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Teachers’ union in Kamloops cited for workplace bullying, harassment

A teachers' union local in Kamloops has been cited by WorkSafeBC for bullying and harassment in the workplace.

Two orders issued to the Kamloops-Thompson Teachers Association earlier this year were obtained by Kamloops This Week through a freedom-of-information request.

WorkSafe told the association in April it needed to:

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— Develop a policy statement with respect to workplace bullying and harassment not being acceptable or tolerated;

— Take stops to prevent or minimize any harassment;

— Develop and implement procedures for incidents or complaints to be reported, "including how, when and to whom a worker should report incidents or complaints. Included must be procedures for a worker to report if the employer, supervisor or person acting on behalf of the employer is the alleged bully and harasser;"

— Develop and implement procedures for dealing with such complaints;

— Inform workers of the policies and steps.

An order to provide training was rescinded.

A 10-page report noted that the report and investigation were prompted by a complaint from a worker at the association, which is a local of the B.C. Teachers' Federation.

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Although it does not identify the complainant, outgoing vice-president Susie Corbet confirmed she lodged the complaint.

David Komljenovic, who was acclaimed president of the federation local after the complaint was made, said he "inherited this matter as president."

Former president Jason Karpuk said he wasn't surprised to learn of the complaint, but declined to answer any further questions.

The union's health and safety representative is working on policies to cover the executive and staff who work out of the federation office, Komljenovic said.

The WorkSafe report noted that interim measures were put in place to protect the complainant during the investigation process.

Kamloops This Week

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