The University recently updated its Bullying and Harassment policy GP 47. There's been a lot of SFU communication on the revised policy, a website, a webform, a flowchart and other tool kits available to all of the SFU community.
What has changed, and how would an APSA member go through the Bullying and Harassment process?
The bullying and harassment process has changed to align with WorkSafe BC and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) provisions under the Workers Compensation Act.
SFU updated the policy to address feedback such as a clear definition of bullying and harassment, ensuring appropriate supports, a central, standardized intake process and education to members of the SFU community, such as the canvas course on Respectful Working & Learning Environments.
So what happens if you are experiencing bullying or harassment in your workplace?
According to SFU's flowchart, the appropriate department, also known as the "Responsible Office (RO)," will be sent the complaint when you fill in the intake form.
For example, Jody is an APSA member who is being harassed by her coworkers. Her first step would be to fill out the intake form, which would go to SFU HR. HR is the RO for complaints against SFU staff. HR will review Jody's complaint, assess the situation. If it appears to be bullying and harassment according to the definition in the policy, HR will proceed with either an informal resolution or a formal investigation process. They would also contact the subject(s) or respondent(s) of the report.
If Jody wants to proceed to a formal investigation, an investigator would interview all the parties, determine facts and findings and deliver a report to the RO. The report goes to the RO and the respondent(s) supervisor. Corrective measures will be put in place if necessary.
Where can APSA help?
The process seems simple but can feel intimidating or confusing if you've never made a report before. An important piece missing from the flow chart is involving APSA from the beginning of the process. As advocates who have been through the process before, we can help you through the steps and make it more accessible and less confusing. If we take our example of Jody, APSA can contact HR on her behalf, attend meetings with her, advocate for a third-party investigator if she prefers, and support her during investigation meetings. We will keep Jody's discussions with us in strict confidence and keep her up to date on when the report is delivered.