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Vancouver School Board staff were bullied and harassed, report finds

Education Minister Mike Bernier is pictured at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on July 30, 2015.

CHAD HIPOLITO/The Globe and Mail

An external investigation has found staff at the Vancouver School Board were bullied, harassed and endured a toxic work environment while carrying out their duties last year.

An executive summary of the report has been released, just over four months after the BC School Superintendent's Association filed a complaint about the treatment of employees at the Vancouver School Board.

A timeline supplied with the report's summary shows by the time the probe began, the board's secretary-treasurer, superintendent and entire senior management team were on indefinite leave, although all have since returned to the job.

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Education Minister Mike Bernier fired the school board's elected trustees days later, on Oct. 17, for failing to pass a balanced budget, and replaced the elected board with sole trustee Dianne Turner.

Turner says she was deeply distressed by the findings in the report by lawyer Rosyln Goldner, and says harassment of any kind is not acceptable in the workplace.

WorkSafeBC says it has reviewed Goldner's report and the findings align with its own investigation, which concluded with an inspection report requiring the Vancouver School Board to adhere to policies on harassment and bullying.

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