Case 010 - Charity
My post was to develop and promote Primary Healthcare Information. I am a highly qualified professional, with a lot of experience in that field, good communication and interpersonal skills, and very competent in IT and computer topics. I was appointed to work under the umbrella of a Charitable Organisation which had no previous experience of this work. Two supervisors were allotted to the project. Right from the start I did not have the right equipment or resources and could not have got started if it had not been for my own abilities. I also had to prepare and print all my own publicity material (not a problem at first as I have DTP qualifications).
The project quickly became successful and was much appreciated by the medical profession The original concept was that my time would be predominantly spent out in the community - not an office-based job. As my success grew, the reactionary attitude of the supervisors started. They criticised everything - even changed wording in reports I had written (I have A-level English!). They demanded one report (10 copies for circulation) to be completed in a very short time, which I found hidden in a store cupboard at a later date and it had not been circulated as intended. The bullying continued and pressure increased. Below is a list of the ways in which this was done:
- Parking was some distance from central office and I was supposed to carry laptop and printer. No time allowed either to or from there even though during my working hours
- My desk in that office was given to someone else & there were no spare places ( I had no base).
- All my paperwork, documents etc. were put into boxes and put in the boot of my car.
- They did not want me to work from home (checked up on me all the time)
- They did not like me using an offices offered at Primary Healthcare sites
- Constantly queried the hours I worked and mileage claimed (I'd itemised all these)
- Constantly doubted the number of enquiries I'd answered
- Started timing me between locations
- Got me to phone them when I left one place and phoning again when I arrived elsewhere.
- Told me I was to use another office which was already overcrowded
- Deliberately delaying me so that I arrived late for some appointments
- Supervision meetings were always the two of them AGAINST me and no minutes taken. Remarks were made to me which were both personally and professionally insulting
- I was summoned to an investigatory meeting with members of the Management Committee
- I took my solicitor with me as an observer - but he had to intervene as they used bullying tactics
- The meeting was taped, but afterwards they said it hadn't recorded!
- They produced a written report which was not accurate
- They made out a timetable and work schedule which was impossible to adhere to.
- I was told not to work with other community workers and groups (with whom I got on well)
- I was accused of 'disobeying' them .
- They set a task to be completed in a short time - during hours in which I did not work for them
- They tried to set up another meeting when my solicitor could not be present
I was being controlled and judged by members of a Management committee who had no qualifications relating to my project. The two who had supported me initially had been 'removed'.
When I did not produce the required task work by the time they stated, they delivered a letter to my house saying I had been 'sacked for gross misconduct'.
A previous letter ordered me not to make medical or dental appointments in work time or if I had to do that then I was to get a letter from my GP to say how long I was there (as a result of the bullying, my blood pressure was giving cause for concern).
I continued to work and maintain my professional standards and to adhere to the job description when appointed. I suffered with PTSD after this, still have to take medication for blood pressure and it is considered, by the medical profession, very likely that the stress could have triggered off breast cancer two years later and for which I am still having treatment. I have had to retire 5 years earlier than planned. My solicitor still has the file on this. I was not well enough nor could I afford to take Civil action. The law as of then ruled out going to an Industrial Tribunal.