torturous treatment I received from them.

Callous bastards!

No comments: