Unite has welcomed a commitment by the RSPCA’s new Chief Executive Chris Sherwood to tackle the charity’s culture of bullying and harassment, which was revealed in a survey undertaken by the union.
The confidential survey undertaken by Unite was responded to by 622 RSPCA staff. The survey found that almost one in three staff (29.3%) had experienced some degree of bullying in the previous 12 months. In total 37% of staff had witnessed someone being bullied in the past year.
46% of respondents believed that bullying was a serious or very serious problem within the organisation. The most likely source of bullying was from senior managers (38%).
In Third Sector magazine, Sherwood said there was no place for bullying of any nature within the RSPCA, and that the charity is committed to establishing a wellbeing action group, which will work with Unite to review all relevant policies and explore ways to ensure that people are able to raise concerns and access support.
Despite the support for action from Sherwood, members say they do not feel that there has yet been any change in the culture since the survey results were published.
Unite national officer for the charity and voluntary sector Siobhan Endean said:
“Unite welcomes Chris Sherwood’s commitment to tackle the culture of bullying and harassment which is deeply ingrained in the RSPCA’s culture.
“It is essential that the commitment to work with Unite to develop a long-term dignity at work strategy is fully undertaken to tackle the problems exposed by the workforce.
“Unite’s reps at the RSPCA should be congratulated on their hard work at putting together the comprehensive survey, which is now acting as a catalyst to drive forward much needed organisational change.”
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