The Gibraltar Government has accused the GSD of grandstanding on the “very serious” issue of workplace bullying, adding that the party’s position “fools no-one”.
This comes after the Opposition said Gibraltar’s is facing “an epidemic” of bullying and low morale in key areas of the public sector following a survey the party carried out among public health sector workers.
But in hitting back yesterday the Government said GSD MPs Daniel Feetham and Lawrence Llamas both exemplify “the conceited, empty politics that, lamentably, the GSD has come to stand for”.
“Both reduce important, complicated issues to hackneyed ifs and buts; neither offers any useful insights or a way forward,” the Government said in a statement.
“Predictably, Mr Llamas’ self-serving, politically motivated survey has produced foregone conclusions drawn from cherry-picked half-truths.”
“Indeed, the fact that Mr Llamas, in his own press release, is able to produce a table detailing each case of bullying reported within the civil service and public service respectively since 2012, and clearly outlining the status of each case, is plain demonstration of the transparency of the investigative process.”
The Government said it takes allegations of workplace bullying extremely seriously and urged all public sector workers to report any incidences of bullying via the appropriate, official channels for proper investigation.
“Bullying is cowardice. It is totally unacceptable and will never be tolerated within the public sector.”
“Everyone has the right to work in a safe and supportive environment. That is why the Government is committed to work together with the unions, with departments and with individuals to ensure that sound policies and procedures are in place to protect and support workers, and to encourage the reporting of any incidences of bullying when it does occur.”
“Mirroring his colleague and towing the current GSD Party line, Mr Feetham’s latest press release achieves the opposite of this,” the Government said.
“In fact, his conceited piggy-backing on a GGCA initiative achieves nothing, as he fails to offer any of the real solutions he claims are so urgently needed.”
“It is clear that Mr Feetham has made no attempt at meaningful engagement with the GGCA on this important matter. Instead, he has simply tried to politicise their work for his benefit.”
The Government said it looks forward to answering the GSD’s Parliamentary questions on this issue.
“This will demonstrate the Government’s active steps to combat workplace bullying, in stark contrast to the GSD’s idle posturing. This is a serious and complex matter, and the GSD would do well to treat it as such.”
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said: “It such empty gesture politics for a political party to rely on its own polls to make a point that it isn’t serious at all. What next? Is the GSD going to start publishing polls suggesting it is going to win the next election, in a vain attempt to shore up the low morale in its own ranks?”
“It doesn’t make any sense and is empty, shallow and foolish to think this is serious politics. Any survey can be prepared to prove any theory by loading the questions. What a waste of time.”