Administrative Procedure 403
RESPONDING TO ALLEGATIONS OF INTIMIDATION & HARASSMENT
Employees have the right to be free from intimidation and harassment in the workplace. This right is established through legislation, jurisprudence, administrative law, and collective agreements. Beyond the legal requirements placed upon employers, the District believes that the relationships and interactions between all employees must be based upon courtesy and respect and are to provide models for students in the District. It is in part through these considerate and respectful interactions of employees at all levels and in all circumstances that the schools can develop a positive and safe environment that supports students learning and positive relations with parents and the community.
- These procedures take into consideration the following principles:
- Harassment is a sensitive issue; therefore, the complainant may find it difficult to tell someone about their concerns;
- Everyone involved in a harassment investigation is to feel they are being treated in a fair and impartial manner;
- In the application of this Administrative Procedure with reference to employees who are members of the Saanich Teachers’ Association or the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 441, the terms and conditions of the respective Collective Agreements will be observed;
- A complaint made in a malicious and/or vexatious manner is considered to be unacceptable under this procedure on harassment;
- The ultimate goal of these procedures is resolution.
- Awareness Program
- All District employees shall be required to attend the Intimidation and Harassment Awareness sessions in order to ensure full awareness of the definitions of behaviours that constitute intimidation and harassment and those that do not.
- An information package about intimidation and harassment will be published and made available to all new employees (support workers, teachers, teachers-on-call, administrators and excluded staff) in all schools and all other worksites.
- Information will be given to all Executive Members, school-based administrators and any other excluded supervisory personnel with regard to special issues affecting the relationship between supervisors and employees being supervised.
- Those who feel that they may have been or are being, subject to harassment may contact one of the following individuals:
- An administrator, supervisor/manager;
- The Director of Human Resources; and/or
- A union/association representative.
- The complainant is urged to make a complaint with one of the above individuals with whom they feel most comfortable. It is understood that, in some cases, it may not be appropriate to make the complaint to your immediate administrator/supervisor/manager.
- Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible, on a need-to-know basis, throughout the informal and formal procedures of resolution, as well as the appeal procedure.
- Informal Resolution
- The Complainant may choose to speak directly with the Respondent. Employees are to make a reasonable effort to resolve concerns related to intimidation and harassment at the school or worksite level through discussion and open dialogue with the Respondent prior to making a formal complaint.
- The Complainant may approach their administrator/supervisor or the Director of Human Resources for assistance with resolution. The Complainant may also wish to contact their union/association representative.
- The Director of Human Resources may determine that a mediator be assigned for resolution rather than the administrator/supervisor if the administrator/supervisor was not able to achieve resolution agreeable to both parties.
- The administrator/supervisor will initiate the informal resolution process. The purpose of this process is to resolve the complaint between the Complainant and Respondent. It is not the purpose of the informal resolution process to determine whether harassment did occur.
- Failing resolution through the informal process or if the agreement for resolution has been breached, the Complainant may file a written complaint with the Director of Human Resources.
- Formal Resolution
- A complaint of personal or sexual harassment or intimidation must be made in writing to the Director of Human Resources. If the complaint is against the Director of Human Resources, the complaint must be made in writing to the Superintendent who will follow the procedures outlined in this Administrative Procedure as far as is possible. If the complaint is made against the Superintendent, the matter shall be referred to the Board Chair to determine appropriate procedures.
- On receipt of the complaint, the Director will undertake a preliminary investigation to make a determination as to whether the complaint falls within the definitions of intimidation and harassment and warrants further investigation.
- In the event that the Director determines that the complaint does not fall within the definition, the Complainant will be so notified in writing. Appeals from a decision of the Director may be made, where deemed necessary, through Board Policy 16 - Appeals Bylaw or through contractual appeal processes.
- If the Director determines that the complaint falls within the definition of intimidation or harassment, they will:
- Notify the Superintendent that a complaint is to be further investigated;
- Notify the Complainant of their determination of the complaint;
- Notify the person against whom the complaint has been made, providing a general statement about the nature of the complaint;
- Where the complaint is made against a member of the STA or CUPE, advise the appropriate union that a complaint about a member has been made, with a general statement as to the nature of the complaint;
- Where appropriate, and where the Complainant consents, arrange a meeting with the Respondent with a view to resolving the dispute on the basis of a resolution that is satisfactory to the Complainant and Respondent;
- Conduct the investigation as expeditiously and thoroughly as possible;
- Share the results of the completed confidential report with the Superintendent and with those who need to know the result of the report.
- The Superintendent may refer the report where appropriate to legal advisors, members of the Executive, or others, to assist in determination of appropriate action to be taken with respect to the complaint.
- Where the complaint has been made against a CUPE or STA member, the discipline procedures outlined in the appropriate collective agreement will be followed.
- Where the complaint has been made against an excluded management employee or a school administrator, the procedures outlined in Administrative Procedure 451 - Complaints Related to a Member of the Management Team will be followed.
- At any time during the course of the investigation the parties may reach resolution or settlement of the matter. Where both parties agree, mediation may be used to facilitate resolution. Any resolution or settlement agreement reached shall be put in writing and signed by both parties. At this point, the process is concluded.
- Confidentiality shall be kept by all those involved at all stages of the complaint investigation and subsequent processes.
- No one covered by this Administrative Procedure shall be subject to reprisal, threat of reprisal or discipline for making a complaint that the individual reasonably believed to be valid.