Closure-threatened West Fife Enterprise has refuted claims made by staff who claim they have been left feeling “totally abandoned”.
Fife Trades Union Council is supporting staff in their campaign to prevent the training organisation from closing.
The group said it had heard from employees “who feel totally abandoned”
Chairman Ian Waddell said: “The staff at West Fife Enterprise asked the management and board if they would be mounting a campaign only to be told they would not be doing this.
“Staff were also told that management would not be contacting any MSPs or MPs.
“Management’s decision to close the organisation without mounting a campaign is shameful so it has been left to the staff to mount a campaign on their own behalf and on behalf of the communities they serve.”
Meetings are taking place with MSPs and MPs from several parties.
Fife TUC has voted to do everything possible to promote and support the staff campaign.
“We consider that a campaign should have been initiated by the board at the first signs of a possible closure.
“To delay going public until closure was virtually certain seems to be a dereliction of duty by the board.”
However, the board of management said it had been aiming to avert such a crisis for years and had “done its utmost” to make staff aware of the financial situation for many months, while trying to balance good quality staff communication and timely information without prolonging staff stress.
“The thoughts and feelings of our staff have always been a consideration in every decision that the board and management team have made.”
A spokesman added the work done had been underfunded for some years and the costs of staff, premises and technology “often unrecognised”.
“The funding for West Fife Enterprise has been precarious for many years, because of the changing priorities of funding providers, and while Fife Council has played its part in helping to maintain the economic viability of the enterprise, its ability to do so has become increasingly difficult due to the imposed funding gap’s in each year’s financial settlement.
“So if it is recognised that West Fife Enterprise has a true and unique skill in reaching the hardest to reach members of society – mostly resigned to a life on benefits – and returning them to gainful employment and with a sense of purpose, then the true beneficiary is the government and society at large.”
“That is why a governmental funding package was needed to ensure its safety.
“The board remain committed to the needs of Fife communities, and the opportunity to work with any and all partners to pull together a package of funding to allow the work of the organisation and the excellent work of West Fife Enterprise staff to continue.”