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Thursday, September 19, 2019, Issue 83

'More must be done' to prevent staff bullying and harassment

Woman laying down who is upset

The Society is seconding a motion to protect members from bullying and harassment at work. It will be debated at this year's TUC Congress.

The motion by the College of Podiatry asks the General Council and the unions to work together to ensure that the issue is taken seriously, and more is done to protect members.

In the most recent NHS staff survey, more than a quarter of respondents reported at least one incident of bullying and harassment in the previous 12 months.

The CoP motion says, "Other surveys report similar levels, and our reps deal with bullying and harassment complaints on a daily basis. It affects all members in independent practice or in the NHS and our LGBT+ and disabled colleagues are impacted on a disturbingly
regular basis.

“Change is needed. We need to improve how formal complaints are handled in the NHS, we need to ensure access to alternative means of resolution, and we need to ensure that outcomes reflect the level of behaviour.”

The Society will use the opportunity to reflect the concerns of members expressed through motions at the Annual Delegates Conference and the work of the Student Reps Forum about this issue.

This year's TUC takes place in Brighton from Sunday, 8 September and finishes on the 11th.

Motion 51 Bullying and harassment

The College of Podiatry, like all NHS unions, has seen increased incidents of our members suffering from bullying and harassment. In the last staff survey 28.3 per cent of respondents to the annual survey reported at least one incident of bullying and harassment in the last 12 months - that’s over 850 a day, every day of the year. Other surveys report similar levels, and our reps deal with bullying and harassment complaints on a daily basis. It affects all members in independent practice or in the NHS and our LGBT+ and disabled colleagues are impacted on a disturbingly regular basis.

This year’s figures had barely changed on previous years, yet little at system level has been implemented.

Congress agrees that change is needed. We need to improve how formal complaints on bullying and harassment are handled in the NHS, ensuring appropriate resources, representation and support is available for individuals going through a process. We need to ensure access to alternative means of resolution, such as mediation, where appropriate. We need to encourage and enable early intervention to tackle low level, unprofessional behaviour before it escalates to bullying or harassment. And we need to ensure that outcomes reflect the level of behaviour.

We need to give our members the tools, the support and the confidence to call out
this behaviour.

Congress says enough is enough and calls on the General Council and the unions to work together to ensure that this issue is taken seriously, and more is done to protect our members in their workplaces.
College of Podiatry

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