Culture of respect 'woven into' force
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said the force had "moved beyond" internal issues of harassment and bullying through "concrete actions." (The Canadian Press)The letter to Blaney and the September progress report both paint a rosy picture of the RCMP's overall efforts to rid the force of oppressive behaviour and discrimination, based on 36 steps outlined in a 2013 plan. In 2014, the RCMP received 120 complaints of workplace harassment, the second-lowest number since 2005 — progress due in part to use of informal conflict resolution, Paulson's letter says. Of these, 30 were deemed to be founded, representing just 0.1 per cent of RCMP employees, he writes. In addition, of all the harassment complaints made between February 2005 and October 2014, three per cent were related to alleged sexual wrongdoing, Paulson adds. "The numbers are low and decreasing with time." The report cites several positive developments including: — A mandatory online "respectful workplace" course that focuses on building the skills and understanding needed to prevent inappropriate behaviour; — Establishment of local employee advisory committees to provide an unfiltered forum for discussion between senior management and staff on topics such as staffing, labour relations, diversity and improving communication; — Women making up almost one-third of the RCMP's senior executive committee. In a foreword to the report, Paulson notes that a 2014 public service survey showed 80 per cent of RCMP employees believed the force was respectful, up from 76 per cent in 2011, while 78 per cent felt the police force respected individual differences, an increase from 67 per cent three years earlier. "These results suggest that our focus should now shift towards a broader suite of tools and responsibilities to promote organizational health and inclusiveness," he writes. For instance, the report says in a section called 2016 and Beyond, the RCMP recently launched a mental-health strategy and will soon be audited for compliance with the Official Languages Act. "We must continue to promote and maintain a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace culture that promotes employee well-being."
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