Sacked East Lothian Council Whistleblower fights back.

Sacked East Lothian Council Whistleblower fights back.

Mrs Sives a former manager with East Lothian Council says that: “Protected Disclosures do not work and do not protect whistleblowers from malicious employers.  Whistleblowers are routinely victimised by their employer, ignored by regulators and let down by a court system that at best, concentrates on their employment experience, rather than on the problems that they reveal”. 

Mrs Sives says that after she blew the whistle on repeated financial mismanagement within East Lothian Council, she was continually undermined, isolated and ignored.

 

Mrs Sives states that she was left for some eight months awaiting the end of an investigation which she herself was not allowed to participate in, the Council then moved directly to a disciplinary hearing. 

 

The Employment Tribunal:

 

Mrs Sives alleges that there was biased stating: “Judges overturned two previous judicial rulings (judicial Misconduct)”.

 

“One judge ruled that the Council could provide statements instead of giving evidence in chief, despite previous agreements and a judicial ruling to the contrary”. 

 

Mrs Sives says that the Employment Tribunal then demanded that she write a statement and when she declined to do so, the Employment Tribunal issued an Unless Order and struck out her claims. 

 

Mrs Sives states that: “the hearing for costs went ahead in my absence, ignoring my request for a postponement and a letter from my Doctor advising that I was not fit enough to represent myself at the hearing.  I had been on hunger strike for 23 days before I saw my G.P.  I had been protesting at the audacity of East Lothian Council to apply for expenses against me”. 

 

“The Employment Tribunal then ruled that I should pay East Lothian Council almost 10 Thousand Pounds and gave me 14 days to pay in full.  Without even allowing time for me to appeal, (which they are legally bound to do), East Lothian Council sent the Sheriff Officers to my home.

Mrs Sives states that both she and ECAP (Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty), who represent her, have tried to communicate with East Lothian Council.

 

Bob Lockhart (a spokesman for ECAP),  stated that: ”We have written to ELC on numerous occasions advising that we are deeply concerned about the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Sives alleged debt to East Lothian Council, having investigated the circumstances we were convinced that in demanding almost £10,000 expenses the Council is perpetrating a major injustice”.

“We wrote to ELC on numerous occasions advising that we were willing to negotiate (directly) either with Council Leader Willie Innes or with Councillor David Berry, however, once again ELC did not respond to our letter”.

 

We now announce that on Monday 9th November 2015, at 12 noon, there will be a demonstration held outside of the Brunton Hall in Musselburgh.  The aim of the demonstration is to get justice for Theresa.  This would include having the punitive charge of £10k dropped.  Willie Innes, Labour Leader of East Lothian Council will be invited along to receive our petition and a letter stating our demands.

 

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You can find Theresa's petition online here https://www.change.org/p/east-lothian-council-find-your-moral-compass-and-don-t-shoot-the-messenger

 

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EDINBURGH COALITION AGAINST POVERTY is based at the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh (ACE), an open campaign space & infoshop providing resources and solidarity. Resources available include free computer/internet access, cheap copying, free leaflets, books, pamphlets and mags for sale, and a library. Every Tuesday from 12 to 3pm support and solidarity is available for benefits, debt hassles, housing and other problems. Please contact us at Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty c/o ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh EH7 5HA, 0131 557 6242 or ecap@lists.riseup.net. We invite you to join our solidarity phone tree and get involved. ACE is also open at other times for particular events (but the support and solidarity sessions are only on Tuesday).