Your right to speak freely

May 28, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Questions about retaliation and reprisal in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences have recently come to my attention. That is, whether individuals within the Rady Faculty are protected if they raise a complaint or co-operate with an investigation within the University of Manitoba.

Retaliation is not tolerated by the University of Manitoba and the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. This means that no U of M member shall be subject to any measure that adversely affects his or her working conditions or educational experience, as a result of participating in a University investigation or review process. This includes any joint reviews and investigations affecting the clinical work and learning environment at U of M affiliated health-care sites.

An individual can access a number of different avenues – summarized below – if concerned about reprisal or retaliation. Individuals may bring forth their concerns and participate in the reviews of concerns with the intent of ensuring the integrity of the University community.

  1. Under the Respectful Work and Learning Environment and Sexual Assault Procedure (University of Manitoba):

A Complainant, Respondent, witness, and/or any other person who has sought advice regarding the Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy or the Sexual Assault Policy, who has brought forward allegations of a Breach, who has made a Formal Complaint, who has cooperated with an Investigation, or who has rejected a sexual solicitation or advance, is entitled to be protected from a Reprisal. An individual may complain about an alleged Reprisal to the Investigator or to the HRCMO. (section 2.58)  

  1. The Max Rady College of Medicine’s Prevention of Learner Mistreatment Policy clearly indicates that individuals are entitled to be protected from retaliation:

A complainant, respondent, witness, and/or any other person who has sought advice regarding Learner mistreatment, who has brought forward allegations, who has made a report or who has cooperated with an investigation, is entitled to be protected from retaliation. Retaliatory action of any sort during or following the investigation is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Accusations that retaliation has occurred will be subject to investigation and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.” (section 4.14)

  1. Interim measures may be implemented respecting a reprisal, if needed.

The University’s Safe Disclosure (Whistleblower) Policy (University of Manitoba) provides protection from reprisal for individuals making a disclosure in accordance with The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act (Manitoba).

  1. As well, if the individual is an employee in a certified bargaining unit, he or she may challenge a reprisal, through the grievance process or applicable collective agreement. A non-unionized employee may contact Human Resources. A student can challenge a reprisal through an appeal process set out in the Student Discipline Bylaw, the academic appeal policy relating to their Program, or other applicable discipline or academic appeal routes within the University.

We are committed to ensuring a safe, respectful and supportive learning and working environment in which all individuals are enabled and encouraged to excel.

There are many supports to assist in addressing one’s concerns about retribution. The “Speak Up” button can be utilized. As well, the University’s Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management is a resource available to all University members. Faculty and staff may contact Human Resources and their union representatives. Learners may contact Student Affairs and Student Services at Bannatyne Campus representatives, including Student Advocacy. Medical learners also have support available to them through PARIM and Doctors Manitoba. There is no wrong door in addressing one’s concerns about retribution or retaliation.

All concerns and complaints raised in accordance with applicable policies will be thoroughly reviewed and investigated, and any breaches appropriately addressed. We therefore encourage all individuals to access appropriate avenues to ensure an environment free of discrimination, harassment and mistreatment.