Dear EFAP: baffled by the No Bully telephone line

Thank you to those who have written to “Dear EFAP” for input on your dilemmas. As you are aware, we read every inquiry that comes in, but we are only able to print a small selection of responses. Our “pithy” answers are modeled after the lighter-hearted Dear Abby style and are grounded in common sense. If your issues require a more personalized level of support, please call Employee Wellness/EFAP at 1 (800) 505-4929 and we can confidentially book you a counselling appointment with a senior level therapist.

We welcome all inquiries – please submit these to dear.efap@efap.ca. All printed responses use the anonymous descriptor that you sign your inquiry with and do not reveal any identifying information. Our goal is to support you through insight and common sense.

Below is our response to the next selection – enjoy!

Dear EFAP

I called the No Bully telephone line as I wanted to anonymously report a colleague who I think is bullying me and have them reprimanded. I also wanted to report my manager who is on me and have them fired. The No Bully telephone line said that they could help me debrief the situation and take down a complaint and pass it along to HR, but that they could not do what I asked. What gives?

  • Baffled

Dear Baffled

I do hear your frustration in managing this situation. I wasn’t sure how best to answer, and I did a bit of research on your behalf. Thank you for bringing it forward as it appears that there is some confusion about what the No Bully telephone line does.

Although the associates who run this line can take down information for laying a compliant under the respectful workplace policy, they then pass it on to Employee Engagement as you noted above. The No Bully telephone line was created to support employees by providing a safe and confidential place for them to debrief their experiences, allow them to process their feelings and decide what they might like to do.

The associates on this line help callers voice their experience, examine different sides of the story and learn about ways to effectively communicate with colleagues and managers about disagreement. They also connect callers with resources around conflict resolution and teach what bullying, disrespectful behaviour and workplace incivility might look like. (PHC employees have some nuisances to their service. If you are a PHC employee, please call the line and they can explain.).

If a person wants to lay a complaint, the No Bully line associates can take down the complaint and pass it along to HR. The associates do not investigate or make decisions in any of these matters. Those are all managed through employee relations and the HR advisors.

If you are interested in learning more or asking the associates about what they do, please do give them a call at 1 (844) NO-BULLY. If you are interested in knowing what reporting options that you have that might lead to investigations, you can reach out to your Human Resources Advisor or Shop Steward.

If this matter is still causing you distress, it might be helpful to discuss it with a confidential counsellor. Please do call us at 1 (800) 505-4929.

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The advice offered in this column is meant to be used as general guidance based on the facts provided. The opinions or views expressed should not be relied on as treatment or counselling services. If you are a VCH staff member and find yourself in need of counselling or support, please contact Employee Wellness/EFAP toll free at 1 (800) 505-4929 or (604) 872-4929, your family doctor, or another appropriately trained and qualified specialist.

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