The Orion

Bullying a concern for university workers

Yessenia Funes

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Image courtesy of The California State University.


Concerns of workplace bullying of California State University employees, including professors, were brought up at a Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach Tuesday.

John Orr, a California State University Employee’s Union representative of employees in clerical and administrative support services at Cal State Fullerton, mentioned it first.

Two employees he met took early retirement to get escape bullying by their manager, he said.

“Bullying is a disease, and it spreads from campus to campus, from department to department,” Orr said.

Susan Smith, representing employees in technical support services at Cal State Fullerton, echoed some of Orr’s comments.

Smith said she has met faculty who retired early because they were bullied.

It’s become an accepted culture, she said.

“Stop workplace bullying,” Smith said. “Develop a policy that is system wide and mean it. Take some action. Make sure it’s enforced because if you don’t do something about bullying, then you are part of the bullying.”

Chico State’s policy defines bullying as “intentional intimidation or infliction of emotional distress, characterized by verbal abuse, derogatory remarks, insults and epithets, verbal and physical behavior that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating or humiliating; intentional sabotage of an employee’s work performance,” according to its website.

Long Beach State’s policy tells its campus how to report it if they experience it and Cal State San Bernadino is working on training to help its campus understand it, Orr said.

“The pieces exist throughout the system,” he said. “We need you to put it together and help all the campuses have access to this, so once again I come before you and ask please do something. Bullying is a problem in the Cal State system.”

Other issues discussed by the board Tuesday included:

  • 28 percent of California State University Employees Union members reported working a second job to “make ends meet,” said Alisandra Brewer, CSUEU vice president of representation bargaining updates.
  • Over the next three years, $15 million will fund near-term deferred maintenance, a $63 billion problem.
  • Students can now regain Cal Grant eligibility even if they lost it the year before. The Cal Grant program originally made students ineligible for the grant permanently if they lost it at all.

Yessenia Funes can be reached at [email protected] or @yessfun on Twitter.

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Bullying a concern for university workers