Letters to the Editor

School yard bullies graduate to workplace

To the editor:

We teach our children that bullying is not to be tolerated and to report it to a parent or teacher.  We as a society recognize how bad bullying is.

As adults we are guaranteed by our employer a safe environment to work in, meaning free of harassment, sexual discrimination and harassment, and from bullying. Bullying in the work place is also recognized as a criminal offence.

Most employers have policies and procedures in place to protect their employees. Everyone has the same rights and freedoms as the next person, no matter where we are from or our cultural or religious beliefs, or sexual orientation, or our gender.

I know of a few people who have experienced bullying and harassments in the work place—workers who provide a vital service to the public. Some of these workers are from other countries; they are asked by the persons they are preforming the service for whether or not they know how to perform their job or if they are qualified to do this type of work. These international workers are more qualified to perform these services and have more experiences than the workers from this country.

As a Canadian I am ashamed by the behaviour that other Canadians show to these workers. I have had the privilege to get to know them and I would rather have them looking after a loved one than most of the Canadian workers.

There is a place in British Columbia; a small town where there have been 20 workers leave in a year and a half because of the way they were treated by other staff and by management. In this place of employment, staff treat other staff like garbage rather than a co-worker. Where it is OK to go to a client and ask personal questions about their personal life and their relationship with another worker and these staff members are not directly responsible for that client. There is a law regarding this practice in their type of profession, but nothing was done to the guilty parties.

These same staff members were allowed to continue working and harassing other staff members. One male staff member was brought to a nervous breakdown by them. This same male staff member, while having a nervous breakdown, was accused of being violent and the other staff members were afraid of him. This male staff member was forced to leave.

This profession is one where bullying and many different forms of harassment is allowed to take place without the public’s   knowledge. This profession is health care.

N. W. Smith,

Kelowna

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