May 30, 2007

Our message to UCU's inaugural Congress...

UCU's inaugural Congress meeting takes place 30 May - 1 June 2007 at the Bournemouth International Centre. This includes meetings of the higher education and further education sector conferences.

Congress and sector conferences are the supreme policy making bodies of the union. Congress decides policy on all matters not particular to any sector; sector conferences decide policy on all professional and employment matters particular to a sector, subject to any fundamental principles of policy appropriate to and established by congress.

Our message to all delegates (Congress and Sector conferences) on workplace bullying in academia, is simple...


A trip down memory lane June 3rd 06 from postings on this blog - one year ago...

Quotes from emails:

'...After 2-3 years of inaction and no support from my union, with the last few months on medication and receiving mental health councelling, all this while on suspension because I tried to expose institutionalised bullying, and while I watch the serial bully being promoted and taking over my office, I very reluctantly decided to write to the top persons in my union a very polite letter reminding them that I have not received the support I needed. This is the reply I received: "Our union does not have a specialist on workplace bullying to deal with your case now. We do not normally use any specialist consultant..."

'...After the TUC (Trades Union Congress) I will be writing to the ILO, and then last I will resign my union membership making sure that the media know why...'

'...The trade unions already see, realise, understand the plague of bullying in the workplace. They are quite happy with it. That is the way things are meant to be. One man's [or woman's] workplace bullying is another man's [or woman's] strong management / flexible workforce mantra...'

'...It is one thing to have my employers not understanding bullying, and it is another thing if the union itself is ignorant...'

'...I have no doubt that unions and TUC are hopeless [with workplace bullying]. I still think it is worthwhile showing the world how hopeless they are - at a cost of a stamp...'

'...The TUC general secretary will say that he has no powers to intervene in the affairs of an individual trade union. The TUC is simply the trade union's trade union... I would have been relatively happier if my trade union had maintained indifference. They ended up working against me by destroying and delaying documents, passing confidential info to my employers, all sorts of things...'

'...I have first hand experience of one particular union that has sat on its hands twice, in cases I have seen and been involved in. That union of shame is XXXXXX. No wonder so many health workers live in fear, there is no protection whatsoever...'

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'...The actions of my union have damaged my mental health and sense of trust far worse that the bullying of my employer...'
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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Get off your backsides and start taking effective action to support members who are being bullied.

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Stop the collusion with management.

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Document your cases of bullying and send them to UCU...

over and over and over again.

Aphra Behn

Stuart said...

The Irish Code of Practice on Workplace Bullying (a Statutory Instrument) states "4.5 Monitoring: The policy should include a commitment to monitoring and recording incidents of bullying at work. Statistics and information gathered from such monitoring should be recorded and used to assist the employer take corrective action or achieve continuous improvement in their bullying prevention policy and procedure."

Insist on monitoring and on publication of bullying indicators.

Anonymous said...

A trip down memory lane June 3rd 06 from postings on this blog - one year ago.......

Quotes from emails:

'...After 2-3 years of inaction and no support from my union, with the last few months on medication and receiving mental health councelling, all this while on suspension because I tried to expose institutionalised bullying, and while I watch the serial bully being promoted and taking over my office, I very reluctantly decided to write to the top persons in my union a very polite letter reminding them that I have not received the support I needed. This is the reply I received: "Our union does not have a specialist on workplace bullying to deal with your case now. We do not normally use any specialist consultant..."

'...After the TUC (Trades Union Congress) I will be writing to the ILO, and then last I will resign my union membership making sure that the media know why...'

'...The trade unions already see, realise, understand the plague of bullying in the workplace. They are quite happy with it. That is the way things are meant to be. One man's [or woman's] workplace bullying is another man's [or woman's] strong management / flexible workforce mantra...'

'...It is one thing to have my employers not understanding bullying, and it is another thing if the union itself is ignorant...'

'...I have no doubt that unions and TUC are hopeless [with workplace bullying]. I still think it is worthwhile showing the world how hopeless they are - at a cost of a stamp...'

'...The TUC general secretary will say that he has no powers to intervene in the affairs of an individual trade union. The TUC is simply the trade union's trade union... I would have been relatively happier if my trade union had maintained indifference. They ended up working against me by destroying and delaying documents, passing confidential info to my employers, all sorts of things...'


'...I have first hand experience of one particular union that has sat on its hands twice, in cases I have seen and been involved in. That union of shame is XXXXXX. No wonder so many health workers live in fear, there is no protection whatsoever...'

****************************************

'...The actions of my union have damaged my mental health and sense of trust far worse that the bullying of my employer...'

************************************************
Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

From another message on this blog....30/11/06

As a UCU (formerly AUT) casework officer I deal with cases of workplace bullyng constantly. Union officials and lay activists like myself spend a lot of our time and energy trying to support bullied academics. The main problem has been that until recently, workplace bullying was not in itself illegal: it was only illegal if it was discriminatory or could be shown to cause personal injury (very hard to prove in law). Thanks to the Majrowski ruling in the House of Lords, that should now change.

all for now,

Sue Blackwell
UCU, University of Birmingham

Well Sue we are just waiting for that union action to kick in.......

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

And another..16/11/06

The evidence about AUT's solicitors is shocking [check postings November 06] and reflects my experience - it is like a rape victim going for help only to find that they are raped again...by the person who was supposed to be helping them

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

27/1/07

Question: Big Brother, bullying and post 16 education

“Bullying appears to be an acceptable form of management in our college. What would you do about it if you became general secretary?”

Lynne, Manchester FE lecturer

For the answer from Roger Kline go to blog posting.

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

blog posting 9/3/07

So it was close run and Sally Hunt has been appointed with only 52% of votes after a recount when Peter Jones' votes were redistributed.

The three candidates were apparently not allowed to be present during the count... It is unclear why not? In whose interests would it be for them not to be present?

The 52% indicates that members are not convinced about Sally being the leader of the only union that academics can turn to when they are bullied.

We have a leader who refused to engage with issues of work place bullying. Who did not engage with issues on her blog and publish any comments that were posted up. Who does not have a strong mandate for leadership...

However as leader she has an awesome responsibility and will maybe explain to those of us who are targets of bullying why, although she seemed to like stories, she did not want to engage with our story. We are in your hands Sally Hunt...'

We are in your hands Sally Hunt...'

We are in your hands Sally Hunt...'

We are in your hands Sally Hunt...'

We are Sally Hunt... in your hands

You are our leader.....

Leaders have responsibilities......

.....to their members.

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

So...at the conference were you able to acknowledge

...that bullying is taking place in universities?

...that you have a responsibility towards your members who are being bullied?

Will you be adding workplace bullying to your list of campaigns?

Will you be instructing those whose wages we pay in UCU to take appropriate action to address bullying?

Aphra Behn