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Uncomfortable working conditions

  • 18-03-2021 11:05pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi folks,

    I am working in the same place (not going to say what sector) for the past three years. My first year was brilliant but the second and third years have been tough. My hours have been cut several times and when I question it, I'm verbally abused without an answer. There is an unfairness where new members of staff are treated more favourably and this makes it hard to swallow. I have contacted my union and I have a legitimate case but I'm afraid to act in case things get worse. This situation is having an impact on my health and preventing me from living my life as others my age are - I'm nearly 40 and still living at home. I have planning and builder ready but I can't get a big enough mortgage to enable me to build my dream home (it's not a very big house but self build is more expensive). Leaving is not an option as it has taken me a lot of years to get where I am and transfers are rare. Any advice? Anyone bring a case of bullying against their employer? Did the situation improve? Thanks in advance for any replies.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,848 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken

    Op I'm sorry this is happening to you.
    If you're willing to take it further then I would advocate doing that.
    How much worse could it get. Workplace bullying is unlawful and unacceptable and while it's not easy to speak up about it, until people so it will continue.

    You say transfers are rare so they are possible.
    Can you put in for a transfer?
    At the end of the day you have to decide which is more important, your mental health/self esteem or your job in this particular area.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,692 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    Hi Op

    if you do nothing, nothing will change.

    It is your life and you will have to take the driving seat, at important decisions. You said you cannot change job, but you could. A job is not your life, and you could change. Would you possibly be starting at a lower salary in your new job, yes. But then you said your hours have been cut anyway - and that the new employees are treated more favourably. So bullying aside, why would you want to stay? Your health & wellbeing have a value too.

    You say you are in a union, and have all their knowhow and support at your back, yet you are letting fear make your decision, to endure rather than stand up for what you know to be right. OP don't let them away with such behaviour. Pursue the bullying allegation, it is important to be able to prove your allegations of bullying. If you have a diary of events that happened, copies of emails, witnesses to meetings etc. Once you have the evidence, and the backing of your union rep, you can hold the bully/company to account & you can make them amend their behaviour by taking workplace action using the processes in place and the union support. You have to be smart about how you go about this, and you have your evidence!

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,506 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    Hi OP,
    Just curious as to what actions you have taken to date?
    It’s great that the union have advised you have a case - but have you tried to address this with either a senior a manager or HR in addition to your line manager? Or is the bullying complaint addressed to several people?

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Hi again folks. Thanks for the replies.

    I think I have to let you know my sector for context. I'm in the education sector so no line manager or HR manager. It is very difficult to get a full time job and I'm very close to it but kept on part time hours. This is my problem. For the past two years, I have been in contact with my union who have been somewhat supportive but not as much now - there is a new rep for my area and have investigated my claims and have told me my case is legitimate and it's time to act. So to answer the question, I've followed union advice and waited but I now feel I've waited long enough and actually feel empowered - I have my house in view now and I really want it - I have to fight for it. Transfers are rare - there is a system in place but I think it's optics as no one i know has been successful. You are correct, if i let it go, management will continue to do it. They have a long history of it and have destroyed some people with their antics - illness and early retirement for victims. I am definitely more confident today as I puf the finishing touches to my complaint. I can't do anything for the people who have gone but I can make my situation better and for the people who will come after. I should also say, I have made fantastic friends in my workplace - they are friends - lunches, socialising etc, and my work is very rewarding - it really is a great place to work except for management. Thank you for all the results - I appreciate them and will come back when the process is complete.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,652 ✭✭✭sporina

    Hi OP, I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing this. Bullying is v serious and can have a serious effect on your health.. I have seen it 1st hand unfortunately.. in my own work place.. you really should act.
    And as already said, its unlawful.

    Do you have an occupational health dept? If so, talk to them.
    You have a union - and you know your being bullied - you really should act. ASAP.

    You will need evidence.. as also already said,.. make a note of times and dates of incidents, who said what and who was present... what was happening before and after the incident/s..

    Is there anyone who would act as a witness to the bullying?

    Bullying can have a detrimental effect on your self esteem/mental health etc.. you really do need to take action - it won't be easy, but you owe it to yourself. Hold your head up high and tell yourself you have a right to be treated with dignity and respect! Go for it - you will have the support of the union etc.
    Best of luck.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Hi folks, OP here.
    I had sent a response yesterday but it has not appeared.
    Just for context, I work in the education sector so there is no HR or Line Manager.
    Transfers are rare - I don't know anyone who has benefited from it - I think it was a smoke and mirrors for the union when they negotiated with the Department to implement a redeployment scheme. Anyway, I don't like starting over again and it is not easy to get jobs in my industry - it has taken me this long to get where I am now and I'm close to my dream of building my own home - of I were to leave and start again - it would take another two years to gain permanency. From reading the posts above, yes I am ready to stand up for myself and others in my position in the job. This has gone on for too long and too many people have been effected (long term illness, early retirement etc.) Thanks to everyone for the replies - it has spurred me on as well.

    I did not add this to the post last night - I have found more proof that my employer has again not followed procedure. Just to point out - it is the full time work I want in order to get my mortgage but considering the malpractice/misconduct - this has cost me financially and my pension - I don't want another fight but when my employer is found negligent, have I any legal standing in gaining compensation? Just to note, this case was not about money but with all the proof I have, it is now watertight. My employer will probably address my points in a letter but that will be it - go on a course etc. that won't affect them - I think if there was compensation - I would probably donate it to charity or something like that - I have never done anything like this so I would be lost.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,611 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    If you have been told by your union that you have a legitimate reason to take action, then why not follow their advice?

    No one here can offer you legal advice and even if they could, they haven't seen the information you have found so its impossible to comment on your legal standing. A solicitor would be the best person to advise you on that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,441 ✭✭✭✭GreeBo

    OP, because you are posting as a guest your posts wing immediately appear, they have to be reviewed first, so no need to repeat post.

    If your Union says you have a case then I think you need to go with them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,652 ✭✭✭sporina

    Hi OP, great that you feel empowered.. and that you have friends and work and like your job.. take it one step at a time.. lodge your complaint - have all your ducks in a row and go from there.. it will probably be a long process.. you will need to be patient.. I would not be worrying about compensation etc just yet.. they have to be found accountable 1st..
    Best of luck and would be great if you could come back and let us know how you get on. :)