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bullied by colleague and school appears to do nothing

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by smirnoffice, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. smirnoffice

    smirnoffice New commenter

    I would really appreciate some advice -

    for the last five or so years have been victimised by member of staff in my office (have written about it on here before) - shouted at / ostracised / challenged in front of both students visitors and staff / abused in public / allegations made against me / you name it, it has happened!

    Each time I report it to the school, it is made out that I am "imagining" these things, and shouldnt be so subjective.

    In Feb 2010 I was signed off by GP (who commented that managment were poisonous) and placed on citalopram ever since. Despite assurances at that time that issues would be addressed, they never have been. Member of staff continues action against me, everytime it is reported, its swept under the carpet.

    In September 2010 SLT in charge of HR stated they would meet with me once a week, formally, to monitor situation. One year later, not one meeting has taken place.

    Recently a colleague provided me with evidence (copies of emails) proving that the member of staff concerned has been writing libellous allegations about me and sending them to people. I gave this evidence to the school, yet again they state they will not take action as the person who provided the copies of the emails wishes to remain anonymous.

    Any comments - at present I feel the school is doing everything within its power to protect the person responsible
    Doesnt it have to look after my needs as part of its duty of care?

    Many Thanks
  2. Zadok1

    Zadok1 New commenter

    Keep a copy of everything. If they say something to you then put it in writing... write an email to the person who spoke to you... repeat what they said and ask for clarification or just say I would like to confirm that this is what you said to make sure I understand. As soon as you get a response from them it is verification that they did indeed say that to you... copy and keep everything. I'd start a file in chronological order.
    Next: get a copy of your local authority code of conduct (not the school one... get the full version) and go through it with a big highlighter to show how and where they have contravened their own policy. Write an account of all this and take it to the union at regional level. If you have the finances (check home insurance for this) take it to an employment lawyer.
    Phone the GTC and ask for a complaint form... report those who are making your life hell.

    Sadly the point is that at this point in the process they will start to talk about capability and your fitness for the post. You need to be preemptive. Firstly go back the SLT member who offered a monitoring process and email them / or write (email is useful because it times and dates everything) and remind them of what you were told and ask when the process will be starting as you are very keen to receive their support... and then send the same/similar email every week until it happens. Print and keep all correspondence. I'd also look out the GTC code of conduct for teachers and start going through that one too with a highlighter. The point is that rather than just complaining about your perception of events you can start throwing regulations and the 'code' at them... might just frighten the pants off them and listen to what you're saying.

    Keep a log of all and any incidents where you feel false allegations have been made, sly comments etc... log what was said and who witnessed it. If at all possible start asking people to co sign any incident you have recorded... you never know someone might.

    And sadly my last piece of advice has to be... look for another job for the sake of your own health and well being. I'd love to say stand up and fight them, I have and it's been a very long year and a half so far... I'm still waiting for my tribunal. I lost my job and it looks like I'm about to lose my home. I know for me I had to fight but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone else.
    Good Luck
  3. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    What a horrendous situation! I am pretty sure that a specialist lawyer would say that your experience amounts to a 'course of conduct' that amounts to harassment. This is a serious criminal offence.
    Yes, your employer does have a 'duty of care' for you and is vicariously liable for allowing one of its employees to treat you in this way. Unfortunately, as you may have read in other threads, you cannot rely on your employer to do the right thing and take your complaints seriously.
    You need to carefully collate all your evidence in a chronology. You have the inflamatory emails and do not need to say how you came by them. There are ways and means of getting other evidence, such as documents and email conversatins your Head may have had with HR about you.
    You need to take this to your union at at least regional level - maybe head office, if regional is wet. Alternatively, you need to go to a lawyer who specialises in employment law and workplace bullying. Check out your home insurance policy because you may well be covered for employment problems of this kind.
    With your union's support (don't go it alone, for fear of backlash, until you are sure you are supported), formally report your psychological injury as an Industrial Injury and claim for Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit/ an Industrial Injury declaration.
    If all this sounds too much and you can't face taking action against these people, get out fast and find yourself a job in a school with a Head who does not tolerate bullying. There are many of them out there.

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