Friday, 10 February 2017

Bullying, Positive Behaviour & Culture

ALMOST a year ago, a report was disclosed to the Bury Times that claimed one in ten council staff at Bury MBC had been bullied in the last 18-months up to March 2016, and a quarter felt unable to cope with their work demands.
Last Monday (23rd, January 2017), a body entitling itself the Positive Behaviour Task Force met to consider the situation.
The Bury Positive Behaviour Task Force is in theory composed of representatives of the unions UNISON and Unite the Union, as well as representatives of management and HR (Human Relations).  Initially the Unite union which is the biggest union at Bradley Fold Waste Depot, was not invited to participate on this Task Force, more recently however, after complaints from the Unite Commercial Branch, a full time officer was incorporated onto the Task Force but has yet to attend.
In a response to a question about the level of alleged bullying up to March last year a Council spokesperson said:  'The Council takes any allegations of bullying and harassment very seriously and we place the utmost importance on dignity and respect for all our employees... (I)n response to this question 26 Dignity at Work complaints have been investigated in the past three years (6 since April 2015) and there have been 18 cases which have been handled via the mediation route (4 since April 2015).'
The spokesperson then added:
'In terms of taking action, a positive action taskforce has been established along with an Employee focus group to make our policies work effectively on the ground in practice.  We have a further survey planned for the autumn which will be anonymous as are all of the staff surveys we carry.'*
Speaking to the Bury Times (2nd, March 2016), Labour Councillor, Sandra Walmsley, said:
'I don't think there is a culture problem at the council with bullying.  If that was the case, we would have known about it before the survey.... I am hoping the taskforce will get to the bottom of this issue.'
At Bradley Fold Waste Depot there has been various complaints of forms of harassment over the last decade or so, yet at the time of writing the Unite union which represents the bin-men has not had an update or as yet seen any of the minutes of the meetings of the Positive Behaviour Task Force.  Nor, as yet, has the Bury Unite Commercial Branch representing the Bury bin-men seen the results of the 'further survey planned for the autumn (2016)' promised by Bury MBC.
This must be troubling.

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