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Bullying at work

The INMO has teamed up with the National College of Ireland and NUI Galway to undertake a study on bullying and needs your help

The INMO conducted a survey of its members in 1993 that sought to review the extent to which bullying in the workplace was affecting their working life. This led to an INMO policy on bullying and eventually to the HSE policy on bullying and harassment being negotiated.

Within the Irish public healthcare system, bullying in the workplace should be addressed through the ‘Dignity at Work Policy of the Health Service Executive’ that came into operation on 1 May 2004. Yet academic and practitioner evidence suggests that nurses/midwives working in Ireland continue to frequently experience workplace bullying. This is reported to have very negative consequences on the personal health, relationships and families of nurses and midwives and adds to already high levels of stress experienced working within the health services.

At the INMO annual conference 2014 there was a motion put forward to repeat this study and the INMO has partnered with the National College of Ireland and the National University of Ireland Galway to conduct a survey on current levels of workplace bullying experienced by members. Critically, the survey is seeking the input of nurses and midwives on how bullying can be reduced and what support is needed if bullying in the workplace is witnessed or experienced.

The survey is now live at www.inmo.ie and is available until July 1, 2014. Your input is critical to the success of this study. The survey is completely anonymous. No one will ever know that you participated.

The study is headed by Prof Maura Sheehan at NUI Galway who has published widely on issues of workplace discrimination and injustice.

Commenting on the survey, Maura said: “The focus groups that my study colleague, Dr TJ McCabe at the National College of Ireland, has held with nurses in Ireland about their experiences with bullying were shocking and very disturbing. As researchers, it became clear that we need to conduct a survey of nurses and midwives to establish the extent of this problem and most importantly, to formulate recommendations on how bullying at work can be reduced and the types of support that victims and witnesses need.

“In order to give our findings credibility, we need a large response rate from all nurses/midwives working in Ireland and specifically INMO members as the largest trade union representing nurses and midwives.”

Phil Ní Sheaghdha, INMO director of industrial relations, also urged members to take the ten minutes to complete this study.

“It is unfortunate that INMO members are still reporting high levels of bullying in the workplace. Representation of members alleged against, and making allegations, is a big part of the workload of our industrial relations staff. We do need to examine the current situation. We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with the researchers led by Prof Maura Sheehan and to roll out this survey.

“It is very important that a significant number of completed surveys is returned. In addition to the weight this brings to the research, the INMO is delighted to advise that Prof Sheehan is using personal research monies to donate €1,000 to the INMO’s benevolent fund to demonstrate her commitment to the survey and her appreciation for the time members spend to complete the survey. This will be increased by €500 if the target response rate of 1,000 completed surveys is achieved. Spot prizes will also be awarded to the three INMO branches with the highest number of completed surveys.

“Therefore please encourage all your colleagues to complete the survey on www.inmo.ie, available from now until July 1, 2014.”

Your input is critical to study’s success
The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete online on the INMO website and the evaluation and results of the survey will be available to the INMO in October 2014.

The survey is completely anonymous. You have been asked to identify your INMO branch – this is only to allow the allocation of spot prizes to the three INMO branches with the greatest number of completed surveys.

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, do not hesitate to contact Phil Ni Sheaghdha, INMO director of industrial relations, at Tel: 01 6640603 or Prof Sheehan by email: Maura.Sheehan@nuigalway.ie

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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie