Zero tolerance of bullying and harassment

Marie Macrae
Marie Macrae

Conference backed the National Young Members call for a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment and set out a strategy for researching the problem, supporting affected members and training for activists.

Last year UNISON Scotland young members told Conference that their survey showed a shocking 75% of young people had experienced bullying in the workplace.

However, more than half of those didn’t understand what is classed as bullying so therefore it went unreported and unresolved.

That led them to launch their ‘Gonnae No Dae That?’ – guide for young workers on bullying and harassment at work and Conference 2016 pledged to develop similar resources across the four nations.

The UNISON Scotland Young Members’ campaign went on to win the union’s Scottish Communications Awards, a UNISON UK award and the TUC campaign award earlier this year.

UNISON Scotland retired member Marie Macrae welcomed the Young Members’ work. She said that when she looked back on her life in public services she was fortunate she didn’t experience the type of bullying described in the motion.

“Although I must admit, there was a bit of it about – hence I became a trade union activist!”

Marie continued: “To us in the Retired Members, the existence of bullying and harassment highlighted by the Young Members’ survey is a disgrace.

“It is a disgrace that young people at the start of their working lives should face such treatment which is a blight not only on their working lives but potentially their lives in general.

“It is also a disgrace that where bullying and harassment does occur, employers’ policies for dealing with it are often inadequate.”

The motion called for a research project to identify the scale and impact of the problem as well as identifying good agreements, and policy and practice.

It also called for support of members who experience bullying or harassment;
Provision of education and training for activists on dealing with cases of bullying and harassment as individual matters and as an organising issue;
Appropriate information and support to those seeking to negotiate improved policies and practices with employers and their organisations.

Conference Home | Conference Guide | Service Group Reports | Archive | UNISON UK reports