Nunavut MLA calls for review on GN bullying complaints
'Maybe the current processes aren't working,' says Pat Angnakak
The MLA from Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu is calling for a review on how workplace complaints are handled within the Government of Nunavut.
Pat Angnakak says a number of employees have reached out to her about workplace bullying.
"I think what we need to do is to talk about this issue more," she said.
"I would like to see a review on how things are currently and perhaps how we can make things better for people. Maybe the current processes aren't working."
If there is an issue in the workplace, the Nunavut Employees Union says a Government of Nunavut employee can file a harassment complaint. It could go all the way up to the department's deputy minister, who can then follow up with an investigation.
If the employee is not satisfied with the result, a complaint can be filed with the territory's ethics officer.
"As MLAs we're a bit of a last resort, where you can come to us and say, 'I've tried to go through the proper procedures but I'm still in this situation,'" Angnakak said.
"As MLAs we can put pressure on the minister. We want to see changes happen for the better."
Angnakak says she wants to see a review on how complaints are dealt with, either by broadening the role of the ethics officer or hiring an ombudsman.
She says the vast majority of the people who reach out to her with workplace bullying complaints are single, Inuit mothers.
"Almost all of them are. And I don't know why that is. It might be just the way things are, just the lifestyle, maybe they're not speaking up enough, I don't know," Angnakak said.
She says the territorial government needs a work environment that's open to discussions about bullying.
"There are some pretty desperate situations in some cases, and again I want to stress I don't want anyone to think I'm painting the whole GN this way, because it's certainly not all like that, but we have pockets like that and none of us should tolerate that."