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help me in a bullying case !

By ACanberraGuy - 3 December 2012 50

It is mid of night now, I wake up this time every day. I believe I am in a serious case of bullying, but who can help me ?

 I need support and help. I do not know what I should do. I need people to help me and give me advice, or to go to details with me to work out/present the case if I decide to talk it up at WorkSafeACT or someone.

I am not a strong fighter so things getting worse to such that I can not cope and my family is suffering. But I am sure this is bullying, and it can go to a shocking headline in Canberra Times.

This should not happen in the Public Service in this country, but it does. What is my legal right ? Is there something we can call fairness or justice ?

Sorry I can not give details here so you may not be able to give me any specific advice. Thanks in advance.

What’s Your opinion?


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50 Responses to
help me in a bullying case !
1
damien haas 9:19 am
03 Dec 12
#

Your APS organisation should have a Harassment Contact Officer – call Human Resources and ask to speak to them. It will be entirely confidential. They can tell you what your options are.

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2
davo101 9:27 am
03 Dec 12
#

First port of call read this.

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3
PantsMan 9:46 am
03 Dec 12
#

I would recommend Harmers Workplace Lawyers in Sydney (Canberra Lawyers are crap). http://www.harmers.com.au/Home/675/n/3/0/0/

In the short term, maybe take some time off (get a certificate from your GP).

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4
schmeah 10:43 am
03 Dec 12
#

If you are in an APS agency maybe contact your local union delegate as a first point of call to get an idea about where you stand. If you are still unsure, contact your HR department. I wouldn’t make contact with lawyers just yet.

If however, your interpretation of “bulliyng” involves private, one-on-one performance management meetings .. you and your payout will be just fine.

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5
EvanJames 10:52 am
03 Dec 12
#

The APS seems to have the worst, most insidious bullying. Some agencies are riven with it, and they maintain it by promoting people who are good at bullying. They reward it. Some agencies have very overt, loud bullying, while others (education springs to mind) have a lot of sneaky bullying.

The posts above all give excellent advice. Check it all out, as it’ll give you a good roadmap to where you are and what you can do. Your GP will give you a certificate for time off, but I’d suggest first doing your research, speak to the HR-nominated harassment officer, so as to get the issue “logged” before you take time off. Do it in the right order. Also, doing your ground work first will show you what you need to do in terms of evidence-gathering etc, which you need to do at work. If you’re off, then you’ll be stewing over what you have yet to do.

Do your reading, take the various recommended actions, and then see your doctor and get a time out while the wheels slowly grind into action.

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6
Leon 11:09 am
03 Dec 12
#

Bullying, like harassment, is very much “in the eye of the beholder.” The person who is doing the bullying does not necessarily intend to be a bully. Even if the bullying is deliberate, you should not be expected to prove that the person was deliberately bullying.

Start by accurately documenting the details of the relevant events. Without that documentation, your prospect of successful formal action will be limited.

Your prospects depend on the relative ranks of you and the bully. Bureaucracies tend to favor the higher-ranked person, who is perceived to be more valuable to the organisation. If you are lower-ranked, your best option may be to speak confidentially to your HR people or to a higher-ranked mamager, and arrange to transfer to a different area.

If you need to take formal action, I recommend first talking to your union and/or seeking legal advice. Unions and other organisations (such as the Tradies Club) often offer a free legal consultation.

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7
Pitchka 11:15 am
03 Dec 12
#

One upon a time, an under performaing public servant could be perfomanced managed out if their work continued to be of a low standard. Nowadays, this is almost impossible, so it seems that trying to bully people into resigning etc is the new performance managemrnt tool.

Im not saying its right, but its hard to get rid of the trash in the APS (and lets face it, there are hundreds of “the APS is over staffed’ type threads)…

Im not saying the OP is an underperformer, but in 9 out of 10 cases ive heard of in my 12 year career in the APS, the person having a whinge about being bullied or singled out, is your typical 9-4pm, 2 hour lunches, does sweet FA public servant (again im not saying this is the OP either)..

as they say, 2 sides to every story, OP is playing the victim, who are we to say he is?

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8
Masquara 11:41 am
03 Dec 12
#

damien haas said :

Your APS organisation should have a Harassment Contact Officer – call Human Resources and ask to speak to them. It will be entirely confidential. They can tell you what your options are.

Nooooooo! HR will INEVITABLY side with management and performance manage you out. Go to the union and a private lawyer. Do NOT trust HR!

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9
MrMagoo 11:51 am
03 Dec 12
#

I am a qualified Harassment Conact Officer (HCO) and if you would like to speak to someone and if you are in the APS, find out who your’s is within the Deparment you work in or replay to me and I would be happy to discuss with you informally.

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10
beejay76 11:54 am
03 Dec 12
#

Other people have made sensible suggestions about courses of action. You sound like you’re really struggling, so I just wanted to add that you might find some mental health resources helpful.

MoodGYM and e-couch provide free, anonymous and interactive online help with depression, anxiety, stress and so on. Don’t forget you can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you wish to talk to someone. Suicide Callback Service also provide a fantastic service if you are concerned that you may not be safe.

Best of luck.

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11
Pitchka 11:57 am
03 Dec 12
#

MrMagoo said :

I am a qualified Harassment Conact Officer (HCO) and if you would like to speak to someone and if you are in the APS, find out who your’s is within the Deparment you work in or replay to me and I would be happy to discuss with you informally.

HCO at my former department was basically just a face and a name, and could never give formal advise, just advise of the process. I was a ‘buddy’ for someone who tried to make a harassment claim and sat in with her when she met with the HCO on numerous occasions.. HCO’s are a waste of time.

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12
Affirmative Action M 12:07 pm
03 Dec 12
#

After 30 years in the PS I reckon half the cases are genuine bullying & half are complaints by lazy staff who refuse to do what is reasonably expected of them then complain about bullying when taken to task for their non performance.

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13
Diggety 12:41 pm
03 Dec 12
#

Egg their house, slash tires, poop in their toilet tank… etc, etc.

Whichever public course of action you take; make sure you treat yourself to a bit of fun with some private payback – bullies deserve it.

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14
DUB 1:12 pm
03 Dec 12
#

Agree with the others re: Action course.

No offence, but to me it sounds like you did not even bother to simply google info available for victims of workplace bullying.

No offence again, but be a MAN and stand up for yourself, don’t let a$$holes to walk all over you. How do you have a family if you don’t have balls to defend yourself, dude?

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15
NellyBean 1:35 pm
03 Dec 12
#

Pitchka said :

as they say, 2 sides to every story, OP is playing the victim, who are we to say he is?

completely irrelevant, the OP isn’t asking for your sympathy or opinion.

It’ll be up to the relevant HR or Magistrate (if it escalates far enough) to decide.

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