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Timetable of events issued at the SGM


O3 Sept Notice of Extra Council meeting with an attached ‘Review of Finance & Operations’.

9 Sept Resignation of Peter Mann as a Trustee citing a potential conflict of interest.

17 Sept Executive Council Meeting – Council split into groups to discuss various aspects of the Club. Comments regarding Staff made within Group A. Oral presentation given to Council by Maggie Henderson (MH) on behalf of Group A. No mention of comments made.

21 Sept Written report from Group A emailed to info@scottishkennelclub containing ‘ we must look at Office Practices as this is the first point of contact most of our customers have. It is at this point that the treatment and responses received will colour how SKC is viewed and how likely our customers are to want to continue contact and support. At present, personal and general evidence exists of customers being met with disinterest at best, rudeness at worst and misinformation based on personal bias. Management of this needs to be addressed and, if felt necessary, training should be given.’ No previous criticisms of staff/staff management had been intimated to SG/staff.

22 Sept E-mail opened by Anna Fox, Office Supervisor (OS), & forwarded to Secretary General (SG) who is constitutionally in charge of all staff matters.

22-25 Sept 11 emails pass between SG & Convener (C). Within these, C infers that ‘misinformation based on personal bias’ comes from another source other than the author of the email (MH). SG wants to call a meeting with the staff to address their concerns. C wants the matter to be dealt with at a later date by one of the Working Groups, yet to be set up. SG is constitutionally in charge of all staff matters. Why would a sub-committee, with no constitutional powers to deal with staff matters, be given the authority to decide on this several months after the event? Why did C not recognise this as an employment issue, instead of trying to relegate dealing with it to an unelected, hand picked group?

23 Sept As a result of these unsubstantiated allegations, OS is left with no alternative but to intimate her intention to resign to SG.

25 Sept In email, SG informs C of meeting arranged for the following day with staff to discuss OS resignation & other staff members similar concerns. C does not understand what needs discussed & leaves it to SG to report back later.

26 Sept SG holds meeting with staff to try & address their concerns. Why would C later describe this as ‘a confrontational style of management’?

30 Sept SG sends letter to C outlining issues which may well have a detrimental affect on the relationship between SKC & Johnston Smillie (employer of SG) together with a list of staff concerns & requests for the ‘evidence’. There is also a request that the letter & list be placed before the Finance & Administration (F&A) meeting of 22 October.

9 Oct C replies to SG criticising management & stating language used in unsubstantiated allegations was ‘unfortunate’, changing ‘evidence’ to ‘perception’, disagreeing with SG (constitutionally responsible for staff matters) having a meeting with staff & stating that only F&A Committee members be informed of the current staff position, not any other member of the Executive Council. Why was this serious situation to be kept secret from the Council who are the staff’s employers? Also why did the Vice Convener(VC) not recognise the potential damage & intervene on the Council’s behalf?

10 Oct Meeting of KC Relationship Working Party at C’s house. Members of F&A present were shown letters & informed of OS resignation.

22 Oct Meeting of F&A Committee where staff matter should have been addressed. SG asked to leave the meeting during the discussion on staff matters. As SG has responsibility for all staff matters, why did C ask SG to leave? Very little discussion on the problem itself or even how to reassure staff. Concerted effort to lay all the blame for the staff unrest at the door of SG & his handling of the affair. C reassured the F&A Committee that he would resolve the matter to everyone’s benefit. The Exec. Council met the same afternoon with no mention whatsoever of the looming problems. Minutes from the F&A meeting subsequently state that the wording was unfortunate and that staff over reacted!

22 Oct-5 Nov C conducts telephone survey with Exec Council members on opinions on staff performance to include Helen Duffield who had already left at the end of Sep. & the SG.

6 Nov Meeting between SG & C covering all aspects of SKC, the Working Groups discussions & the shows. This was a decidedly unhappy meeting.

8 Nov Working Group meeting held at SKC offices. Council member asks if there is a problem with staff & are resignations on the table. C answers that this is confidential. SKC officially & legally employs the staff. Why would resignations be kept confidential?

11 Nov Letter to all Exec. Council members from Johnston Smillie withdrawing their services from SKC together with memo intimating the resignations of Anna Fox & Gail Philips. After almost two months, this is the first intimation to the majority of the Exec. Council that a problem even existed. Why were the Council effectively prevented from interceding & finding a solution to what is a seriously damaging situation to SKC & its members?
C phones F & A Members to attend meeting next morning.

12 Nov F&A meeting called by C without the constitutional 7 days notice. SG not informed of this meeting and therefore not in attendance. No minutes have appeared from this meeting. Exec. Council meeting to be called for 26 Nov without reference to SG as to his availability to attend.

14 Nov Miss Holmes writes to all Council members asking if they would like copies of all relevant paperwork so that they may later consider the matter in an informed, reasoned manner.

26 Nov Exec. Council meeting. SG is not present. C stated SG would not be attending & quoted from Standing Orders for General Meetings Para. 25. (SG’s remit within the Constitution is to be in charge of Minutes.) C gives long statement citing ‘Mismanagement’, ‘Provocation’, ‘Spin’ & ‘Bully Boy Tactics’ on the part of SG. Why was this the first opportunity that the Council had been given to discuss the staff situation? It was proposed, & agreed, that the Council proffer an unreserved apology to the staff including the SG for the totally unfounded allegations made against the staff, that they be asked to rescind their resignations on a temporary/permanent basis & that the whole matter be reconsidered from the beginning by F&A/Exec Council. Why was this not carried out?
Derek Sharpe (member of the original Group A) gave a statement admitting that ‘somewhere between the oral presentation & the written word some of the points had been modified’. Why was this modification made? C intimates that adverts for Office Manager & Customer Advisors will be placed, despite being reminded by Council members that the Constitution clearly states the requirement is for a Secretary General.

2 Dec C e-mails members of F&A committee with details of the job adverts and is reminded once again that constitution only allows us to have a SG and that advert may give impression to members we are ignoring the constitution. Job advert is submitted for publication unchanged.

5 Dec Despite the fact that the Executive Council has not discussed/approved this change to the Constitution & despite the fact that the Membership has not discussed/approved it, adverts are placed in the newspapers for Customer Advisors & an Office Manager/Club Secretary who will report to the ‘Chairman of the Club’. Does this post appear in the Constitution?
What cost to SKC?

12 Dec Requisition received from members to hold an SGM.

17 Dec Scheduled F&A meeting C refuses to amend para of minute relating to ‘staff matters’ when member of F&A comm. Objects to wording. Scheduled Exec. Council meeting. Minutes of previous meeting, taken by Vice Convener, were disputed & amended on several points, in particular the major proposal. No apology had been given, why not? C was reminded that he had been instructed by Exec Council that apology should be given in writing. A vote of no confidence in the Convener for the manner in which he dealt with the problems & the Vice Convener for her silence was proposed & seconded. The Convener unilaterally ruled this as not competent. 9 named members of the Council dissented from this ruling. MH is repeatedly asked ‘What evidence exists?’ No evidence is forthcoming. Assurances are given to the Exec. Council that the Convener, Vice Convener & two other members of the Council will ensure the notice of the SGM will be produced & sent out. Was this task actually carried out by them? At what cost to SKC?

18 Dec President, Ian Butchart, resigns.