THE Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) yesterday expressed its concern over bullying in the workplace at a conference at Stranmillis Teacher Training College.
Around 100 participants from various backgrounds, including teaching, the health service and the Equality Commission, attended the Bullying at Work conference which addressed the issue of under-reporting of bullying in the workplace.
Frank Bunting, Northern Ireland secretary of INTO, said: ''Bullying is an unacceptable evil in our workplaces.
"It is simply not a satisfactory situation where boards of governors and employing authorities can ignore the statutory obligations in respect of teachers' health, safety and well-being.
"A failure to tackle violence against staff in schools has a cost to teachers, schools and the educational establishment in Northern Ireland.
"It is also a major factor in the continuing rise in claims of workplace stress that INTO receives on an almost daily basis.''
INTO official Tony Carlin said: ''Workplace bullying costs about pounds 3 billion per year which can come from premature retirement and legal cases but the primary reason is due to time taken off work through illness. …