Changes to Society Council

07 November 2019

The Highland Cattle Society Trustee board (Council) has decided to expel Trustee Hilary Barker from Society membership for a breach of Trustee duties, with effect from 3 November 2019.

The breach is in connection with her actions in relation to a staff grievance against another Trustee, Angus MacGillivray, who is suspended from membership until the outcome of the staff grievance Hearing is known.

All Trustees were asked not to discuss the grievance while a grievance panel investigated.

We are very conscious that grievances are distressing experiences for both parties. It is vital that a staff grievance is handled thoroughly and impartially. Under our Constitution, a Member can be expelled from the HCS if two thirds of Trustees vote to do so. After consideration that included legal advice, the vote was 11:1 in favour of expulsion.

This action was not taken lightly as Hilary has been a valuable member of the HCS for many years, and a past President. She has worked exceptionally hard for the Society during 2019 in particular. However, Charity Trustees have responsibilities and like any other employer, the HCS has a duty of care to all our employees and we will not tolerate actions or behaviour that could cause them harm.

Contrary to some suggestions the above actions are not to do with questions about the Oban dispersal sale, but both cases relate to the behaviour of the individuals concerned.

Any further enquiries regarding this matter should be directed to our President ,Gordon McConachie, not to the office.

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