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Staff Bullying

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by NatalieLC, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Hi All

    I am new here so hello to all. I know there are a lot of other very important issues going on at the moment surrounding education, but i just thought i would see if anyone could offer some advice.
    I feel as though i am being bullied by some members of my team at work. I know it sounds trivial but they are really making my life at work hell, so much so that i desparately want to leave. The only reason i am still here is the finacial benefits (i have a mortage) and i love the students and my job. Last term, my collegues got so bad that i was forced to move out if my staffroom/department into another, 2 floors up. They never tell me what is going on and when i ask i never get an answer, even on email. Then if i dont know what they are doing, they blame me. They are continuously putting me down (telling me my work is not good) or having a go at me in front of students. When i pull them aside to ask them not to do that, they deny it and storm off. Yet as soon as they need a favour or help with something, they come straight to me. I have spoken to the union and to my manager and have been told that there is nothing that can be done. I am also having to defend them and their actions to the students who are coming to me to complain about them and their treatment of students, eg. throwing someone out and 'expelling' them for the rest of the session because the complained of feeling ill.
    I know it sounds really childish and like i am still at school, but i am in tears every morning cos i dont want to come in to work with these people.
  2. You could wait until you get something really substantial and quantifiable against one of them and take out a grievance. For example, you could send one of them an email specifically and urgently asking them to send you a certain document. Then when it's not sent , send a reminder and then another reminder. When they tell you your work is "no good" that amounts to defamation so can you get that in writing somehow? Or get a witness to one of them saying it.
  3. welder

    welder New commenter

    any better this week?
  4. welder

    welder New commenter

    hi "Natalie" wish you would answer -I'm hoping things have improved - or do you have any other issues?
  5. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    It is not the case that nothing can be done. You have the legal right to ask for either arbitration or mediation. You do not even have to be a member of the union (but I would recommend you join quickly).
    Arbitration requires somebody from outside your workplace to come in and facilitate the action. Mediation can be run within your workplace with somebody, say, from HR chairing the meeting. Your workplace would prefer mediation because it is much simpler and cheaper.
    I took my line manager to mediation a few years ago and obtained a reasonably satisfactory outcome. However, as you would be told if you decided to do anything like this, nobody really "wins" in these things, so you have to know what you are doing and be prepared to suffer the mud slinging that will ensue. I went for it because I had made up my mind to get another job anyway and if I did anything, I was not going to let the guy get away with it. I was quite happy to have the simpler mediation as I didn't want to alienate my higher management.
    You can take a friend to support you. In my case it was my union rep, but it could have been a solicitor, which I did consider.
    You will need to write down all episodes of bullying and date them. If there is genuine bullying going on then there will be other people you can talk to who may help.
    My final bit of advice is "put up or shut up" I'm afraid. If you don't want to take the matter further, then it is no disgrace to ignore the whole thing, and avoid going on about it.
    Mind you, if your collegues have genuinely critisized you in front of your classes, or interrupted your lessons in any way, then you do have to take it further. At least talk to your senior management.
  6. Hi Natalie
    I know how you feel, the same thing has happened and is still happening to me. What you have got to remember these people are bullies and they are threatened by you. Probably because you are very good at what you do and the students like you and your methods.
    I guess the people that are doing this have all worked together for a long time and you are the new girl with a new attitude. Some people don't like change.
    I think it would be very sensible to keep a record of everything that happens and the things they say so that you have evidence if they go too far. Try and get backup from other staff members that don't work with these people - they probably know what they are like. Why dont you see if you can transfer to another department? Try and resolve this yourself but if you cant then wait until your appraisal and talk to your manager and tell him/her of the culture in your department.
    I hope things get better for you and just think - summer is coming therefore - no college for 6 weeks!
  7. Hi Natalie

    I am appalled to hear that you are been treated this way. There are many lectures in FE that have been around a long time and do not like the new teachers on the block with their qualifications to teach. Ego, Jealousy and how they were treated when they were taught is passed onto students. I have seen this on many occasions at my place, so I feel for you.

    I am more appalled, but not surprised, that your manger said they cannot do anything about it. This is a sign of weak management and they should pass this onto the human resources who should investigate fully and insure this behaviour is irradiated. They should also have links to companies that can help you with advice regards feelinf ill for this,

    I would record all correspondence with your boss, with dates and then get onto the human resource department and record all meetings.

    If you do not get the response you want you have a case for longer term. I know this is not what you want to do on top of your work and you must try not to let it consume you, as you will end up getting ill. The key is to record all issues, what was said, dates and do not let it get you down. Separate yourself from it, go through the right grievance procedures at your place of work and note that they are doing the same.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.
  8. If you think you are being bullied. You are. I would suggest a simple solution. You just keep asking clear and logical questions that have clear and logical outcomes. ie. so you want this done by then and this is how you want it done etc etc. Time frame everything and qualify it. You then hit your deadlines etc. and your tears will dry up, you will feel totally happy you have hit all your targets and your colleagues can all get stuffed and you will be empowered. People in FE get paranoid of others I am sure of that.

    or you can leave and get another job in another place that is not always so easy but can be a real boost when you see other places. All workplaces have their idiosyncracies so stick in perhaps for now and see give em hell!

  9. Sounds like you are working with 'Old School' lectures. I've noted how 'some' don't like new kids on the block - in fact they hate it! they also feel threatened by you- mind you they would soon pinch your ideas and claim them as their own.

    In the past, I worked alongside one who on first meeting told me he had been doing his job for 25 year - fluffed up his feathers and walked off. The next day I worked in a group situation with him ( I am a very organised person ) I had the class settled, working away, he tried to pull punches but, because I am very organised he could'nt say anything. In fact, he was stuck for words... lol

    Showing you up in front of students is harrassment!

    Don't suffer bullying! get one of them on their own say something indirectly such as "go away' lol

    What goes around comes around
  10. I am new to this forum writting and I was reading through looking for an item that may help me but I read your posting and my heart went out to you.
    I know what it is like to be unhappy in a job, but that is all it is a job. However, you spend so much time in work if you are so unhappy move on. Don't waste your time with these people. The students will survive but they will manipilate the situation if they can get away with it.I too have a mortage and live alone so I understand your situation from that side also but what is the point in having a lovely house if you are to miserable to enjoy it.
    No one has the right to make someone else so sad.
    I hope that this post was just a low point and that things have improved. Good luck be happy


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