Prevention and Management of Workplace Bullying Union Forum

08-Mar-2019

NSW Health has established a Prevention and Management of Workplace Bullying in NSW Health Union Forum. The purpose of the Forum is to monitor the implementation of the NSW Health policy directive Prevention and Management of Workplace Bullying in NSW Health (PD2018 016) across NSW Health, and help identify any issues that may need to be addressed. Members can read the Terms of Reference.

The first meeting occurred on Tuesday 6 March 2019 and ASMOF was represented by Dr Tony Joseph and Carolina Simpson.

Some of the issues discussed were:

  • that bullying, and other forms of harassment remains a problem across NSW Health
  • the need to identify challenges to implementation of policy and to address these
  • that the policy was not being followed across all LHDs
  • the low uptake of the anti-bullying advice line and the low level of complaint reporting because of the perception that nothing will done and/or fear of repercussions
  • concerns about the length of the complaints process and complaints hitting a ‘brick wall’ where no action is taken
  • the need to better address sexual harassment from peers and patients
  • the need to focus on broader risk assessments of the work environment to implement a preventative approach
  • the impact of bullying and loss of skilled staff.

We commend NSW Health in setting up this forum to engage with the Health Unions. But we remind NSW Health that workplace bullying remains a significant problem.

In the last NSW Public Sector Employee Survey 40% of NSW Health respondents said they had witnessed bullying at work in the last 12 months, and 22% said they had been subjected to bullying at work.

All workers deserve to work in an environment free from bullying and every worker deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and have their experiences valued. But there is a long way to go in eradicating bullying and other unacceptable cultures across NSW Health.

ASMOF will continue to attend the Forum to ensure that fighting bullying remains high on the agenda of NSW Health, including pushing for consistent implementation of the Policy and better complaints processes.

If you have been the subject of bullying in the workplace you can contact the union (allocation@asmof.org.au).