Fighting bullying and harassment

UNISON Cymru/Wales has made a significant breakthrough in tackling bullying and harassment in the workplace

In a significant new initiative, 15,000 employees at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU), last week received a joint statement from UNISON and the ABMU Chief Executive with their payslips. It commits ABMU to working in partnership with UNISON and sister health unions to tackle bullying and harassment in the workplace.

ABMU includes Singleton and Morriston Hospitals in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot Hospital and the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

The initiative is a result of UNISON conducting a survey and representing members’ concerns to the Health Board. In meetings with members the union highlighted the dignity at work policy and how the grievance procedure can be used.

Carmen Bezzina, Area Organiser for ABMU said: “On recent workplace visits, members welcomed our joint statement to ensure that staff feel confident and able to report incidents. Paul Roberts, ABMU Chief Executive, has reacted very positively to concerns and the necessity of working with us to eliminate bullying and harassment at every level across the hospitals.

“Staff should now feel more comfortable in reporting issues and confident that their grievances will be efficiently dealt with by the Health Board. UNISON will continue to be vigilant and we will conduct another survey of members to ensure improvements have been made and will meet again with the health board later this year.

“This work is an example to all UNISON Cymru/Wales branches of how members can be supported on bullying and harassment and how we can effectively challenge an employer into taking remedial action throughout their organisation.

“I would encourage all branches to undertake a case audit to identify any trends and campaign on the most prominent issues affecting members. Recruitment in ABMU branch increased significantly during our organising on this issue.”