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Workplace Bullying

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by WorkBully, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Dear All,



    My name is Jonathan Greatorex and I am a consumer and civil rights campaigner
    as well as a part-time teacher.



    I apologise that my first post is self-promotional but I wanted to introduce you to the
    latest cause that I am championing, which is that of Workplace Bullying.



    It is estimated that a staggering 1 in 4 people are bullied at work every year
    in the UK.
    Contrary to popular belief, workplace bullying is not an ‘ethereal’ issue but
    rather one that follows a distinct pattern by distinctly identifiable
    individuals with distinct character traits.


    Unfortunately, until now, it has been distinctly difficult to prove. That
    changes here and now.

    www.workbully.org has been set up not with a view to
    offering advice but rather, simply to change the system. In the New Year, we
    are taking the campaign to Westminster
    and meeting with MPs to effect a change in the law to make workplace bullying
    every bit as unacceptable as racial or sexual discrimination in the workplace.



    How can you help? If you are interested in becoming involved directly then
    please email me. But most importantly, please follow the instructions on the website and join our Facebook
    campaign (Social Networking is THE fastest way to spread this campaign) and, of course, inform others. It is only when people start recognising the
    signs early on that they can act to stop workplace bullies in their tracks.
    Thank you for your time.




     
  2. Dear All,



    My name is Jonathan Greatorex and I am a consumer and civil rights campaigner
    as well as a part-time teacher.



    I apologise that my first post is self-promotional but I wanted to introduce you to the
    latest cause that I am championing, which is that of Workplace Bullying.



    It is estimated that a staggering 1 in 4 people are bullied at work every year
    in the UK.
    Contrary to popular belief, workplace bullying is not an ‘ethereal’ issue but
    rather one that follows a distinct pattern by distinctly identifiable
    individuals with distinct character traits.


    Unfortunately, until now, it has been distinctly difficult to prove. That
    changes here and now.

    www.workbully.org has been set up not with a view to
    offering advice but rather, simply to change the system. In the New Year, we
    are taking the campaign to Westminster
    and meeting with MPs to effect a change in the law to make workplace bullying
    every bit as unacceptable as racial or sexual discrimination in the workplace.



    How can you help? If you are interested in becoming involved directly then
    please email me. But most importantly, please follow the instructions on the website and join our Facebook
    campaign (Social Networking is THE fastest way to spread this campaign) and, of course, inform others. It is only when people start recognising the
    signs early on that they can act to stop workplace bullies in their tracks.
    Thank you for your time.




     
  3. I'm in! Will look up FB page now. I have endured around a year of harassment and the unions were virtually useless. SOMETHING has to change!
     
  4. Just read the 'am I being bullied' and found the tears just streamed down my face. There is still a part of me that believes it was all in my head.
     
  5. Thank you for that. It's comments like yours that makes it all worthwhile and I cannot begin to tell you how much they mean.
    Kind regards,
    Jonathan
     
  6. jellycowfish

    jellycowfish New commenter

    I'm concerned that I'm not anonymous on fb. I have been placed under a 'gagging order' via a CA, and I'm not sure if becoming a named person on fb breaches the CA terms. I was bullied for over a year, and so many of the 'am I being bullied?' statements ring true. I am in full support of bringing an end to this appalling conduct of some people, but am also worried about being exposed!
     
  7. Of course! If you feel uncomfortable in the slightest then do not feel obliged to join the group. Feel free to email the link to friends who you feel may be interested but no-one must feel pressured to do anything they can't or don't want to - It is, after all the whole point of the campaign!!
    Jonathan
     
  8. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Forgive my cynicism, but what is going to set your organisation apart from the many workplace bullying support groups that have gone before? All have tried the lobbying MPs tack - what more do you want parliament to do? There already exists adequate legislation to effectively challenge workplace abuse, both in employment law and the Protection from Harassment Act. The creation of new law does not provide teachers with the funds to fight cases. Dinosaur teaching unions do not use the legislation available to support their members members as it is.

    Btw a university of Manchester study as far back as 2000 found that 1 in 3 teachers experienced workplace abuse at some time in their career.
     
  9. [quote
    user="Gardening Leaves"]Forgive my cynicism, but what is going to set
    your organisation apart from the many workplace bullying support groups that
    have gone before?[/quote]
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>Fair question.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>I'm often
    enthusiastically and blushingly referred to as &ldquo;one of the UK&rsquo;s leading
    consumer & civil rights activists&rdquo;. Whilst I wouldn&rsquo;t quite go that far
    myself, as regular broadcaster/talking head/activist/campaigner/writer/advisor/general
    dogsbody I do have the ears of some quite high-ranking people in both political
    and media spheres and as such have done and can make sure that things happen.
    Furthermore, we are absolutely not a &ldquo;bullying support group&rdquo; in any shape or
    form but simply a group of people determined to effect change and make a difference.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>Unions have too
    many battles of their own to fight and sadly, bullying is far too far down the
    list of priorities for them to be able to make any real difference.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>True, legislation
    exists but it&rsquo;s woolly, difficult to enforce and prove, often a by-product of
    another act and usually only comes into effect once the person has left post
    (ie constructive dismissal). That is simply unacceptable.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>So, what&rsquo;s
    the solution? Well, first off, bullying needs to be clearly defined in law. Once
    that&rsquo;s happened, as happens in education, each employer must, by law, have an
    anti-bullying policy setting out what is and what isn&rsquo;t acceptable behaviour in
    the workplace &ndash; let&rsquo;s remember here that bullying is absolutely not some &lsquo;ethereal
    act&rsquo; but almost always follows a set pattern which can be clearly defined. Then
    finally, attitudes towards bullying need to change as they have with racism and
    sexism. This takes time possibly even a decade or more but it WILL happen as
    people adjust to what is generally acceptable. If you need proof of this,
    search YouTube for any &lsquo;Alf Garnet&rsquo; video &ndash; only 13 years ago this was being
    broadcast on BBC1 at prime time &ndash; today (quite rightly) it would be unthinkable
    for it to be broadcast on ANY channel &ndash; attitudes change, times change and workplace
    bullying can change but only if people truly believe it possible.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>
     
  10. Flyingcarpet

    Flyingcarpet New commenter

    But Alf Garnett was being mocked and ridiculed for the character's stupid and unacceptable attitudes and opinions- that is the whole point about that character. The fact that the programme is no longer on has nothing to do with any campaign about acceptable views. It is like saying that the Monty Python series has stopped because it sometines presented dodgy attitudes. No, everything just moves on, comedy has different trends. Alf Garnett was portrayed as an awful person and nothing he said or did was condoned. Likewise "Rising Damp".
    Also, so what if there are "policies" against workplace bullying. Policies galore exist and all that happens is the bully is more aware of the need to be careful about how they are perceived in the public view and the bullying will carry on.
    There are policies about everything in most workplaces now. They do not stop the problems. It is just paperwork.
    The fact is that human nature = some lovely people, some awful people. The key is that individuals do report any bullying and share with colleagues any unfair treatment- don't let it be a burden that you carry on your own.
    Unfortunately, bullies are good at picking their targets and bullies seem also to be promoted to positions where they can do even more bullying , as they are meant to be checking that no bullying takes place. Hence my point about the uselessness of policies. Yes, a policy has to be in place, but it will not stop the bullies at work, especially if they are also in a senior management position.

     
  11. As I said, policies are secondary, a legal definition of bullying is the prime objective.
     
  12. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Tell me more about who 'we' are.
    'Bullying' is clearly defined in law. Giving his leading judgment in the House of Lords 12 May 2006, in Majrowski v Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead cites the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act:
    "The purpose of this statute is to protect victims of harassment, whatever form
    the harassment takes, wherever it occurs and whatever its motivation. The Act
    seeks to provide protection against stalkers, racial abusers, disruptive
    neighbours, bullying at work and so forth. Section 1 prohibits harassment in
    these terms:




    <a name="PAGE_403" title="PAGE_403">[/URL][2006] 4 All ER 395 at 403

    There is nothing 'woolly' about Lord Nicholls' definition. The use of the PfH Act to challenge workplace abuse does not need to come into effect after a person has left post, though I accept that it is most likely to do so because internal grievance procedures will have proved ineffective to the point at which someone has been forced out or has chosen to leave. In Mr Majrowski's particular case, it is suggested that homophobia motivated the bullying against him. Where victimsation of a person is as a consequence of now wide-ranging discrimination, the 2010 Equality Act offers remedy. Where the victimisation ha come about as a consequence of 'whistle-blowing', the 1998 Public Interest Disclosure Act offers protection. The fact that some legislation has come about as a further development of earlier law does not negate its effectiveness: evolution of law is a characteristic of this country's judicial process. With respect, your knowledge and understanding of the law relating to workplace bullying needs some development.
    This is the nub of the problem. Teachers blithely pay their union subscriptions on a monthly basis on the assumption that they will be provided with 'legal cover' if they ever need it. As you rightly suggest, unions have their own agendas (often involving regime change) and forget for whom they work. It's not a problem of the legislation that anti-bullying law is 'difficult to enforce' but a reluctance on the part of teaching unions to deploy it effectively. A recent FoI request by a fellow poster revealed that not a single teaching union has ever taken a bullying case to court under the 1997 PfH Act. When I tried to use my own teaching union to bring such a case, they made such a monumental c@ck up of preparing the case, despite having access for support from a leading harassment lawyer, that their involvement served only to reinforce the employer's belief that they could continue to do as they liked, save in the knowledge that teaching unions were impotent. Most teachers don't have the option, as I do, of being able to fund a claim independently and have no option but to rely on their union. Only in this last week I have been involved in protracted communications with two, separate teachers, both probably about to lose their careers, certainly have already had their health damaged and who have been badly let down by appalling support from their union - and I'll name and shame the NUT, in both cases. Both could probably still be enjoying good health and successful careers if their unions had intervened more effectively to challenge the bullying they have experienced.
    Bullying already is clearly defined in law. 'Harassment' is defined only as behaviour that causes 'fear, alarm or distress'. It is actually helpful to victims that it is so loosely defined.
    Any attempts to persuade parliament to legislate further will be fruitless. There already exists adequate law to effectively challenge bullies. The government has already signalled its intention to amend employment law to extend the period after which an employee is granted full employment rights from one to two years [in an attempt to facilitate economic growth by making it easier for employers to 'hire and fire']. It is not going to entertain the introduction of new legislation which could be seen to be at odds with this aim.
    The real issue here is not that the law needs to be changed but that Joe Public needs to be educated to understand the true nature of workplace bullying and its impact on victims and employee unions should be held to account for their reluctance to use existing legislation to fight it. Language needs to change from 'bullying' to 'abuse', since the term 'bullying' has comic-strip connotations of a strong boss standing up to a pathetic wimp. The Public actually like the idea of 'strong' teachers and are sympathetic to the idea of 'weak' teachers being weeded out. The perception and, therefore, public opinion needs to be changed so that 'strong bosses' who actually manage by engaging in psychopathic behaviour, fall out of favour and are replaced by employers who instead recognise the value of their 'assets' and nurture their employees to effect change and improvement. Call 'bullying' the abuse that it is and slowly opinion might shift, in the same way as perceptions of domestic abuse have changed in recent years. As well as effectively using existing legislation to challenge workplace abuse, teaching unions must keep its profile top of the agenda and promote the education of school leaders to deploy more effective improvement strategies that bullying.
    Regular readers of these boards will probably be surprised to see me challenging someone whose stated aim is to work to make a positive impact on workplace bullying. However, I am suspicious of your motives, when you launch your intention with the benefit of information that is both sparse and flawed and make claims about yourself that do not stand up to scrutiny.
    Actually, you would go quite that far yourself. Intrigued, I did an extensive search on you and, surprise, surprise, the only reference to this 'leading consumer and civil rights activist' is in this thread or in your own self-promoting entries to sites such as Wikipedia! The only 'enthusiasm' I could find is in your self-scribed testimonials. You successfully exposed the London Borough of Soutwark in a &pound;750,000 parking fines scam and are now campaigning to raise standards of street lighting in Powys, but how does that make you "one of the UK's leading consumer and civil rights activists"?
    Teachers who have suffered workplace abuse often come to these forums as their first post, looking for support and information. Individuals, of course, post diverse opinions on workplace abuse, but you are not offering an opinion as an individual, but promoting yourself as an anti-bullying organisation. You therefore have a moral, if not legal duty to ensure that what you promote has moral integrity. Sadly, you are no Tim Field or Jo-Anne Brown.
     
  13. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

  14. <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>[quote
    user="Gardening Leaves"]
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>

    • <li class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;color:black;tab-stops:list 36.0pt;">Bullying'
      is clearly defined in law<font face="Times New Roman" size="3">
      </font><li class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;color:black;tab-stops:list 36.0pt;">There
      is nothing 'woolly' about Lord Nicholls' definition.<font face="Times New Roman" size="3">
      </font><li class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;color:black;tab-stops:list 36.0pt;">'Harassment'
      is defined only as behaviour that causes 'fear, alarm or distress'. It is
      actually helpful to victims that it is so loosely defined.<font face="Times New Roman" size="3">
      </font><li class="MsoNormal" style="margin:0cm 0cm 0pt;color:black;tab-stops:list 36.0pt;">There
      already exists adequate law to effectively challenge bullies. <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">
      </font>

    [/quote]
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>Golly, I hadn't realised that. . . Clearly I'm wasting my time and
    effort because with such wonderful protection there clearly is no problem.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>Hang on whilst I get the site taken down, put the kettle on and
    put my feet up will you. . .
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>I'm just trying to make a difference, the site only went live on
    Wednesday and it's early days but I am sorry that that appears to offend you
    so, that you resort to ill-informed, personal attacks.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>It's a shame because you clearly have experience in this area and
    that's exactly what I'm trying to get - a group of people together with varying
    skill-sets to try to get things done. No, I'm not an expert, nor have I ever
    claimed to be but I am an enabler and I have contacts and resources that I am
    prepared to throw at this an attempt to change things for the better. Hey, if you
    ever decide to climb down off the 'angry-box' at some time and want to join us,
    then drop me a line via the email address on the website but in the meantime, you'll
    forgive me if I don't bother replying to you again as I'm too busy trying to
    make a difference.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>It may fail but
    at least I've given it a go.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>By the way (and I'm not quite sure why I'm having to defend myself
    here) I don't think that these sites are "self-penned":
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IakWsHNKjI
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23476572-motorist-proves-that-the-camera-can-tell-a-lie.do
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_6230000/newsid_6237700/6237790.stm?bw=bb&mp=rm&news=1&bbcws=1
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/7784212.stm
     
  15. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    I am.
     
  16. what a horrible person you are gardening leaves. I've been bullied terribly and this man seems to be at least trying to stand up for us, give him a break will you.? you are acting like a foul bully yourself. if he fails or succeeds, at least he's tried and at least he hasn't just wasted his time being 'mr angry of the tes forums'.

    i've just joined these forums looking for support, if gardening leaves is indicative of what i'll find on here then i won't bother coming back.
     
  17. sorry, i'm REALLY angry now, i've just read the drivel that gardening leaves has written. are you SERIOUSLY saying that the law offers adequate protection against bullying? what planet are you living on? bullying is more widespread than ever and people are powerless to stop it. please don't post anymore of your idiotic comments, i'm really not sure my blood pressure can stand them!
     
  18. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    I am sorry that you feel like that, Wooseywoo. I too have been horribly bullied and am now legally disabled because of it. I am currently engaged in action through the high court to hold my employers to account and also now a law student, with the ultimate ambition of becoming an employment law and harassment specialist. The law does indeed offer 'adequate' remedy to workplace abuse - but only if it is used. And it is not currently used effectively by teaching unions to challenge bullying.
    If you take time to read through the many threads on bullying here you will find good advice and support. I particularly recommend those by a1pb, who offers great insight into the psychology of bullying.
    I am suspicious of Mr Greatorex because I fear his intention was one of self-promotion, rather than genuinely tackling workplace bullying. I merely pointed out, with the benefit of evidenced argument, that his argument was deeply flawed.
     
  19. i'm sorry for you but your behaviour is unspeakable. all campaigns have to start somewhere and i, for one, will support anyone who is trying to tackle the problem of bullying. i too just looked mr greatores up and despite all your hatefulness he appears to get things done and seems to not be scared of a bl**dy good fight and that's exactly what we need. it's all very well venting your anger out here but why shoot someone down in flames straight off if they are trying to champion a cause close to your heart? it makes no sense, you are out of order and you are acting just like the very people that we all despise.
     
  20. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    I am sorry that you feel like that. I am not going to engage further in debate with you because, as someone newly raw from bullying, you do not need a further source of conflict.
    My responses to Mr Greatorex are not 'venting anger' nor 'hateful', just assertive and argued with the benefit of knowledge.
    I hope you find support for your bullying situation here. There are many knowledgeable and supportive people who post and give generously of their time and experience.
    Good luck.
     

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