This is the sixth in a series of fact sheets to assist CSIRO union members and Workplace Delegates to better understand and enforce our rights at work. The source of these rights is clause 10 of the new CSIRO Enterprise Agreement 2011-2014 (EA) which is attached at right.
The CSIRO policy on Preventing Workplace Discrimination and Bullying supports
this clause and provides more detail.
What does the Agreement say about bullying and discrimination?
Clause 10 of the Agreement commits the Staff Association and CSIRO management
to provide a positive workplace environment by eliminating and preventing
workplace discrimination and bullying. This includes all forms of unacceptable
behaviour such as direct and indirect discrimination, bullying, harassment,
intimidation, threats and physical violence in the workplace.
The CSIRO policy on Workplace Discrimination and Bullying which was developed
with the Staff Association is accessible on the CSIRO intranet.
What is workplace bullying?
The following list is not exhaustive but contains examples of behaviour that
may constitute bullying: unjustified and unnecessary comments about a person's
work or capacity for work; overbearing or abusive behaviour towards staff; abuse
of management or supervisory power such as:
excessive and unreasonable work scrutiny;
inappropriate or unreasonable criticism of someone's work or behaviour;
constantly and inappropriately changing and/or setting impossible
deadlines, tasks or targets;
inappropriate or unreasonable blocking of promotion, training,
development or other work opportunities;
branding as a troublemaker a person who raises legitimate workplace
grievances, and taking no action to address the grievance threats of, or
‘Upwards bullying’ where staff bully managers for example by spreading
rumours, making snide remarks, purposely skipping meetings and missing
deadlines, ignoring the manager’s views and opinions. abusive rude,
belittling, intimidating sarcastic comments in person or via phone calls,
emails, notes etc; interference with a person's workspace, work materials,
equipment or personal property, apart from that which is necessary for the
ongoing work of the business unit;
publicly belittling someone's opinions, or dismissing their contribution
without good reason, including in front of clients and work colleagues;
disparaging remarks about malingering made to other staff;
inappropriate practical jokes played on people;
baiting or unreasonable teasing; and dismissive treatment.
What does not generally constitute workplace bullying?
The Staff Association recommends that staff always seek qualified advice
before making judgements on bullying. However, generally the following does not
reasonable management decisions, discussions or actions, as long as they
are accurate, constructive, courteous; are not humiliating or threatening;
and are conducted in a confidential manner; or
occasional differences of opinion, conflicts and occasional working
relationship issues that are part of working life (in an environment that is
safe and healthy).
What should I do if I believe I am being bullied or discriminated against?
The first step is to seek advice and become aware of your rights and the
procedures outlined in the Preventing Workplace Discrimination and Bullying
policy. Your local Equity and Diversity Officer, Health and Safety
Representative or Staff Association delegate can provide assistance.
What options do I have to prevent the bullying or discrimination continuing?
There are a number of options ranging from mediation and informal resolution;
the lodgement of a formal grievance; the notification of a dispute; or the
submission of a formal complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission. By
seeking advice you will be able to determine which option is the most
appropriate for your circumstance.
What if I’m not a union member?
Then it’s time to join and make sure your rights are protected! You can pick
up a membership form from your Workplace Delegate, download it from
www.cpsu-csiro.org.au or email
firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you
one by return email.