We get lots of calls about bullying at the union office. Some behaviours perceived as bullying are not, but some very definitely are.
Bullying is defined as repeated and unreasonable behaviour. Those two words together. Repeated. Unreasonable.
It’s not bullying if someone has a one off blow up in the workplace. These things happen. Whilst it’s not desirable, it happens.
Bullying is also not a reasonable direction from a manager or supervisor to perform a particular function at work – even if you don’t like that part of your job.
It comes back to those two descriptors. Repeated. Unreasonable.
Ballarat Health has, in recent years, been subject to a large number of bullying allegations by staff, resulting in the Victorian Government conducting an inquiry into bullying in mental health and coinciding with the resignation of their CEO before Christmas. This is one of the worst examples of a workplace with endemic bad behaviours. It is only now changing because of employees speaking up and involving their unions. If you want to read more about that, have a look at the stories here, here and here
So, how do I identify if I’m being bullied?
Bullying can happen from a manager or a co-worker. It can be things such as public humiliation, verbal abuse in the workplace, the silent treatment, excluding from the group, unreasonable work demands and the like. But it needs to be repeated.
What do I do if I think I’m being bullied?
Call the Union for advice. Don’t deal with this on your own. There are often practical things that can be done to help.
If you require more information or advice about workplace bullying please contact the Union on 9623 9623.