ARTICLE E.2 HARASSMENT/SEXUAL HARASSMENT
a. The employer recognizes the right of all employees to work, to conduct business and otherwise associate free from harassment or sexual harassment.
b. The employer considers harassment in any form to be totally unacceptable and will not tolerate its occurrence. Proven harassers shall be subject to discipline and/or corrective actions. Such actions may include counselling, courses that develop an awareness of harassment, verbal warning, written warning, transfer, suspension or dismissal.
c. No employee shall be subject to reprisal, threat of reprisal or discipline as the result of filing a complaint of harassment or sexual harassment which the complainant reasonably believes to be valid.
d. All parties involved in a complaint agree to deal with the complaint expeditiously and to respect confidentiality.
e. The complainant and/or the alleged offender, if a member(s) of the Local, may at the choice of the employee be accompanied by a representative(s) of the Local at all meetings in this procedure.
a. Harassment includes:
i. sexual harassment; or
ii. any improper behaviour that would be offensive to any reasonable person, is unwelcome, and which the initiator knows or ought reasonably to know would be unwelcome; or
iii. objectionable conduct, comment, materials or display made on either a one-time or continuous basis that would demean, belittle, intimidate, or humiliate any reasonable person; or
iv. the exercise of power or authority in a manner which serves no legitimate work purpose and which a person ought reasonably to know is inappropriate; or
v. misuses of power or authority such as intimidation, threats, coercion and blackmail.
b. Sexual harassment includes:
i. any comment, look, suggestion, physical contact, or real or implied action of a sexual nature which creates an uncomfortable working environment for the recipient, made by a person who knows or ought reasonably to know such behaviour is unwelcome; or
ii. any circulation or display of visual material of a sexual nature that has the effect of creating an uncomfortable working environment; or
iii. an implied promise of reward for complying with a request of a sexual nature; or
iv. a sexual advance made by a person in authority over the recipient that includes or implies a threat or an expressed or implied denial of an opportunity which would otherwise be granted or available and may include a reprisal or a threat of reprisal made after a sexual advance is rejected.
3. Resolution Procedure
a. Step 1
i. The complainant, if comfortable with that approach, may choose to speak to or correspond directly with the alleged harasser to express his/her feelings about the situation.
ii. Before proceeding to Step 2, the complainant may approach his/her administrative officer, staff rep or other contact person to discuss potential means of resolving the complaint and to request assistance in resolving the matter. If the matter is resolved to the complainant's satisfaction the matter is deemed to be resolved. Refer to Article E.2.5 Informal Resolution Outcomes.
b. Step 2
i. If a complainant chooses not to meet with the alleged harasser, or no agreement for resolution of the complaint has been reached, or an agreement for resolution has been breached by the alleged harasser, a complaint may be filed with the superintendent or designate.
ii. The complaint should include the specific incident(s) that form the basis of the complaint and the definitions of sexual harassment/harassment which may apply; however, the form of the complaint will in no way restrict the investigation or its conclusions.
iii. The employer shall notify in writing the alleged harasser of the complaint and provide notice of complaint or investigation.
iv. In the event the superintendent is involved either as the complainant or alleged harasser, the complaint shall, at the complainant's discretion, be immediately referred to either BCPSEA or a third party who shall have been named by prior agreement of the employer and the local who shall proceed to investigate the complaint in accordance with Step 3 and report to the board.
c. Step 3
i. The employer shall review the particulars of the complaint as provided by the complainant pursuant to Article E.2.3.b.i. The employer may request further particulars from the complainant. Upon the conclusion of such a review, the employer shall:
(1) initiate an investigation of the complaint and appoint an investigator pursuant to Article E.2.3.c.iii below, or;
(2) recommend mediation or other alternative disputes resolution processes to resolve the complaint.
ii. Should the complainant not agree with the process described in Article E.2.3.c.i(2), the employer shall initiate an investigation. The employer shall provide notice of investigation.
iii. The investigation shall be conducted by a person who shall have training and/or experience in investigating complaints of harassment. The complainant may request that the investigator shall be of the same gender as the complainant and where practicable the request will not be denied.
iv. The investigation shall be conducted as soon as is reasonably possible and shall be completed in twenty (20) working days unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, such agreement not to be unreasonably withheld.
a. Where the investigation determines harassment has taken place, the complainant shall, when appropriate, be entitled to but not limited to:
i. reinstatement of sick leave used as a result of the harassment;
ii. any necessary counselling where EFAP services are fully utilised or where EFAP cannot provide the necessary services to deal with the negative effects of the harassment;
iii. redress of any career advancement or success denied due to the negative effects of the harassment;
iv. recovery of other losses and/or remedies which are directly related to the harassment.
b. Where the investigator has concluded that harassment or sexual harassment has occurred, and the harasser is a member of the bargaining unit, any disciplinary sanctions that are taken against the harasser shall be done in accordance with provisions in the agreement regarding discipline for misconduct.
c. The local and the complainant shall be informed in writing that disciplinary action was or was not taken.
d. If the harassment results in the transfer of an employee it shall be the harasser who is transferred, except where the complainant requests to be transferred.
e. If the employer fails to follow the provisions of the collective agreement, or the complainant is not satisfied with the remedy, the complainant may initiate a grievance at Step 3 of Article A.6 (Grievance Procedure). In the event the alleged harasser is the superintendent, the parties agree to refer the complaint directly to expedited arbitration.
5. Informal Resolution Outcomes
a. When a complainant approaches an administrative officer and alleges harassment by another BCTF member, the following shall apply:
i. All discussions shall be solely an attempt to mediate the complaint;
ii. Any and all discussions shall be completely off the record and will not form part of any record;
iii. Only the complainant, respondent, and administrative officer shall be present at such meetings
iv. No discipline of any kind would be imposed on the respondent; and
v. The BCTF and its locals, based on the foregoing, will not invoke the notice of investigation and other discipline provisions of the collective agreement at meetings pursuant to Article E.2.5.a.
b. Should a resolution be reached between the complainant and the respondent at
Step One under the circumstances of Article E.2.5.a, it shall be written up and signed by both. Only the complainant and the respondent shall have copies of the resolution and they shall be used only for the purpose of establishing that a resolution was reached. No other copies of the resolution shall be made.
c. In the circumstances where a respondent has acknowledged responsibility pursuant to Article E.2.5.a, the employer may advise a respondent of the expectations of behaviour pursuant to Article E.2 in a neutral, circumspect memo. Such a memo shall be non-disciplinary in nature and shall not form part of any record. Only the respondent shall retain a copy of the memo. That the memo was sent can be referred to as proof that the respondent had been advised about the standard of conduct.
a. The employer, in consultation with the local, shall be responsible for developing and implementing an ongoing harassment and sexual harassment awareness program for all employees.
Where a program currently exists and meets the criteria listed in this agreement, such a program shall be deemed to satisfy the provisions of this article. This awareness program shall initially be for all employees and shall be scheduled at least once annually for all new employees to attend.
b. The awareness program shall include but not be limited to:
i. the definitions of harassment and sexual harassment as outlined in this Agreement;
ii. understanding situations that are not harassment or sexual harassment, including the exercise of an employer's managerial and/or supervisory rights and responsibilities;
iii. developing an awareness of behaviour that is illegal and/or inappropriate;
iv. outlining strategies to prevent harassment and sexual harassment;
v. a review of the resolution of harassment and sexual harassment as outlined in this Agreement;
vi. understanding malicious complaints and the consequences of such;
vii. outlining any Board policy for dealing with harassment and sexual harassment;
viii. outlining laws dealing with harassment and sexual harassment which apply to employees in B.C.