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Walsall MBC today confirmed that a trade union official had been dismissed for gross misconduct after a disciplinar...
Walsall MBC today confirmed that a trade union official had been dismissed for gross misconduct after a disciplinary hearing found he had attempted to secure a financial payment for himself as a pre-condition for his ratification of an equal pay claim on behalf of union members.

The hearing concluded that the official, who is employed by the council, 'abused his position of trust'. The hearing substantiated 'compelling evidence' that the officer sought monetary gain of up to£25,000, plus early access to his pension and the removal of other possible outstanding disciplinary actions against him, in an offer made to the council and presented as 'branch policy' through the regional Unison trade union offices in January. The official has the right of appeal.

A council spokesperson said:

'The council expects that all employees adhere to its code of conduct and in this case the conduct of the Unison official fell well below the standard.

'He abused his position of trust. The compelling evident at the hearing showed that the allegation was substantiated and therefore the individual was dismissed with immediate effect'.

The council yesterday opened local Unison branch facilities which had been temporarily withdrawn pending the investigation, which encompasses concerns about the conduct of the branch in allowing the pre-conditional offer to be made to the council. The council had maintained since the start of the three-month investigation that it would re-open the branch offices if Unison would appoint a new manager of the facilities.

Yesterday, regional officials from Unison agreed to appoint local Unison chair and waste management shop steward Dave Wilkinson to manage the branch offices. The move, which averted Monday's planned strike action by bin collection crews and gravediggers, was agreed at a 6.30am meeting between council chief executive Annie Shepperd and the bin crews. Unison has agreed to suspend any further strike action to allow a previously agreed meeting of the council, the union and the employment arbitration service ACAS to proceed on 27 April.

* LGC Background

* Unison West Midlands

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