Improper Use of Government Masking Tape to Secure Troublesome Civil Servant To be Thoroughly Investigated at the Highest level – Just Not On-Money is Tight and Times Are Hard

 

 

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Judith Mackinnon – Authoritive Figure Addressing Mental Health and Wellbeing

2005 – 2015: Judith was the Director for HR and National Programmes for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), for 9 years.

She introduced “The Managing Mental Health at Work Strategy” for the 800 strong workforce, as well as promoting it and other support to external organizations and employers.

She also had responsibility for developing and leading the national programmes for Suicide Prevention; Anti-bullying and Sport and Physical Activity.

 

Image result for Judith Mckinnon Mental health

 

05 Apr 2016: Living In The Shadow Of Suicide

Scotland has the highest suicide rate in the UK, and every day two people take their own lives.

But behind these statistics there are hidden stories. The Scottish Association for Mental Health — SAMH — raises awareness and supports those affected by suicide, which still carries a baffling stigma.

They are launching a programme for suicide prevention with a national network of support.

SAMH director Judith McKinnon said: “When someone dies by suicide, family, friends and communities deal with the aftermath. It’s always a deeply painful experience. People who survive suicide attempts also struggle to rebuild their lives.

We want to involve communities across Scotland in providing this support and prevent suicide through training and awareness-raising for the general public.” (The Sun)

 

 

 

 

30 Dec 2010: Judith McKinnon, Director of Human Resources at SAMH, talks about mental health, employment, stigma and discrimination.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShlCfgw8HBQ)

 

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30 Jan 2011: Judith Mackinnon: Member of The Scottish Government National Suicide and Self Harm Monitoring and Implementation Group.

(http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:9GFmDFfoeDsJ:www.gov.scot/resource/doc/924/0113165.doc+&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk)

 

 

Judith Mackinnon

Employed by Scottish Government from Jun 2017 as “Head of People Advice”, presumably with added responsibility for developing and leading national programmes for Suicide Prevention; Anti-bullying and Sport and Physical Activity.

 

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15 Aug 2018: Government worker found taped to chair and gagged loses bullying and harassment case

A fisheries officer who claimed she was bound-and-gagged to a chair by colleagues has had her allegations of bullying and harassment thrown out.

An employment tribunal, which sat in Aberdeen for two days in June, rejected DeeAnn Fitzpatrick’s claims she was mocked and targeted in a campaign of sexist harassment by colleagues.

The 49-year-old Canadian insisted there was a racist and misogynistic culture within Government agency Marine Scotland while she worked at their Scrabster office.

In an earlier hearing DeeAnn alleged she was taped to a chair and gagged by colleagues in 2010. She produced a photograph which appeared to back up her claims.

Although that evidence was time-barred the tribunal went ahead and heard how DeeAnn was bombarded with fake Valentines day and birthday cards she believed came from male colleagues.

A message in one called her an “old troll” and another warned her about trying to “climb the ladder of success”.

DeeAnn told the tribunal the harassment was so bad she considered taking her own life and contacted an assisted suicide clinic.

She told the tribunal: “When I first started getting the cards, it made me feel awful. But as they continued, yes it’s affected my self-esteem. It’s actually made me become a recluse – I stay at home, I have gone more into myself. With everything going on, I contacted Dignitas in Switzerland. I had enough.”

DeeAnn, who has worked for Marine Scotland since 2006, was struggling to grasp the tribunal’s verdict that nothing was wrong.

She said: “It is difficult when you spend your entire career fighting racism, misogyny and bullies. Then to make matters worse when you report the incidents, you are the one that is being targeted by an ongoing campaign by senior management because you exposed what they have worked very hard to hide.”

The Scottish Government put up one witness, Judith MacKinnon, their head of people advice, who has over 25 years experience in human resources.

MacKinnon, who took up the job last year (2017) said those who dealt with DeeAnn’s complaints were too scared to appear because of the intense media interest.

But she backed the decisions taken by junior staff who found insufficient evidence to back up DeeAnn’s suspicions about the letters.

However First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs she was “absolutely horrified” when shown the photo of DeeAnn allegedly taped to a chair and gagged.

She has ordered a top civil servant to conduct a full review into the circumstances and report to her personally.

DeeAnn’s sister-in-law Sherry said: “The Fitzpatrick family are hugely disappointed with the result of the tribunal.

However this was not unexpected given the decision was made prior to the employment tribunal by the previous judge not to look at the restraint and other behaviours over a decade that our sister suffered while working in the Scrabster Fishery office.

The tribunal did however highlight that the human resources department should have been more proactive in dealing with the matter by launching an investigation, questioning staff and reminding staff that such matters might be regarded as being grounds for disciplinary action.

Not only the judges on the tribunal panel but us as DeeAnn’s family found it astonishing that the Scottish Government’s disciplinary policy allows employees the right to remain silent and they need not answer questions that may incriminate them.

What is far more important now is that the Scottish Government delivers a safe work place for DeeAnn and other employees. Thank you to everyone for their continuing support and this is not the end of it.”

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/government-worker-found-taped-chair-13087825

Comment:

In noting Nicola Sturgeon was “absolutely horrified” when she was shown a photograph of DeeAnn taped to a chair and gagged and that she had ordered a top civil servant to conduct a full review and report back to her personally.

It would surely be inappropriate to appoint her Permanent Secretary or “Head of People Advice” who represented the government at the tribunal and supported decisions taken by local managers of LeeAnn.

To successfully defend the indefensible requires a great deal of skill and the system excelled in this regard.

But the final word goes to the relative who said, “thank you to everyone for their continuing support and this is not the end of it.”

The great Hank Williams is singing “Cold Cold Heart” in the background as I compile this. Appropriate in the circumstances.

 

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Judith Mackinnon

Personal Details:

Born Judith Kerr, Kilwinning 1967.

1990-1992: BA Personnel Management, Glasgow Polytechnic.

1993-2003: Married and divorced Anthony Chalmers.

2004-2019 (Current): Married ex Rangers soccer player – David (Skippy) Mackinnon.

2004-2019 (Current): Director: Mackinnon & Partners 50/50, with husband David Mackinnon – 2003 – Current – Business and Sports Development – family business – 2 people.

 

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Remunerated Employment:

2000-2001 (9 months): Director: Punch Taverns – public house chain – short term appointment.

 

2002-2003 (6 months): Director: Aortech Biomaterials – Glasgow based medical (cardio-vascular) device maker – introduced a revolutionary medical device to the healthcare environment at the start of 2000 – at its peak valued at £400m – failed to attract badly needed investment finance to remain operational – folded in 2004 – short term employment!

 

2005-2014 (9 years): Director – Human Resources & National Programmes – The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) – introduced a “Managing Mental Health” at Work strategy for the workforce – promoted the Association to external organizations and employers – developed and led National Programmes for Suicide Prevention – anti-bullying – Sport and Physical Activity.

 

2015-2017: (2 years): Head of HR Governance for the Scottish Police Authority – oversees Police Scotland People and Development – provides assurance to the Authority that they are a responsible employer – builds a sustainable organization.

 

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January 2017: Scottish Police Authority Complaints Audit – criticized over handling of complaints

The body that oversees Scotland’s troubled national police force has repeatedly failed to deal properly with complaints.

The most common concern raised by senior officers was their perceived lack of transparency, clarity and lack of communication surrounding the SPA complaints investigation processes.

They also expressed grave concerns about the length of time taken by the SPA to deal with complaints and to undertake preliminary assessments in misconduct allegations.

The audit further identified that the level of communication by the SPA with senior officers was inconsistent. In some instances, subject officers had been invited to address the allegation/complaint but in others, an invitation had not been extended.

In a number of cases, the SPA did not notify the subject officers about the complaints and the first that the officers became aware of the complaints made about them was through media coverage with result that there is a significant lack of confidence in the SPA’s complaints processes.

Notes:

1. Misconduct Regulations state that the subject officer must receive immediate formal notification of the misconduct allegation once it has been determined that an investigation is required and an investigator has been appointed, so that the subject officer is provided with the opportunity to address it if it is their wish.

This was denied to Alex Salmond and the decision to appoint an “investigating office” should not have been taken by Evans on her own!!!!

2. The audit report concluded that there were a “number of deficiencies” in the SPA’s handling of complaints between April 2015 and March 2017. (https://pirc.scot/media/4447/spa-audit-report-2017.pdf)

4. Susan Deacon, (SPA chair), said the report identified a “number of important areas” requiring the authority’s attention. And it was essential that the SPA systems and practices were robust and worked effectively to maintain public confidence and trust.

5. Addressing the concerns of senior officers, procedures would be revised requiring more than one “deciding” officer to ensure key decisions were taken ensuring a better oversight of the complaints process.

 

 

 

Jul 2017: Mackinnon left her post in July 2017 to take up employment in the newly created post as Head of People Advice for The Scottish Government

The Alex Salmond debacle occurred within 6 months of her appointment. But another incident is worthy of comment:

Nov 2018: A Government review into an incident which saw a Scottish Government employee bound and gagged on an office chair has concluded that ‘disciplinary procedures’ were followed.

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick worked as a fisheries officer for Marine Scotland and claimed to have been subjected to years of bullying and sexist harassment from colleagues. In May 2018 a picture of her taped to a chair, (said to have been taken in 2010), was published by a number of media outlets.

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was horrified by the picture and ordered Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans to carry out a review into what happened.

Evans published a statement regarding her review into the circumstances surrounding the chair incident and was “satisfied” disciplinary procedures had been followed.

She stated: “Earlier this year I was asked by the First Minister to carry out a full review into the circumstances surrounding an image of a Marine Scotland employee taped to a chair. I am clear that this was completely unacceptable, whatever the circumstances.

A comprehensive internal review has now concluded. The Scottish Government has robust disciplinary procedures to address behaviour that falls below expected standards and I am satisfied that these have been followed thoroughly and objectively in relation to this incident.

A broad set of actions are underway in Marine Scotland to ensure a working environment which meets both the Civil Service Code and Scottish Government Standards of Behaviour.

I do not normally comment publicly on staffing matters but I am issuing this short statement to update the public record given the previous parliamentary and wider interest in this issue. My unwavering commitment to ensuring a positive workplace for all employees in the Scottish Government remains.”

Notes:

1. In August 2018, DeeAnn’s claims of bullying and harassment were rejected by an employment tribunal on the basis that the photograph of her taped to a chair was considered time-barred in terms of the proceedings.

2. DeeAnn was devastated when the employment tribunal rejected her claims.  She said she had been bombarded with fake Valentines day and birthday cards she believed came from male colleagues.

3. She also told the tribunal the harassment was so bad she had considered taking her own life and contacted an assisted suicide clinic.

4. Judith MacKinnon, Head of People Advice for The Scottish Government, who spoke for the government at the tribunal, supported decisions taken by junior staff (who failed to attend the hearing to give evidence claiming they had been scared off because of the intense media interest) who had found insufficient evidence to back up DeeAnn’s suspicions about the unsolicited cards.

5. DeeAnn’s sister-in-law said: “The Fitzpatrick family are hugely disappointed with the result of the tribunal. However this was not unexpected given the decision was made prior to the employment tribunal by the previous judge not to look at the restraint and other behaviours over a decade that our sister suffered while working in the Scrabster Fishery office.

The tribunal did however highlight that the human resources department should have been more proactive in dealing with the matter by launching an investigation, questioning staff and reminding staff that such matters might be regarded as being grounds for disciplinary action.

The judges on the tribunal panel and DeeAnn’s family find it astonishing that the Scottish Government’s disciplinary policy allows employees the right to remain silent and they need not answer questions that may incriminate them.

What is far more important now is that the Scottish Government delivers a safe work place for DeeAnn and other employees. Thank you to everyone for their continuing support and this is not the end of it.”

(https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/bullying-review-scots-civil-servant-13558314)

Comment:

A very sad outcome to a clear case of bullying,  in consideration of Mackinnon’s nine year employment with The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) where she compiled and introduced a ” National (Scotland) Programme for Suicide Prevention and Anti-Bullying.”

 

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Other Commitments Not Directly related to Main Employment

(Currently): Chair of “The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development” (CIPD) – West of Scotland branch – a registered charity – established to promote the art and science of the management and development of people for public benefit – effectively a large networking body of persons with a bent for personnel management – 10,000 members in Scotland – organizes wide range of courses and events all directed to providing individuals with professional qualifications.

(https://www.cipd.co.uk/learn/branches/west-scotland). Remuneration?

 

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(Currently): Chair of “Venture Scotland” – Charitable organization – governed by a voluntary Board of six Trustees – meets as a whole a minimum of four times a year – contributes to sub groups and committees in support the overall governance of the charity. Voluntary?

 

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(Currently): Edinburgh Coaching Academy – leading provider of quality coaching – partnership of well-established coaches in personnel management with successful track records in delivering quality coaching to organizations and individuals. Seven partners – Alison Denton, Diane Peebles, Joanne Kerr, Judith Mackinnon, Colby Adams, Monica Merson, Jo Thomas – No men!

(https://edinburghcoachingacademy.com/the-team/) Remuneration?

 

HR Network

 

(Currently): Hr NETWORK – Human resource and people development – access to Scotland’s most influential human resource and business professionals across all sectors in Scotland.

(https://www.hrnetworkjobs.com/judith-mackinnon) – Remunerated?