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Posted by Jeff Mullan, MassDOT Secretary & CEO

The Round Table made stops in Worcester and Boston yesterday.  In both venues, we talked about the fact that retaliation can sometimes exist in the workplace.  I know that they were tough meetings for some people, particularly those who feel that they have been subject to some form of retaliation.  But I was glad we had the meetings, and I hope they were too.  The whole purpose of the Round Table is to discuss workplace issues and to begin to address them together.   

I was at the Worcester meeting.  I learned that people feel very strongly about the issue, that it can exist in several forms, that it’s detrimental, and that people want it stopped.  We discussed the fact that our Office of Employee Relations is a good place for employees to bring their concerns for discussion, disclosure, and further review. 

I also heard several good suggestions, including one to adopt a zero tolerance written policy for this type of behavior, one to set goals for making and measuring progress on the issue, and one to provide training to our employees on how to avoid, spot, and deal with it. We will follow-up on these suggestions as there is no place in MassDOT for this type of behavior.  After we finished the main discussion, we had a great question and answer session about how to make our system better.  I explained that the Round Table is a forum for conversation and urged people to create their own. 

I left Worcester feeling very good about the meeting.  I was especially pleased about the tone of the dialogue, the respect shown by all parties, and the ideas that were suggested.  It’s obvious to me that people have a lot of pride in their work.  One key to what we are doing is to make things like the Round Table stick – to imbed them into our organization so that they are simply part of what we do.  Another is to keep moving forward and following up.  We are striving to do both.  For your part, you can continue to participate in the conversation and to let us know what works and what doesn’t.  Working together, we are making good progress.  Please keep at it.

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