Each month, our advocates answer your questions about workplace challenges, the AD 10 policies, and how they’re applied. Questions? Submit them anonymously here. These questions will be answered in a monthly advocacy corner issue. For an immediate answer, please contact APSA.

Andrew Boden

Hello, I'm Andrew Boden, APSA's Executive Director and an advocate on our Advocacy Committee. I'm answering your questions related to a stressful workplace.



My supervisor's tone can be harsh, and they can come off as very aggressive in meetings. The way my supervisor handles these situations is taking a tremendous toll on me. What should I do? It's affecting my work, and I dread going into meetings.

You have a right to expect a respectful and professional workplace. The SFU Bullying and Harassment Program and WorkSafe BC underscore the importance of working in an environment that is free from bullying and harassment and where staff are treated in a fair and respectful manner. While your supervisor's behaviour does not fit the criteria for bullying and harassment in the SFU program, it does not create a healthy and productive work environment.

I would advise you to document the incidences including when the event happened, what occurred and who was involved. If you feel comfortable doing so, come speak to us at APSA. These meetings are completely confidential. Since this is also undermining your ability to work and may be affecting your health, please consider accessing Employee and Family Assistance Program, in my opinion, this has proven to be a highly accessible, effective and confidential resource. On a personal note, I found that the book The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defence by Suzette Haden Elgin has been very helpful to navigate these difficult interactions.

We are currently working with the University on implementing a respectful workplace policy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact APSA. Your call or email is strictly confidential.