08Bullying Liverpool City Council

44 posts / 0 new
Last post
Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 7 2008 11:28
08Bullying Liverpool City Council

Hi

Could you please sign my petition and pass it on? I worked for Liverpool City Council for over 20 years and had to resign due to Bullying and Oppressive behaviour by management. I have launched a campaign for a change in the law in relation to workplace bullying investigations.
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/08Bullying/ . When you complete the petition - it will email you a link which you have to click to actually have your name added to the list. Please do remember to check your spam folder if your email doesn't appear and make sure your name is on the list!

Thanks

Vicky

Fletcher
Offline
Joined: 27-03-08
Nov 7 2008 14:22

No offence intended but petitioning the government is not the way to change the behaviour of bosses.

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 8 2008 11:44

What would you suggest.? I have tried everything else.

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
Offline
Joined: 15-03-04
Nov 10 2008 11:11
Vicky wrote:
What would you suggest.? I have tried everything else.

what did you try, out of interest

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 10 2008 14:05

Wrote to MP, and every member of the Lords. Emailed head of council, head of the Union, every councillor in Liverpool, HR, Director of services, CEO. Head of the Council. In fact if they had email address highly probably I have emailed them.

Jason Cortez
Offline
Joined: 14-11-04
Nov 10 2008 19:20

I am not sure how long since you resigned, but you could try for constructive dismissal at a industrial tribunal. I feel it is unlikely that a change of law would meaningfully stop bullying at work (although it would be a lever of power) but under current UK laws, bullying can be tackled under stress at work legislation. Health and safety can be a powerful tool, but it needs organisation. There are already campaigns to tackle bullying at work.
www.banbullyingatwork.com
www.bullyonline.org/workbully/
http://www.tuc.org.uk/tuc/rights_bullyatwork.cfm
and even http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/DiscriminationAtWork/DG_10026670

i am really not sure what it is you want to achieve.

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 10 2008 22:05

Hi

I am going to tribunal. I just don't want other people to go through what I went through. I have legal representation. Obviously I can't go into detail what happened to me. I don't think anyone should be allowed to treat a fellow human being so badly in the workplace. I want the law changing. That is what I wish to achieve. I am fully aware of all my legal rights, bullying legislation/groups and H&S thanks.

As a tax payer how many people are off sick in your local council due to bullying behaviour by management. You could always ask Under the Freedom of Information Act how many are absent with Depression/Stress, I think you will be surprised at the figures you receive. The Police don't investigate themselves. Yet local councils investigate complaints within there own department.

Vicky

Jason Cortez
Offline
Joined: 14-11-04
Nov 10 2008 23:22

I am glad you are well covered. I hope all goes well for you and wish you speedy success. I guess my point is that we currently have a whole host of regulations covering health and safety issues yet almost twice as many people are kill at work than are murdered and almost none of the employers are ever even fined, let alone convicted, it seems the law itself is of little use. The only way to change this is through organisation, only then will we have the power to enforce our demands legally or otherwise.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Nov 11 2008 00:01
Jason Cortez wrote:
I am glad you are well covered. I hope all goes well for you and wish you speedy success. I guess my point is that we currently have a whole host of regulations covering health and safety issues yet almost twice as many people are kill at work than are murdered and almost none of the employers are ever even fined, let alone convicted, it seems the law itself is of little use. The only way to change this is through organisation, only then will we have the power to enforce our demands legally or otherwise.

yes, this is true, and unfortunately this means that there is no quick fix solution.

I hope that you find some satisfactory resolution for your problem - I'm a Council worker as well, and have to deal with bullying managers, and the results of that a lot...

On a more specific note, some instances of workplace bullying can be covered by criminal law, for example under sections 4 or 5 of the public order act, and so a police investigation can take place.

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 11 2008 06:54

Thanks for your kind words. The councils think they are above the law and no one should be above the law.

Fletcher
Offline
Joined: 27-03-08
Nov 11 2008 17:45
Vicky wrote:
Wrote to MP, and every member of the Lords. Emailed head of council, head of the Union, every councillor in Liverpool, HR, Director of services, CEO. Head of the Council. In fact if they had email address highly probably I have emailed them.

In other words you emailed one group of bosses to complain about another. Ever think of trying to organise support amoung your work collegues to fight this. That is the only way real change can be forced on bosses.

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 11 2008 19:57

I really can't comment to much on this. My colleagues are fully aware of my situation.

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 11 2008 19:57

I really can't comment to much on this. My colleagues are fully aware of my situation.

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
Offline
Joined: 15-03-04
Nov 12 2008 10:20

To add to what others have said, often your best bet with bullying is to document stress and depression, firstly because it gives you a clearer case and secondly beause disability discimination laws can be enforced by a decent rep or advocate. Its not a pleasant road to go down though, knowing people who've had to do several days worth of witness statements it can sometimes be more traumatic than its worth. Plus since you'll be using legal aid it always depends on how good or how nice your rep or advocate is and how scrupulous the office are over their responses to funding, Afterall a lot of legal aid type charities get funding on the basis of taking up a number of cases so it doesn;t matter how mnay they win...
Of course also this doesn;t really stop bullying, since it would have had to have gone on a long time to get to that stage anyway. But then i guess thats the point really, since the law only deals with problems after they've dragged on to their conclusion whereas what you need is a workplace culture where bullying isn't tolerated or is dealt with quickly.

Liam_Derry wrote:

In other words you emailed one group of bosses to complain about another. Ever think of trying to organise support amoung your work collegues to fight this. That is the only way real change can be forced on bosses.

na tbh if your beng bullied at work, thats not always going to be possible. Hence why a union offers individual legal representation, because collective action isn;t always an option.

Jason Cortez
Offline
Joined: 14-11-04
Nov 12 2008 12:33

Yeah but attacking others with your superior gasp of communist practice always makes one feel smugly superior. You apologist for the trade unions and upholder of bourgeois law grin

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 12 2008 13:24

I have an extremely good legal advocate thanks. I just don't want people to have to endure what I went through: I submitted two grievances before the outcome of the first grievance the bully produced a contract and said it was mine; it was nothing like my contract. The head of service then tried to change my contract, which was virtually the same as the contract the bully had produced, so that my line management would be managed directly by the bully whom I had submitted the grievance against. The 1st grievance went against me as a manager had temporary memory loss as he put his head in his hands and stated that he could not remember having any meetings with the bully. Despite the fact he had several. If I wished to appeal it would be to the head of the service that had tried to change my contract so that I would answer directly to the bully. I had a meeting with the head of the service were he spent over two hours trying to persuade me to sign the new contract. At one point stating “if it went to tribunal the councils solicitors will fight it" "Why won't you sign it, it's not as though X beats you with a stick". This is a fraction of what has happened to me. After that the situation got a lot worse. Part of the reason I resigned was because I was going to be disciplined for contacting my local councillor concerning my treatment by the council.
The Union, yes they were fully aware of what happened. I have made a formal complaint to the head office concerning the union’s lack of support for me. I asked the Union for support with the petition. They are not supporting me in fact one would almost assume they were blocking it, I contacted a labour magazine and asked them to put the petition in it, they said they could not without the Union submitting it. I contacted the national political officer who said it was down to the regional office. I pointed out that it was inappropriate to contact the regional office as I had submitted a complaint concerning their lack of support.
MP yes I have contacted her, according to Jane Kennedy there is adequate legislation. Bishop of Liverpool does support a change in the law.

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 16 2008 17:12

Hi Everyone

You all pay council tax, the following is a disgrace. I suggest you write to your MPs and complain because you as tax payer are paying for this. If you live outside Liverpool I suggest you write to your own council asking the same questions. If you work for the council, ask a friend.
I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act regarding sickness absence, and first I would apologise for the delay in responding.
You have requested how many staff have been absent since August 2004 - 31 July 2008 with stress related illnesses.
The number of employees absent for the period you have quoted with stress related illnesses are 2602.
How many complaints of bullying have been made by employees against managers or colleagues for the same period.
There were 45 complaints made.
How many employees have claimed constructive dismissal within the same period?
There were 6 claims.
How many claims have been filed against the city council at the Employment Tribunal within the same period.
There have been 34 claims against the council.
YOU CAN READ THE REST ON: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/bullying_and_harassment#incoming-8870
TO CONTACT YOUR MP: http://www.writetothem.com/?keyword=wri ... 1Qod4BghZQ
TO MAKE A REQUEST UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/
TO SIGN MY PETITION: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/08Bullying/

Thanks

Vicky

PS

Don't complain how high your council tax is, if your not prepared to take action because you are paying for the bullies behaviour.

radicalgraffiti
Offline
Joined: 4-11-07
Nov 16 2008 19:27
Quote:
You all pay council tax, the following is a disgrace. I suggest you write to your MPs and complain because you as tax payer are paying for this. If you live outside Liverpool I suggest you write to your own council asking the same questions. If you work for the council, ask a friend.

Hi, why do you suggest writing to your MP? do you think it will do any good? It seems vary unlikely.
I understand that you want to do something about this but I don't really see how the methods you suggest will help, maybe a different approach is needed?

Fletcher
Offline
Joined: 27-03-08
Nov 17 2008 13:11

So you're telling us that no one you worked with believed you and your union didn't believe you, yet you think by emailing Bishops, MPs etc that they might believe you. Damn I think I would have sacked you myself if you are that daft!!!

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 17 2008 15:19
Quote:
So you're telling us that no one you worked with believed you and your union didn't believe you, yet you think by emailing Bishops, MPs etc that they might believe you. Damn I think I would have sacked you myself if you are that daft!!!

Thanks Liam you obviously have the making of an excellent manager? I can't go into details about my case as it is ongoing. Unions will only support to a certain level. The union did offer to arrange a compromise agreement which meant I could not discuss what has happened to me, and as I have stated the reason why I am doing this so no one else has to go through what I went through. I have not gone into details about my circumstances so jump to as many conclusions as you wish Liam. Yes the people I worked with did believe me.

Fletcher
Offline
Joined: 27-03-08
Nov 17 2008 15:55

This isn't the Citizens Advice Bureau you know.

You are asking people to sign stupid government petitions and write to MPs on an Anarchist Communist forum. Admin: abuse deleted - NO FLAMING

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 17 2008 16:05
Quote:
This isn't the Citizens Advice Bureau you know.
You are asking people to sign stupid government petitions and write to MPs on an Anarchist Communist forum. What kind of reply do you expect ya mentalist.

Thanks Liam. I am fully aware what site it is. Correct me if am wrong but don't Anarchists want to change the system? Thanks for the compliment Mentalist...mm been called some names but I like that one.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Nov 17 2008 21:04
Vicky wrote:
Correct me if am wrong but don't Anarchists want to change the system? .

Depends what you mean by change. Anarchists, or at least the sensible ones, want to get rid of the entire political system rather than reform it. It's a system based a few governing the majority (elections offer us no real choice) and we want a system where people choose reporesentatives who are directly accountable to them and who can be replaced immediately if they do not act as they have been mandated to. Writing to MPs is necessary because they are the kind of people that hold power in this society. We don't usually do it for two reasons: we do not think that asking for help is effective, we're relying on them feeling sorry for us or having a sense of conscience. Secondly they won't help us. Politics is about horse trading favours (which we will not offer) and about personal success (we're ideologically against giving them it and again we don't have much to offer them without simply becoming another liberal pressure group.)

Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
Offline
Joined: 7-05-06
Nov 18 2008 00:47

Liam - don't be such a rude dickhead; no matter how wrong Vicky's strategy may or may not be, you don't have to use her presence to try and make yourself look 'clever'. Is this how the great anarchist dismissively deals with other 'fellow' workers with similar strategies in the real world - or are you just putting on a smartarse show for your fellow politicos on here?

I don't know if the union in question here is Unison - but I know that local govt managers in Unison are sometimes provided with legal representation when workers also in Unison bring grievances against them - so even the union pretense of taking the side of the worker is abandoned. It may well be that, in today's workplace that is so lacking in the solidarity needed to fight such things on a autonomous class terrain, that, dubious as they are, these are the only options left open to Vicky.

I do think it would be worth trying to contact other bullying victims of the council and discussing what action you can take to expose and embarass the bullies.

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Nov 22 2008 11:52

Ret you are correct, I can't really go into to much detail, the Union reminded me of Animal Farm, you can't tell the difference between the pigs and the humans. I did complain to head office about the conduct of the Union I am still awaiting a reply 6 months on. Even though my own Union has not supported me. I have contacted other Unions who have been extremely supportive.

Jason Cortez
Offline
Joined: 14-11-04
Nov 18 2008 16:26

I would like to echo Ret, Liam stop behaving like a dick. Is this how you relate to other people who don't share your political views IRL?

Fletcher
Offline
Joined: 27-03-08
Nov 19 2008 09:07

Jason and Ret catch yourself on for fuck sake. The is nothing wrong with taking the piss out of running to MPs and Bishops. If that is being "rude" then to be honest I don't care.

You are all offering advice etc to this person without knowing one thing about her situation and judgin by what she has written so far she is fighting to force one section of goevernment to discipline another section of government.

I am also opposed to giving any employer additional powers to discipline any worker, be that for bullying or any other reason. We all know that giving an employer additional power to discipline employees will lead to those powers being used against workers in struggle. Anti bullying powers would be used against those trying to force scabs out of the work place etc.

So if by being "rude" about this I offended your sensibilities then that was not the intent, however it's about time that we as anarchists stopped being seen as woolly hippies who are nice to everyone. If ideas are completely opposed to what I believe for then I have every right to argue against them and take the piss.

Or should we all just sit down and hold hands let our differences work themself out.

Jason Cortez
Offline
Joined: 14-11-04
Nov 19 2008 11:19
Quote:
I am also opposed to giving any employer additional powers to discipline any worker, be that for bullying or any other reason. We all know that giving an employer additional power to discipline employees will lead to those powers being used against workers in struggle. Anti bullying powers would be used against those trying to force scabs out of the work place etc.

So you oppose Health and Safety laws too then. roll eyes I (and others )have clearly stated what i think the limitations of Vicky's approach are, whilst you have been content to offer hostile comments, which clearly make you feel oh so radical Mr. T Come on Liam, this someone coming on here looking for support, going through a really stressful situation, do really think that it is useful to basically slag her off, rather than engage with her and suggest why this might not be the best use of her energy.

It is not like Vicky has come here to argue for state regulation because she likes to wind up LibCommies.

Quote:
You are all offering advice etc to this person without knowing one thing about her situation and judging by what she has written so far she is fighting to force one section of government to discipline another section of government.

And you are being abusive without knowing anything about her. What she is arguing for is a change of law, to extend the ombudsman's remit to include 'personal matters' so it could investigate cases similar to hers. Whilst this isn't really going to achieve her ends IMO as the ombudsman service largely exists to channel discontent into individualised bureaucratic legal channels thereby dissipating and containing it, through the regulating of the worst excesses. I fail to see how

Jason Cortez wrote:
attacking others with your superior gasp of communist practice always makes one feel smugly superior.

is a worthwhile use of your energy or likely to promote the libertarian communist politics you profess to hold.

James Bond
Offline
Joined: 5-12-08
Dec 5 2008 01:20

Reading your account of what has happened to you Vicky it is like reading my own story - not just mine but also in part the story of some of the people I work with.

I also saw that stuff about the staff who are off sick from Liverpool City Council, it was in the paper one night last week. How do they get away with it? Is there a special centre where the managers are trained in special ops and take an oath not to uphold the truth?

I will look out for any news of your Tribunal, I hope I haven't missed it.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Dec 5 2008 12:57

,Liam, your behaviour here is completely unacceptable. For starters, personal abuse is forbidden in this forum, and this is clearly a person who has suffered a very traumatic experience. Try to have some empathy.

Vicky, that's very interesting information about the sickness absence. I will try and find out that information from my Council.

Ret, in unisons official guide to representation, it states that managers should not be represented in their capacity as managers in grievance proceedings. However, I recognize that this doesn't always apply.

Vicky
Offline
Joined: 7-11-08
Dec 23 2008 13:39

Hi

Thanks for you kind words. My tribunal is not until May I have been allocated 9 days of the tribunal time. I just think no matter what anyone's political affiliations are no one deserves to be bullied. People work to try and earn an honest wage without having to work in oppressive environments. If anyone is experiencing any form of bullying contact the Adams Trust Helpline: 01273 704 900 http://www.andreaadamstrust.org/

This website is very helpful: http://www.bullyeq.com/