Unions meet with Scottish government over Salmond case concerns

Senior union officials have met with Scottish government officials to express their concerns over the outcome of the judicial review taken by former First Minister Alex Salmond.

The case against Salmond – he was accused of sexual misconduct – was stopped after a judge ruled complaints against him were “unlawful in respect that they were procedurally unfair and that they were tainted with apparent bias”. The FDA called on the Scottish government to re-investigate the allegations.

Officials from the FDA, PCS, Prospect and the Council of Scottish Government Unions met with Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary at the Scottish Government to discuss the outcome of the judicial review.

The Permanent Secretary explained the decision taken by the Scottish Government to concede the judicial review, taken due to an issue with the application of one paragraph in the process. The Trade Unions very much welcome the Permanent Secretary’s commitment to an internal review of that specific element and the Permanent Secretary welcomed the offer of trade union involvement in that review.

In a statement released today, the unions said: “We re-iterated our pride in the role we have played in negotiating a procedure by which our members can raise concerns about the conduct of ministers and other politicians (current and past) that is unique to Scotland. This is a procedure we believe makes the Scottish government a safer and fairer place to work.

“We believe that the procedure we negotiated is a fair, robust and crucially an accessible one. Any of our members who feels that they have an issue which requires investigation should continue to use the procedure to take forward a complaint, and expect that the Scottish government will handle their complaint properly. Please also continue to contact your union about such matters as we are there to assist.”

PCS Scottish secretary Lynn Henderson, on behalf of all the unions, said: “We’re grateful to the Permanent Secretary for taking the time to brief us, and the full and frank discussion that we had. We want to re-assure our members who may be worried about using the current procedure that we believe it remains an appropriate way of ensuring the Scottish government is a safe and dignified place to work.”

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