The College regards the dignity and autonomy of all people as a core value of the organisation. Bullying behaviour is based on the misuse of power in human relationships, and negates the dignity and autonomy of its victims.
The College regards the health and safety of its staff, volunteers, students, and users as a primary responsibility. Bullying can affect health and wellbeing.
The College is fully committed to eliminating, as far as possible, all forms of bullying in the College and in its relationships with its users through a culture of openness, support, and accountability.
To outline the College position on bullying.
This policy applies College-wide.
bullying - is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a person or group of persons. It includes behaviour that could be expected to intimidate, offend, degrade, humiliate, undermine or threaten.
repeated behaviour - refers to the nature of the behaviour, not the specific form of that behaviour. “Repeated unreasonable behaviour” may thus be a pattern of diverse incidents.
unreasonable behaviour - is behaviour that is offensive, humiliating, intimidating, degrading or threatening. It includes, but is not limited to,
- Verbal abuse
- Initiation pranks
- Excluding or isolating a person
- Giving a person the majority of an unpleasant or meaningless task
- Humiliation through sarcasm, or belittling someone’s opinions
- Constant criticism or insults
- Spreading misinformation or malicious rumours
- Deliberately setting work routines or procedures to inconvenience certain individuals
- Displaying written or pictorial material which may degrade or offend certain individuals.
Bullying can occur at any level of the organisation, can be experienced by both men and women and may involve a co-worker, a volunteer, supervisor, manager, student, service provider, user or customer.
Formerly agreed behaviour may be found to be bullying when it continues after a request from the recipient for the behaviour to stop, or at the point it becomes intimidating, offensive or humiliating.
There are bound to be occasional differences of opinion, conflicts and problems in any environment. Only when the treatment of another person is unreasonable, offensive or harmful does workplace bullying exist.
Similarly, the exercise of a supervisor’s legitimate authority at work or study through the direction and control of work or study responsibilities, the monitoring of workflow, and giving feedback on performance, is not bullying insofar as the supervisor’s actions are intended to assist the person to improve their tasks, their work or study performance, or the standard of their behaviour. If a person has performance problems, however, these should be identified and dealt with in a constructive way that is neither humiliating nor threatening.
Bullying that directly inflicts physical pain, harm, or humiliation amounts to assault and should be dealt with as a police matter (see Bullying Complaints Procedures).
The College has a duty of care to provide a safe environment. The College accepts and acts on its duty of care. Any allegations of bullying that are reported must be investigated.
All incidences of bullying will be dealt with promptly, thoroughly, and fairly.
Complaints will be treated in confidence, and where confidentiality cannot be guaranteed this will be clearly indicated to the complainant.
All parties will be treated with respect.
The person against whom the allegation is made has the right to natural justice (the right to know what is alleged against them, the right to put their case in reply, and the right for any decision to be made by an impartial decision-maker).
The procedure for following through on a bullying complaint for staff is the Bullying Complaints Procedure (for Staff).
The procedure for following through on a bullying complaint for students is the Complaints and Grievance Procedure - Non Academic.