Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Time for a national 'Dignity at Work' policy- with teeth ! End workplace bullying.

As every caseworker will tell you, many of our colleagues are treated appallingly in their workplace.  It is sad to note that there are bullying managers in many schools (often themselves victims of bullying from employers, government or Ofsted.)  Many schools take a "zero tolerance approach" to pupil bullying- it's time for the same approach towards bullying of teachers. 

Recently we have heard stories of a teacher being given a performance management target "not to cry in the staffroom".  I have personally supported members who had been shouted at, belittled and humiliated in front of colleagues or parents. I had to support a pregnant teacher who was criticised- in writing- for being "unacceptably emotional," and another who was warned not to let the fact that she was in a same-sex relationship become known as it would "damage the standing of the school in the community." 

In my Local Authority area, the previous Dignity at Work policy was- without the support of the Unions- withdrawn and instead partially included in a new, supposedly "streamlined" Grievance policy.  This has clearly not been to the advantage of staff, which is why my Division is campaigning for the restoration of a stronger and specific Dignity at Work policy in our area.

This needs to become a national campaign.  Every school should have a Dignity at Work policy. Many already have, but they are often vague and unspecific.  They need to be tightened up, given teeth, and seen as a part of staff members' contracts- from heads and SLT right throughto everybody working in a school. 

Let's put an end to workplace bullying in our schools!

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