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Recently one of the directors has taken up a position at the nursery. So far several members of staff have left (including myself - I have had counselling cause of this!) He belittles the staff and reduces many too tears. Is there anyone the staff can go to for help and support? The co-owner is his wife which puts them in a difficult situation! Any help would be great - thanks

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Have you tried typing in bullying at work into a google search? Years ago I had cause to and found just reading about other people going through the same thing helped. It also gave me the confidence to challenge the situation. There was no support for me, like you other people had suffered as well, but just tackling the problem helped me. I left that job for pastures new. I am sure there is lots of advice out there, employers have to address these issues now, obviously very tricky in your situation.

 

Good luck

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Recently one of the directors has taken up a position at the nursery.

Are there other directors the staff could talk to? Or do you belong to a union? An alternative might be to appoint a spokesperson who can approach the co-owner and tell her their concerns. Difficult to do but for everyone's sake it is important that this issue gets aired and resolved. Otherwise the staff will all leave and nothing will change.

 

You say he has taken up a position recently: how long has it actually been - it must be fairly dramatic if you've had counselling!

 

Can't really think of much else I can offer: will need to have a think but I'm sure there will be lots of good advice on offer!

 

Maz

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This makes me so mad :o

He needs to realise that the survival of his nursery depends on the quality of the staff, and that the quality of the staff is entirely dependent on how they are treated and supported.

 

I think the most senior member of staff should ask for a meeting with the couple, and invite all the staff who have a grievance. A bullet list of examples of his unacceptable behaviour should be presented, calmly and professionally, and an attitude of "We all want this nursery to be a successful, happy place so how can we all improve things?"

 

If things turn nasty, then I would call your Children's Services department/LA/Support service and ask for help. Then Ofsted, and make a complaint; they are obliged to follow it up and this will open the lines of communicaton and force a discussion. If things are really that bad, he needs to be made to understand that if all the staff go on sick leave/long term stress as a result of his bullying behaviour, his nursery will suffer.

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A few years ago we had a committee member like this, had opinions, ways of doing things that were just wrong on so many levels!! :( It shook all our confidence as practitioners and tooks us a while to get over it!! :( Luckily they were only there for a short while, it was very upsetting!! Are you a member of PSLA?

 

:o I hope you manage to get this sorted out!! xD

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Sorry to hear about this bluemandie. I was bullied at work years ago, and when I left I thought why didn't I leave sooner? The new job that I found really boosted my confidence, and my new boss told me I was wonderful - the complete opposite of the boss before.

 

In a way I think the best advice to the staff is to leave as soon as they can. It is very difficult to confront a bully in a position of power - if anyone asked me what to do if they were being bullied I would always say leave as soon as they can - staff are basically in an abusive relationship and it is unlikely to get better. Obviously there are things that can be done in the meantime, eg join a union, ask the LA for support, try and band together to give each other support - but at the end of the day I would still say get out as soon as you can, because the longer you stay the worse it will be for your confidence and self-esteem.

 

Well done for getting out yourself you definately made the right decision. I hope you will find a nice new job to restore your self confidence like I did.

 

Starburst

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I am guessing that even though you have left you still feel the need to ask for help for those who remain, credit to you in the sense that you are not just walking away from the injustice of this situation, even though you have left yourself.

 

I can fully understand starbursts's advice, to remain in an abusive situation is not healthy for your own wellbeing. I fully endorse Helens comments, my first thoughts as I read your post was to contact Ofsted.

 

As you have left, I don't know what the timescales are here, how long you worked there or how long it is since you left, but could you go to the job centre or citizens advice, they could give you advice about 'constructive dismissal' which I believe you have experienced, your counsellor could certainly evidence the situation you have suffered.

 

What makes me mad is that it is the victims of bullying, who have had their 'esteem' severely lowered, who are the ones who can make a difference by 'complaining' but by default are the less able to do so (if you see what I mean).

 

Maybe the motion of making a complaint against this Director (I nearly typed Dictator) will go some way in helping you to recover from this experience. I am no expert though, before you do anything ask advice from your counsellor whether he/she feels such an action would be beneficial or distructive to your recovry and current well being. In other words get yourself 'well' first before deciding to 'act' to make changes for others suffering his bullyish behaviour.

 

Good luck, I really do hope that you can get over this awful experience as soon as possible.

 

Peggy

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Thankyou for all the replies. I worked in the setting for 3 years prior to his arrival and was praised by ofsted and county for my work and teaching. It makes it hard now i have left to find the confidence to start over again but have found something which starts in jan. I am still worried though. I have joined unison and have promised myself i will never let this happen again. However I have some collegues there who I am in touch with and will make some of the suggestions to them which you said. I will urge them to join unison for further support. Many thanks for your kindness

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Thankyou for all the replies. I worked in the setting for 3 years prior to his arrival and was praised by ofsted and county for my work and teaching. It makes it hard now i have left to find the confidence to start over again but have found something which starts in jan. I am still worried though. I have joined unison and have promised myself i will never let this happen again. However I have some collegues there who I am in touch with and will make some of the suggestions to them which you said. I will urge them to join unison for further support. Many thanks for your kindness

 

 

I really do hope you find that confidence again, which I am sure you are nearly there, even by having the confidence to share your experiences here. Praised by Ofsted and County, YOU KNOW YOU CAN DO IT. :(

Best wishes for your new position in January, and enjoy the break until then. :o

 

Just keep one eye on your colleagues, give them strength when you can, but keep the main focus on you, the early years sector needs people like you and the fact that you can and have moved on just shows that the bully didn't win, he lost a very valuable person. xD

 

I look forward to hearing about your new job come January.

 

Peggy

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I am so sorry to hear about your situation and that your former colleagues find themselves in. As Peggy says, this is classed as constructive dismissal!

 

First of all your friends need to write to this person stating in a non confrontational way how his behaviour makes them feel and asking that some action is taken to stop this happening in the future. As Helen has said, perhaps a meeting whereby everyone can put forward their grievances might be a good starting point. It is really important that they make this first step, as any future claim they may wish to make will hinge upon this. It has to be absolutely clear that the person has been made aware of their bullying behaviour. Make sure that all communication and every instance of 'bullying' is logged from this point onwards.

 

If his bullying continues, or things go from bad to worse after this, then they have every right to approach the Employment Tribunal to make a claim against this person if they find themselves in the same situation as you.

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Bluemandie- i am so sorry to hear of all your staff's difficulties with this issue. I have jsut been listening to Radio 4 'Saturday live' and their was a woman talking about this very subject. You can listen again to the programme over the web. i am also posting the link to the charitable trust the lady has set up to raise awareness of bullying in the workplace and support for people affected by it

I do hope that in time all the issues you mention are able to be resolved and this terrible practice stopped.

http://www.andreaadamstrust.org/live/home.html

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