Survey shines light on bullying within Local Government

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22nd January 2015 12:52 - Local Government

A recent survey by Local Government News, has uncovered that 73 per cent of local MPs, and staff within local governments, have been subject to, or witnessed, bullying at work. Of this percentage, 89 per cent had directly been a victim of bullying and 25 per cent had felt threatened by a colleague’s behaviour.

However, 47 per cent of those who had either witnessed or experienced bullying, had not reported the incident through official channels.

Focusing on equality, one in five of the respondents had been subject to sexism in their place of work, and 11 per cent had experienced racism.

With the use of social media on the rise, it is not surprising that it is affecting local governments, like any other workplace.

The findings reveal that 10 per cent of council staff had been subject to verbal abuse or threatening messages, over social media.

Of the respondents who had reported an incident of bullying, 56 per cent claimed that their managers had not taken care of the issue.

A further 8 per cent claimed that reporting the incident had made the bullying worse.

Just 16 per cent admitted that reporting the bullying resolved the issue.

Of those who decided to not report the problem, 41 per cent feared that doing so would make the situation worse.

Just short of a third said that they did not report an incident of bullying because they thought that it may put their job at risk.

When questioned about the effect austerity measures have had on their place of work, over a half (52 per cent) claimed that they considered budget cuts to have caused an increase of bullying at work.

However, 83 per cent blamed the issue of bullying on stress factors and uncertainties at work.

Over half of respondents believed that managers were too busy with other priorities to deal with the problem of bullying.

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