Disgraceful (Vic Thomas)

As a person who generally accepts the principle that it’s not what you do that matters most, it’s how you do it that counts, I am yet again appalled at what is going on within the SIC.

Alistair Buchan, the newish and temporary (thank goodness) chief executive of the SIC is responsible for two very serious situations that are nothing to do with good local authority governance. Firstly he is orchestrating possibly the worse case of unjust and unfair employer practices ever seen in a Scottish local authority.

Secondly he is hiding behind a bunch of consultants, some of whom have no real knowledge or interest in Shetland other than the fat cheque they receive. It appears he is using the remit to cut council costs by getting others, who will be very well paid out of our money and then disappear, to come up with restructuring which involves utterly disgraceful and unacceptable treatment of SIC staff.

Yes we have to drastically cut SIC running costs/spending that is by and large attributable to the unfocused and wasteful poor leadership several SIC administrations have delivered. However this reduction in spending does not need to be done in such a disgraceful and shameful manner.

Treating employees no matter what grade they are on, to all but fight each other in a mad scramble for the available jobs is totally unethical and so far removed from good employer practices that in my naive interpretation of employment law, it is nothing short of full on bullying and intimidation.

So who will take responsibility when SIC service delivery crashes due to staff moral being non existent, ill feelings prevailing between fellow employees rife as a result of fighting each other for displaced jobs? Who will take responsibility when Mr Buchan moves on (my sources in Orkney indicate he isn’t wanted back there either) and the consultants have banked their cash and gone to Bermuda?

Will the elected members take responsibility? I doubt it as they are consistently good at dodging that, but do I see a golden handshake looming? Half a million pounds to the outgoing temporary chief executive who can then be blamed for all the ills yet to come, who can then blame all the consultants? Anyone recognise the cop out scenario?

The buck stops, as usual, with the totally inept elected members who are a complete disgrace to Shetland once again. It beggars belief that we seem to have had a string of administrations that constantly prove to be worse than the one before. Is the town hall going for some sort of world record for the most complaints against a local authority to the Ombudsman or Audit Commission?

If this continued rubbish is what we can expect from our local government we must all stand up and make sure they have nothing to do with the charitable trust, the trust needs people that are not involved with an SIC hiding behind a bloke, who in turn is hiding behind some consultants, who see it as just a job. Disgraceful!

Vic Thomas


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