Saturday, 18 April 2015


On the 20-22 April the STUC Congress will be meeting in Ayr. The theme of this year's Congress is Decent Work and Dignified Lives. In the run up to Congress this blog will host a series of articles prepared by STUC affiliated unions. These articles reflect the positions and priorities of our affiliates and are designed to give a flavour of the disparate work that the trade union movement is undertaking in pursuit of decent work and dignified lives.

The Society of Radiographers (SoR) has long been committed to eradicating bullying and harassment in the workplace. The SoR defines bullying as “unwarranted, humiliating, offensive behaviour towards an individual or group of employees”.

In 2009 the SoR published the document “Bullying and Harassment: Achieving dignity at work for all our members.” In this document the CEO stated that bullying and harassment was a “sensitive” matter that “destroyed team working, undermined trust and ruined careers”.

In 2010 the SoR released further guidance entitled “Dealing with Bullying and Harassment: Advice for SoR Reps”. This laid out a step by step approach for reps to support victims of bullying in the workplace.

The guidance states the importance of knowing the employers bullying and harassment policy to see what action is appropriate. Members who are being bullied are encouraged to keep a diary of any incidents in order to evidence what is happening to them. It is encouraged that an informal resolution be achieved if possible, as often the person accused of bullying will be unaware of their misconduct. If this has not been possible formal procedures should be initiated and the policy followed.

At the 2012 Annual Delegates Conference (ADC) the Eastern Region noted that bullying and harassment still appeared to be an issue. According to the SCoR Graduate Student Survey 2011 students cited dissatisfaction with clinical placements including bullying and harassment as the main reason for not completing the course. The SoR were called upon to promote the document further and conduct further research into the subject. This resulted in the SoR starting the “Stamp Out Bullying” campaign.

In 2013 the SoR sent a survey to all members to ascertain the level of bullying they were facing. A link was sent to the 18, 701 members registered at the time, 1463 responded. The day the survey was sent out 800 members responded making it the quickest completed online survey in SoR history. The survey highlighted that 21% of respondents believed there was a serious problem with bullying in their department. An alarming 31.3% of respondents said they had been bullied by their line manager.

During 2013 the SoR trained their accredited reps throughout the regions. The training was a two day course. The first day focussed on behaviour and “it’s not what I say, it’s how I say it”. The second day focussed on legislation and how to support a member who was being bullied.

In April 2014 the SoR held a bullying and harassment conference. H&S reps attended with their managers in the hope that they would be able to work in partnership to understand the issues and work progressively to manage them.

In July 2014 the SoR emailed all radiography managers to ask them to sign up to a pledge to eradicate bullying in their department. Several departments throughout Scotland and the UK signed up to the pledge.

Ross G. Baxter-McGhee,
The Society of Radiographers

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