Five people have been suspended in a crackdown on work-shy council staff in Dundee, The Courier can reveal.
It is understood the group of electricians was hauled in for meetings with Dundee City Council bosses over alleged misconduct related to time management and other issues.
A source close to the local authority confirmed the move came after senior staff were prompted to look more closely at time sheets submitted by workers.
Another source with knowledge of the situation claimed some employees had been visiting the gym on council time.
He told us there is a feeling of fear among the workers over who could get pulled in next for questioning.
He described the situation as a “shambles” and feared there would not be enough people left to do the work that needs to be done.
Dundee City Council declined to comment on these allegations.
Dundee City Council in ‘severe action’
Kevin Keenan, the Labour group leader on the council, said he expects a full update from local authority officials.
He said: “If five people have been suspended then that is quite a severe action that has been taken.
“It concerns me because we need the people that we’ve got out carrying out as much work as they can because repairs in council housing are backlogged severely.
“We need people in their work and delivering the job we employ them for.”
Staff in the council‘s Construction Services department held a strike last year over its vehicle tracking policy and use of subcontractors.
Union leaders have long opposed workers being routinely tracked to make sure they are where they are supposed to be while on the clock.
A troubled department
The Construction Services department was at the centre of a major corporate fraud probe after The Courier revealed two employees were taken on a golf trip to the Spanish coast by a council contractor.
The Procurator Fiscal dropped a case against the two men, as well as a manager at Edmundson Electrical who was involved in arranging the trip.
Meanwhile, another employee in the troubled department, electrical supervisor Iain Gardyne, narrowly avoided a jail term after we separately exposed him for selling council-owned smoke alarms and sensors on eBay.
Mr Gardyne, who spent nearly four years helping himself to the alarms in a bid to help pay off £65,000 of gambling debts, was sentenced to eight months on an electronic tag.
It is understood a number of other Construction Services staff have also been the subject of inquiries by officials.
A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “We do not comment on individual personnel matters.”