A sixth of tertiary education workers bullied

Posted By TEU on Nov 12, 2014 | 1 comment


Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 39

Workplace bullying is not a problem for tertiary education institutions, says AUT’s Professor Tim Bentley, it is a problem of institutions. Bentley, whose Work Research Institute exposed significant bullying in tertiary education institutions, praised the work TEU was doing to oppose, and end, bullying in the sector.

TEU has a range of anti-bullying actions, such as healthy workplace workshops, its Mana at Work website and anti-bullying resources, which it uses to draw attention to, and end, the problem of workplace bullying. Organisers around the country regularly defend the work rights of TEU members who are being bullied.

Bentley presented the findings of a survey commissioned by TEU and undertaken by the Work Research Institute to TEU’s conference this week. Among the survey’s key findings was data showing one in six tertiary education employees is bullied at work on a weekly basis.

Internationally accepted examples of bullying included being humiliated or ridiculed, being ignored or excluded, being shouted at and being persistently criticised.

Bentley said the one-in-six figure was relatively high compared international samples.

The survey noted that there is considerable evidence from international and New Zealand research that workplace stress and bullying are major causes of lost-time, ill-health, absenteeism, and reduced morale and productivity.

Bentley said New Zealand needs policy and sector-level initiatives, to stop bullying.

The Work Research Institute reported that organisations could reduce bullying by increasing staff involvement, developing leadership talent and management capability, reducing the burden of administrative and other non-core workload, and fostering healthy, well-organised work and a culture of respect and dignity.

View photos of TEU’s Annual Conference at Flickr.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. TEU launches plan for vocational education
  2. NZ should beware Australian vocational education
  3. Dr Tom Ryan – Bringing working people together
  4. NZ union members ending poverty in Tamil Nadu

Other news

More than 400 performing arts students at Taranaki’s Western Institute of Technology face being stripped of their qualifications after being caught up in a second funding investigation relating to Māori-focused courses – New Zealand Herald

The Council of Whitireia and WelTec will appoint one chief executive responsible for both institutions. They are expected to make an appointment in early 2015 – Weltec and Whitireia NZ

102 years ago yesterday, striking-unionist Frederick George Evans was fatally wounded, becoming the first person to die during an industrial dispute in New Zealand. Known as ‘Black Tuesday’, the event led to the violent end of the Waihi Strike, which had begun six months earlier – Archives NZ

The International Trade union movement has called on all governments to stop negotiations on the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” agreement, criticising the secrecy and corporate bias in the current negotiations. “Corporate interests are at the negotiating table, but national parliaments and other democratic actors are being kept in the dark.” – Sharon Burrow

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