Unions demand report

June 9, 1995

Scotland's further education unions are demanding to see a report into the troubled Borders College after a Government inquiry dismissed allegations of mismanagement.

Staff last year passed a vote of no confidence in the management, and the Educational Institute of Scotland and the Scottish Further and Higher Education Association sent a dossier of complaints to the Scottish Office Education Department just before Christmas.

The SOED sent in its own auditors following a report from the college's board of management, but Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, Scottish Office minister for education, has now told the unions he is satisfied that the allegations have not been substantiated.

Graham Alison, SFHEA general secretary , said Lord James's finding was unacceptable. The SOED and board of management did not seem to recognise a fundamental problem of restoring trust between staff and management.

Both unions want the SOED to publish the management report. Lord James revealed that it admitted more could have been done to communicate with staff during the shift to incorporation. The board was now initiating better training, more team briefings, and more devolved responsibility.

An industrial tribunal recently awarded a senior lecturer in health studies the maximum compensation for unfair dismissal after she was made redundant, saying there was no evidence of any effort to redeploy her.

Ken Wimbor, EIS further education officer, said the Scottish Office had indicated that it would monitor the college to ensure that it took action on these issues.

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