Workplace Bullying should be a Criminal Offence

All forms of workplace bullying should be investigated as a criminal offence and the perpetrators and their accomplices prosecuted by the police. The current situation sees physical assault as an offence that can be prosecuted but psychological abuse is deemed an “employment related matter” quoted from the Chairperson Margi Macmurdo-Reading of the LPHS BOT.  This is a view that seems to be supported by both the Ministry of Education and the Minister Anne Tolley from the correspondence I have received.  If they have a differing view I will happily publish it here in their defence.

I am not aware of any teacher that signed an employment contract that required them to accept any level of abuse so the only relationship I can see to their employment is that often the abuse is at the hands of their employer. We don’t accept this in any of our other relationships Marriage, Civil Union or de facto, Here we have strong protection for the victims and serious penalties for offenders. Why are we required to accept abuse at work?  The Occupation Health and Safety Act and the ERA and Employment Court don’t draw a line between Physical and Psychological abuse why does our criminal system. I say its out of date and needs a revamp.  Abuse is abuse and the employer employee relationship is one of trust it needs to be treated like the other relationships we have.  We spend a large proportion of our lives at work we need to be safe.  The idea that a victim of abuse is required to investigate it themselves and fund any prosecution is out of date and defies my concept of natural justice.  In these cases in schools the employers are publicly funded through the Ministry of Education and the victims out on their own and in most instances loose their jobs. This I lay at the doorstep of the minister who just fiddles while the system collapses.  Shame on you Anne Tolley and the National Government so much for the integrity John Key promised us.

I sounded off yesterday at the PPTA and I apologise for that as I’m a bit of a mushroom.  Its beginning to look like they are recognising the problem and repositioning.  There is a lot of trust to rebuild here but I apologise for yesterday’s transgression.

One Response to “Workplace Bullying should be a Criminal Offence”

  1. I am a teacher in New Zealand. Our manager bullies in ways in which she will not get caught. If a teacher complains about workload issues, she starts the process of monitoring their every move, and making them keep charts of everything they do, thus adding to the workload. Then she forces them to teach 2 levels of classes within the same class, and basically increases the workload to shut them up. She forces the teacher to teach more classes with more preps but gives them fewer hours to teach them in. She takes away teachers favorite classes and gives it to someone else to teach. She the teachers she does not like all the most difficult classes, with high student numbers, and lots of software to teach. The union says there is nothing they can do, there are rules against obvious physical bullying but there are no rules that say managers have to be fair.


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