Bully Regime? Speak Out #health

AntiBullyingSign [takepart.com] 1

“[There is] a sense of bullying from the highest level; that’s the executive leadership team and the group managers,” the source said. Dr Bidrose was “part of the problem”.

### ODT Online Tue, 14 Jun 2016
Claim no DCC bully culture
By Vaughan Elder
A senior Dunedin City Council manager has denied claims there is a culture of bullying at the highest levels of the organisation as details of restructuring emerge. […] This comes as a source, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Otago Daily Times morale remained poor at the council despite chief executive Sue Bidrose insisting otherwise at a staff meeting held at Dunedin City Library in recent weeks.
Read more

W O R K S A F E New Zealand
Bullying – Preventing and responding to workplace bullying
— filed under: Hazard – Psychosocial
This best practice guideline gives options and examples of how to prevent and respond to workplace bullying.

Bullying Guidelines Last updated 11 May 2016
Download: Bullying – Preventing and responding to workplace bullying
(PDF, 1.7 MB)

E M P L O Y M E N T New Zealand
Dealing with bullying
Bullying can mean many things. It can be offensive, intimidating, malicious, humiliating or insulting behaviour.
If you think you’re being bullied, keep a diary of the incidents of bullying behaviour and if it seems there is a pattern, let your employer know. It’s a good idea to follow up any discussion with a formal letter outlining what has been discussed and any proposed actions. This can provide you with valuable support if the problem continues.
Just because bullying doesn’t affect you directly, doesn’t mean that it’s ok. Be ready to help your workmates and encourage them to raise the issue with their employer. A little friendly support is often all that is needed to turn a situation around.

If you’re not comfortable approaching your employer, talk to either your Union or the health and safety officer where you work, and see if they can support you.

█ If you feel that discussions with your employer have failed, you can find out what you can do next by calling the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Contact Centre on 0800 20 90 20. This is a free service and is available to both employers and employees.

Visit the problems solving page for further information.
█ Read more at Employment NZ

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Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars (2007 version)
Music video by Snow Patrol performing Chasing Cars. (C)2006 Polydor Ltd (UK)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: takepart.com – AntiBullyingSign


Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Education, Health, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Public interest, Site

29 responses to “Bully Regime? Speak Out #health

  1. swinging vicar

    [ODT reported that] Ms Rillstone as saying that Ms Watson had said there’s trouble with some groups, but other teams are ‘adorable’ (ODT, 14/05). Dichotomy like that suggests favouritism and disruption. There was passing mention of a Union. Is that PSA? There are other options for a troubled workplace: the industrial chaplain. Nothing oddly religious, just a bit of humanity on site, and it really discombobulates managers. Disclaimer: it is not the mission of industrial chaplaincy to unsettle a workplace. People unsettle themselves of their own free will.

    {Citation trails, but very good suggestion re an industrial chaplain – they do great work! And, given the localised problem with whistleblowing. -Eds}

  2. Diane Yeldon

    ” ….. a source, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Otago Daily Times ..”
    I wonder why the ODT is making a punching bag out of the DCC, reporting rumours. No political undercurrents, I hope. This is not responsible reporting. All large employers will inevitably have a proportion of disaffected staff. The contented ones won’t be talking to media.

  3. Elizabeth

    Must say I find Mr Elder generally reliable, he has presumed with the backing of his editor.

    There is no way sources should be exposed – the same applies for SDHB and any other troubled organisation. Bullying must be outed and stopped.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Diane, “a source, who wishes to remain anonymous” is not the same as a rumour. A definite person gave information to the reporter. A rumour is “I heard on the grapevine, A told B that C had told D in strictest confidence….”.
    There is nothing sinister about not wanting his/her name published, you’ve noticed what a small town this is with its various Old Boys and You-Scratch-My-Back associations.

  5. brownestudy

    Yes, that’s correct Hype O’Thermia, but obviously a newspaper story is more credible if you can attribute the statement.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Not in this town, brownestudy. Sea level rise caused S Dunedin flood “credible” because of who said it? – just one example!

      • brownestudy

        Um, the PCE was one who said it. As a mere reader, attribution is veracity. That’s her, the leaker is Mrs Vera City.

  6. Gurglars

    Believe half of what you read. And as a rule of thumb divide that by 4 in the ODT on the DCC.

  7. Peter

    Unless you know the backgtound of those disaffected you just don’t really know the full story.
    Restructuring is hard for all which isn’t to say there isn’t an element of manipulation and bullying from higher levels. It happens under all regimes to some degree.
    The DCC has been seriously dysfunctional for years and from what many can plainly see with ongoing botch ups and failures to act against corruption on a far wider scale than Citifleet, nothing has changed.
    Doing block courses on leadership is no substitute for real courage to drive fundamental change in DCC culture.
    When genuinely good, honest people don’t stick around that is bad. As for the others, good riddance.

    • ab

      Hm. I worked 25 yurs in the Civil Service (song by Marcus Turner). I never knew of bad worrkers losing their jobs, just the good ones.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        ab, another factor driving quality down is that the most competent flee bad workplaces. Their excellence enables them to find other jobs. Then what’s left – good people trapped because of family commitments (partner’s career, children’s education, elderly parents who need increasing support) that prevent seeking good job outside Dunedin, And the dross, muddling & fiddling on – dysfunction rules 4ever.

        • ab

          Trapped, also, by the masculinist social stereotype that men have careers, and women stay home raising the children. It cannot be the other way round, even if that is the best arrangement all round.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Actually the “little woman at home” made it easy for the family to relocate. More and more families who can afford to live on one income – unfortunately not all that many can – choose to prioritise the one who earns most, or enjoys their work more or has better advancement prospects, while the other is house-parent when children are tiny, then gets job that fits in with school hours & holidays and childhood germ go-round. When both partners have careers as opposed to Mcjobs, or when 2 incomes are necessary, the opportunity for one of them to quit a soul-destroying job ain’t great.
          And often an income earner doesn’t feel entitled to ask the family to make sacrifices for the sake of his/her happiness, so they grit their teeth and hang on in there… “till the kids are self-supporting, till the mortgage is paid off…”.

  8. Diane Yeldon

    I re-read the article and I don’t think the central issue is confidentiality of sources. Rather that this story is IMO seriously defamatory to the DCC CEO. Wonder how the ODT could prove the truth of the allegations if challenged. Don’t think honestly held opinion would help either. So I’m wondering why there may have been an editorial decision to take the risk. Where’s any possible pay-off? This story is a follow up to a similar earlier one, IMO equally as flimsy, about the departing transport manager, and the reporter’s conjecture as to whether he left because of the heat of the media spotlight. It’s precisely because this town is full of factional wheeling and dealing behind the scenes that I am suspicious. Because the ODT is a long-term player in that IMO, not a neutral bystander and commentator.
    There probably is some truth in the idea that there is some degree of upheaval at the DCC staff-wise. So many employees must have either been or felt implicated in the Citifleet fraud. And there certainly has been a major change in upper level management. But IMO necessary and beneficial because I never had much confidence in former DCC CEOJim Harland’s administration.
    But IMO the ODT is attributing problems to the present CEO’s supposedly performance. Anonymous quote, ‘She’s part of the problem.’ That’s a big leap.
    It surprises me that former CEO Jim Harland, lasted in Dunedin for so long, because, as noted above, I never had any confidence in him. But I guess his approach must have suited a lot of the ‘stakeholders’ here. Certainly I never saw the ODT badmouth him, ever. But IMO their coverage of Cull over a long time-frame built him up, while their coverage of Vandervis knocked him down. These things take patience and time, forming impressions in people’s minds and influencing voters. Am I seeing the same pattern again here?
    Sorry if I were to be adding in any way to former DCC CGFO Grant McKenzie’s hurt feelings, but he strikes me as the right kind of person for DCC CEO, as far as background and contacts with local stakeholders go. […] (Certainly, he never got back to me re my enquiries about Mr Epere’s contract and related issues, after much stalling. […] No-one else would discuss it but always referred me to only him.) But, as Elizabeth commented, you have to wonder about the career path of a relatively young man at Allied Press.
    For DCC CEO, I much prefer a relative outsider, as being far less likely to get involved in the ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ that Mayor Cull once described as the way ‘business’ is done in the South. These kind of private deals are not suitable for local government and very likely not legal either.
    History teaches that revolutions are generally followed by at least attempted reactions. No doubt many of the Old Boys’ more highly placed DCC minions have been dislodged and slunk off with tail between legs. Doesn’t mean it mightn’t suit those stakeholders to have them replaced by a new, fresh, younger lot though. There’s just as much ‘business’ incentive to control and manipulate the DCC and its public funding as there ever was.

    {Moderated. -Eds}

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “It surprises me that former CEO Jim Harland, lasted in Dunedin for so long, because, as noted above, I never had any confidence in him.” But you weren’t a councillor, and the people who were (except that frightful naysayer Vandervis with his fixation on doing core responsibilities ahead of dream/nightmare projects) were terrifically keen on everything he wasted money on.

      People who worked in the DCC during Mr Orders’ CEO-ship are in a good position to gauge the atmosphere then compared with now.

      Is this what you base your opinion “this story is IMO seriously defamatory to the DCC CEO” on: ” ‘She’s part of the problem.’ That’s a big leap.”

      “Part” of the problem. Do you seriously contend that the head of an organisation has no effect at all on its culture?

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Diane, we had the new outside blood but he flew the coop too soon. Paul Orders it was that set in train the changes required, but he too was hampered by the quality of elected officers setting sights too high for the city’s financial capability. He saw the early opening back in Cardiff Wales as heaven sent and hoofed it as quick as he could. We were left with a dazed look on Mayor Cull’s face and damn all else. October is the only chance and then it’s a raffle anyway.

  10. Diane Yeldon

    “but he strikes me as the right kind of person for DCC CEO, as far as background and contacts with local stakeholders go.” I expressed this very badly and it’s even more unclear after moderation. I meant other people might prefer someone with this kind of local background. On the contrary, I think the fresh perspective of an outsider is much better.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Harland was an outsider. He was also a socially awkward person, a natural johnny-no-mates which made it easy to “give” him mates, position in locally based rugby at coincidentally the time rugby “needed” vastly improved facilities and were already in debt with their Carisbrook property.
      He was a splendid outsider, indeed stakeholderish “people might prefer someone” who’s *that* kind of outsider again!

  11. Peter

    Let’s face it. The DCC, the ODT, the Old Boy Network from Queenstown to Dunedin and city councillors live in an incestuous world of make believe and free dreams at our expense. Full of bullshit. Sick of nearly the whole lot of them. They deserve our contempt.

  12. Tussock

    A great headline page 2 Tuesday’s ODT. “Calls to cancel cull.”

    {Tuesday’s post…. https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/tuesdays-the-wash-of-geese-and-lower-case-determinism/ -Eds}

  13. ab

    The ‘little woman at home’ was auxiliary unpaid support staff for the Company hubby worked for. She might well make a home, then the firm transfers the man to Waiwoodukikamookau, and the wife had to follow, never mind her own interests or network of friends.

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    True. To go up a grade in the public service – Post and Telegraph, teaching, railways etc, you had to apply for a vacancy on the next level. You could wait for one in the town where you lived, might mean a long long wait.

  15. ab

    Och, P & T. Even now, the Chorus techs know of it, if you mention P & T in passing, alfresco. I always pass Al frescoe, hurriedly.

  16. Calvin Oaten

    P & T? Isn’t that the acronym for post menstrual tension? Or is it pre?

  17. ab

    Postal and Telegraph. We were used to the Inland Post, but not messages ‘coming over the wire’. To that end, we stood underneath the lines waiting for an envelope to flutter down.

  18. Elizabeth

    Sat, 18 Jun 2016
    ODT: Cost of workshops on bullying questioned
    The cost of bullying and harassment workshops at the Dunedin City Council put people off going, a disgruntled staff member says. […] The staff member also took issue with Ms Rillstone’s evaluation of staff morale. “It’s patronising and laughable and shows how out of touch the politburo [senior managers] is with the what’s going on.”

    • ab

      How To Workshop Bullying: Wellington/Auckland model. Transcribed:

      ‘Hi de hi! HI DE HI! Thank you. I am from HR and work for T.H.E MAN. My purpose is to get you a bit less horizontally minded. MODEL! This here’s a ponytail being modelled. Now, some of the best people have trichotillomania – this man in front has pulled his hair out – but, on No Account must you pull ponytails on working men and women, however tantalising the hair may be. Hair owners don’t understand that you’re preoccupied with the hirsute, and not them.

      Some men accustomed to horizontal bullying have progressed to vertical bullying. It won’t do! Hugging staff upright doesn’t fool anyone. Cease and desist. Now, we proceed to the day’s programme on the It’s All Whiteboard Here…’

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