Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Board intervention urgently required in staff bullying and harassment crisis at Irish Red Cross HQ

This Blog has reported in many of its articles that an intense atmosphere of fear and intimidation exists at the Irish Red Cross headquarters. The current period of bullying began following the unexpected and sudden resignation of the highly regarded former Chairman, David Andrews and former Secretary General, John Roycroft, in December 2009. Information from head office has been hard to come by at times but the general consensus is that staff are being subjected to a regime of subtle but endless harassment and intimidation. This began when the ruling elite on the Executive Committee parachuted the current Acting Secretary General into the position in the absence of an open advertisement and an appointment process shrouded in secrecy. One senior Irish Red Cross member who spoke to this Blog on condition of anonymity said I can confirm that staff at head office are terrified but also that they are determined to resist and will do so in equal measure to the harassment meted out to them. They are frightened of being fired and know they are all vulnerable but at the same time they have no intention of accepting such disgraceful behaviour so in their own subtle, shrewd and discreet ways will fight back. It’s not clear if senior managers are involved in the bullying or whether they also are running scared. I know many of the head office staff and they do not deserve this treatment as they are hard working and dedicated. This intimidation must be stopped. Central Council must now intervene and instruct the Acting Secretary General to refrain from such tactics before the matter explodes into the public domain. We already know three trade unions and the Labour Court are involved and recently there are rumours that staff are consulting solicitors although this has not been confirmed’.

We have also previously discussed the impact of obsession with power. The Irish Red Cross is a perfect case study in the negative consequences and also the efforts those in power will go to in order to stay in power. The bullying, mistreatment and threatening behaviour towards staff is all part of the broader campaign by the Acting Secretary General and his masters that comprise the ruling elite on the Executive Committee to remain in office. Tensions are reaching fever pitch as the midyear Central Council meeting draws ever closer on 12th June where the next Executive will be ‘elected’. It remains to be seen if the wider membership has the courage to challenge the ruling elite and once and for all rid the Irish Red Cross of the cancer at its very heart.

Surely secret bank accounts containing tens of thousands of publicly donated Euros, archaic and inept governance, incompetence, unprofessional behaviour, unqualified leaders and scandalous spending of limited funds on exorbitant consultancy fees has to be stopped?

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