Teachers’ union ordered to deal with bullying, harassment

WorksafeBC has handed the KTTA two orders dealing with bullying and harassment at its workplace

By Dale Bass

Kamloops This Week

WorksafeBC has handed the Kamloops-Thompson Teachers Association (KTTA) two orders dealing with bullying and harassment at its workplace.

The two orders were issued in April and obtained by KTW through a freedom-of-information request.

The 10-page report by David Torrie notes the inspection leading to the report and orders was prompted by a communication by a KTTA worker.

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

WorkSafe told the KTTA it needs to:

• 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 of 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.

The order to provide training was rescinded.

The ruling notes the investigator met with then-KTTA president Jason Karpuk at the KTTA office on 12th Street, where Karpuk said he was aware of Corbet’s complaint. Since then, David Komljenovic was acclaimed president.

Komljenovic said he “inherited this matter as president.”

However, Karpuk said when he learned of the originating complaint, he advised the two KTTA vice-presidents — Komljenovic and Corbet.

Karpuk said he wasn’t surprised to learn of the complaint, but declined to answer any other questions.

Komljenovic said the union’s health and safety representative is working on creation of policies to cover the executive and staff who work out of the office.

At the time KTW submitted the FOI request, both Karpuk and Komljenovic indicated they did not want to discuss the issue.

Komljenovic said at that time social-media postings then making the rounds about the situation and orders were libellous.

The WorkSafe report notes interim measures were implemented to protect the worker who launched the complaint during the investigation process.