August 28, 2014 - 2:42 PM
KAMLOOPS - A lack of policy to deal with harassment and bullying has the local teachers’ union in hot water with WorkSafe B.C.
The Kamloops Thompson Teachers’ Association was handed an order in April for not having a policy in place, which came after WorkSafe looked into a complaint about bullying.
David Komljenovic says it is an issue he inherited when he took over the role of president in July and he is not taking it lightly.
“There is a complaint and WorkSafe B.C. investigated,” he says. “WorkSafe was concerned we couldn’t deal with it…. That the association did not have policies.”
Komljenovic says he has not seen a report on the original complaint and is unsure if that original complaint about bullying is active or not.
“I have no clue where it’s at,” he says. “I would honestly say the gravity of the charge does not match the gravity of the allegations, from what I’ve been told.”
The association health and safety officer is now working to build the policy before the Sept. 15 deadline. As of last fall WorkSafe requires all workplaces to have a policy in place to deal with harassment and bullying in the workplace.
Komljenovic is a bit surprised they didn't have a policy. He says it is important to make sure it’s a fair process for the complainant and the respondents.
“There are no policies that exist right now to ensure a fair process. It’s difficult because we’re a political organization too,” he says. “I think all of us at some point have not felt safe to speak our views. People need to feel safe disagreeing but at the same time not have it characterized as bullying. We need to balance democratic discourse.”
To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014