October 10, 2007

Can we expect the University & College Union to do the same? Why not?

Unite, Britain's biggest union will today launch an 'anti-bullying hot mail' for staff working in the not-for-profit sector.

The union has set up a dedicated e-mail address BanBullying@Unitetheunion.com where victims or witnesses of bullying can contact the union to report instances of bullying in the workplace. The union will investigate the claims and act where necessary.

Bullying has been identified as the major issue facing staff in the voluntary sector, where union representatives report having to deal with bullying related cases more than any other issue.

Unite the union has launched a major campaign today (Wednesday 10th October) to combat bullying in the UK's not-for-profit sector. This week over 2,000 Unite representatives will receive campaign materials and advice on how to challenge the bullying culture.

The campaign is part of Unite's Dignity at Work project that advocates a zero tolerance approach to workplace bullying and promotes positive behaviour.

Unite believes that the reasons that bullying is exacerbated in the not-for-profit sector is due to lack of training for managers, coupled with the increasing pressures that workers are put under in the sector, as more is expected from staff for less.

Rachael Maskell, Unite national secretary for not-for-profit said: "It is unacceptable that people who choose a career helping others should fall prey to bullying. Our representatives in the not-for-profit sector are having to deal with cases of bullying more than any other issue.

We have set up a 'hot mail' to let staff know that they are not alone and that the union will act where necessary. Unite takes a zero tolerance approach to bullying in the work place.

We want to provide advice and support for both management and union representatives on how they can work together to create a climate of respect in the workplace and effectively deal with issues when they arise. Prevention is better than cure."

Unite will be surveying its members in November and attempt to identify the real scale of bullying.

"We hope that our research will show the true extent of bullying and prove to employers that the only way to effectively deal with bullying is to be proactive in raising awareness and promoting dignity at work. A trade union is best placed to help get this message out," added Rachael Maskell.

Union Representatives are being encouraged to organise events around Ban Bullying at Work day on November 7th to raise awareness.
Can we expect the University & College Union (UCU) to do the same? Why not? In fact, is UCU organising anything at all for 7 November 2007 - Ban Bullying at Work Day?

Please contact UCU and ask what activities is our union organising for national anti bullying day on 7 November 2007.


Anonymous said...

Please please contact UCU - they must have a wake up call.

Also contact your union reps and ask them what they are doing.....

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

I continue to be hounded... I just want to give up the fight....

...speak out against bullying...

....people in my university know that I feel that I am being bullied..

....they do nothing... except to try to discredit me...

...speak out against bullying...

...there are policies now..

.. Dignity at Work Policies..

...use them... people fought for those policies..

...universities use them hypocritically...

...speak out against bullying...

..do it now...

...bullying can kill...

..there is no neutral stance against bullying...

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

Sally what are you going to do next month for ban bullying?

We wait to hear your plans?

Or maybe has this got nothing to do with UCU?

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

From UCU conference this year....

Conference notes the growing incidence of alleged workplace bullying in HE institutions, often associated with RAE outputs, unreasonable research, teaching and administration targets, erosion of accountability and transparency in university governance, and unaccountable and reprehensible practices in management, recruitment and promotions.

Conference welcomes the 2006 House of Lords ruling on the case of Majrowski v Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust, which will make it easier for an employee to bring a bullying-related claim against his/her employer under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and obtain damages for anxiety caused by the harassment, and any financial loss resulting from it.

Conference instructs Executive to issue guidance on the implications of this important case to all regional officials, LA/branch committees and personal casework officers.

Conference further instructs Executive to work with UCU's Legal Office to bring cases before the courts for work-related bullying in HE institutions.'

'Stop Bullying in Higher Education (Kingston University) - HE Sector Conference.

Kingston University calls upon the UCU to organise a national campaign against Bullying in Higher Education.

This should include:

code of conduct to be sent to all UCU members which should inform our conduct towards fellow members;

agreement of a new national UCU Anti-Bullying Policy which branches can use in negotiations with local employers;

management should ensure that staff are provided with a clear alternative channel of complaint if they prefer not to raise the matter with their Head of Department;

a demand that employers record, monitor and review bullying complaints and the outcome of bullying cases on an annul basis. That this information should be shared with the local UCU branch;

that employers review their anti-bullying training for senior staff and require all senior staff to regularly attend such courses.

So Sally - are we moving forward - or do UCU intend to ignore Ban Bullying ??

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

Laurie Mayer in the Whistleblower case - see left - says that his union's (NUJ) support was rock solid for his case of bullying...

Many of us in UCU have found our union's support rock bottom....

...but clearly to expect support from a union is not insanity....

...only if you're an academic and a member of UCU...(unless you're at Leeds ..where great support is available from UCU reps)

...maybe they are ex journalists....members of NUJ and haven't yet got their heads round UCU's approach to members who believe they have been bullied...

...ignore them...

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

An email sent to an advisory teacher in Hertfordshire.

Leaflets should have been received by all Head Teachers this week. They are for use with Years 6 and 7 during Anti-bullying week. Unfortunately we did not have enough leaflets for every Year 6/7 pupil in the borough so in some cases they may need to share.

Who is sending out the leaflets to our universities?

What about it Sally?

Aphra Behn

employees.org.uk said...

Are Unite T&G getting better?
I hope so.
My paid official's response to a long case of disability discrimination against me when I could work but not properly was this:

1) failing to pass shop concerns up the management line during the build-up to disasters, for example by failing to represent the union at quarterly meetings, to attend quarterly shop meetings or respond to requests.

2) when I was too ill to work and trying to deal with a false disciplinary, he saw me alongside a volunteer rep, made no comment on detail, and talked about my boss before advising me to stay off sick. His advice began "you've probably read..."

3) failing to see me again until his receptionist rang him to say she was embarrassed that I had been kept waiting so long.

4) saying "I'm too busy to read cases. I expect to get two or three sheets of paper with bullet points" and showing me out again

5) failing to show-up to the dismissal or offer any advice.

5) referring (past most time limits) to a solicitor that had just been the subject of a complaint by a colleague in the same firm with a similar case.

Oh and he took early retirement. That's better, I thought. The solicitor advised me not to attend a pre-hearing review and again refused all evidence while giving confused and wrong advice. He advised me not to attend the pre-hearing review but the chair noted that it was "impossible to continue" without me. I had to sack the solicitor and try taking the case myself.

On my second complaint to the branch I met the new paid official.

"I wash my hands of this", he said, and write a letter denying me my right to change solicitors because "I had a very weak case" (unread) and "we have procedures in place" unavailable.

This man's job title is now regional general secretary, region one, so maybe the PR has changed more than the reality.

More in a similar vein here: