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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Union seeks answers after domestic violence charity closes


Sharon Graham: “mismanagement at Glasgow East Women’s Aid is one of the worst cases we have ever come across"

Workers at Glasgow East Women’s Aid (GEWA) were given “no notice” prior to the Easterhouse based organisation closing, a union has claimed.

TFN revealed that the domestic violence charity has announced it is to close following a staff strike over bullying claims. 

The organisation was thrown into turmoil last October after 13 Unite members were suspended amid allegations that workers were targeted because of their trade union activities.

This week it confirmed on its website that it was to close.

However, Unite says its members received no notice of this – and only found out through the media.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “The mismanagement at Glasgow East Women’s Aid is one of the worst cases we have ever come across. Make no mistake we will get to the bottom of this sorry mess and we will fight for all our members to secure justice.”

Unite confirmed that it is in the process of contacting its membership in order to progress protective award claims. A protective award can be awarded where 20 or more employees are made redundant because an employer did not consult before any redundancy announcement. Employment tribunals can make various awards from 45 days to 90 days of full pay.

The union has also contacted Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government requesting "urgent clarity" as it understands a major reason for the organisation being placed into administration relates to public monies being withheld and withdrawn.

Unite said has been informed that some of the services provided by Glasgow East Women’s Aid have been reallocated to other publicly funded organisations providing similar services across the city.

Linda Wilson, Unite industrial officer, said: “The story of Glasgow East Women’s Aid over the last six months has been one of turmoil and chaos. Unite has protected and defended our members at all times, and we will continue to do so.

“It is our understanding that the organisation being placed in administration was primarily due to public monies either being withheld or withdrawn by Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government. We are urgently seeking clarity on whether this is in fact the case because there has been zero transparency.

The actions of Glasgow East Women’s Aid regarding the lack of consultation is potentially illegal. Unite is contacting all our members to progress protective award claims being lodged against the organisation.”

A spokesperson for the GEWA board said: "We are deeply saddened by the closure of the centre. The board has taken advice from liquidators and employment specialists around the closure process. It is confident that all legal processes have been followed.

“Staff have been offered support through the Employee Assistance Programme and we continue to be in communication with them and their representatives to help them transition through this difficult time.”



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