Branch Secretary :

St Mungo's staff deep concern at bullying management

Prospect of industrial action


Unite has raised the deep concerns of St Mungo’s staff about bullying and victimisation in the organisation including attacks on union reps.  The union launched the avoidance of dispute process regarding issues in one team, but management have rebuffed this initiative leading to the prospect of industrial action. Unite has also raised the  disproportionate number of HR procedures against union reps in St Mungos.


In one department, an investigation carried out by management lacked any degree of impartiality. This included the deliberate omission of both key documents and the avoidance of taking witness statements from 12 individuals who had witnessed bullying behaviour. The investigating manager, as well as not upholding any of the allegations, then recommended disciplinary action against one of the members raising the grievance!  


Management approach has damaging impact on work of organisation


This is yet another example of unacceptable and bullying management in St Mungo’s. As well as affecting a specific service, there is ample evidence that St Mungo's are applying their unjust approach and acting with impunity across the organisation.


Unite had written to both HR and Steve Douglas at the outset for an impartial independent investigation and despite repeated requests this was refused. While Steve Douglas promised a ‘re-set’ when he was appointed last year it has become increasingly clear that the long-standing malaise in the organisation continues. This management approach has an increasingly damaging impact on the work of the organisation.


HR director 'implausible'


St Mungo’s have faced unusual and telling judgements at Employment Tribunals from the dismissal of a workers who had suffered an attack on duty to a tribunal which St Mungo’s lost on the victimisation of a female worker in which evidence from HR director ('Executive Director of People and Governance') Helen Giles was found by the tribunal to be “implausible”. Such comments are unusual from tribunals, but they match Unites experience that human resource management standards in the organisation are exceptionally poor.


Unite will support St Mungo’s workers in any action they decide to take and urges management to reconsider its position. The workforce remains exceptionally committed to its important work service some of the most vulnerable groups in society but their work continues to be hindered by bullying management.



Paul Kershaw, Chair Unite housing workers LE1111


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