It Is really difficult to put into words all that has happened in the last couple of weeks. Let’s just say that the ombudsman kicks butt. Their staff accomplished more in one week then the unit and the IPSC pretended to do in the last three months. In fact all the stalling was nothing more than more bullying on the part of my unit. And they continued to get away with it.
It was obvious from the very beginning that the unit did everything they could to stall, and make things more difficult for me for the reporting of my injury. They gave me the wrong forms, they filled them out incorrectly, they didn’t send them to me, they did everything wrong. The IPSC was useless in all of this. They never stepped in, just made more excuses.
I’m ashamed that I ever worked for these people. In the middle of all of this, three months without any salary and about to lose my house, the IPSC had the nerve to send me an email telling me to come in to sign my PER. I sent them back an email telling them that I didn’t have enough gas to get it and they should be working on my file and the priority should be to get my compensation. I never heard back from them.
But I sure heard back from the ombudsman. He followed up on everything and he called everyone on my behalf and believe me they suddenly found my file and suddenly could get things done.
Another big surprise in all of this was the primary reserve list (PRL). They had a captain assigned to me and he got everything investigated. He met with me and my assisting officer and went through a checklist of items that should have been done a year ago. He told me that I should receive a cheque within a week if not a few days. I have to say that I didn’t really believe him because I’d heard this from my unit so many times. I didn’t really understand the purpose of the PRL, but I see now that they really stepped up and made everything happen.
Not only did I receive a cheque of backpay for three months, but I received it exactly as I wanted it. Some cash, some deposited in my bank account. I had actually missed over $2000 in house payments. And this included charges for nonpayment. I will be discussing this with the ombudsman to correct this.
Although the CO at my unit did not want to sign for my compensation, he had no choice he had to rely on the recommendation of the ombudsman and the commanding officer of the PRL who authorized it.
I know it sounds very smooth reading it here for the outcome, but in reality this involves multiple signatures from so many different people in so many different areas of the city and many phone calls to get doctors appointments and other things done very quickly so that my pay could be done quickly.
You should go into this with the idea that YOU are the priority for the entire base. I know is very difficult for us to believe that, but it is very necessary that you put forward that everything needs to be done now as if that your case is an emergency and needs to be dealt with at this moment.
I am exhausted mentally just doing all of this and trying to keep all of this straight. It was really my husband who took over and demanded everything. Because despite feeling better all of this is all too much for me all at once. I feel so bad for those military members who have to go through this on their own with no advocate on their behalf. It is so unfair how we are treated after our service to have to fight for compensation when everyone knows that we entered the Canadian forces perfectly healthy.
I didn’t serve overseas, but I sure supported those who did go. I supported it with overtime weekends working so hard doing more than was asked of me during OP TEMPO. And all it took was one insecure jealous person with a little bit of authority and convincing the rest of the chain of command , that’s all it took to take all of that away from me.
Bullying is so commonplace in the Canadian Armed Forces it is embarrassing. As long as the chain of command continues to tolerate the behavior and the excuses by the perpetrators it will continue. How can I go from having an excellent PER one month and then one month later suddenly I am a problem and insubordinate and need to be gotten rid of?
If this were an isolated case it would be sad. But it isn’t. I know so many other people that the Canadian forces loses every year because of intense bullying that is tolerated. It is evil and insidious and must stop now.
I hope someday that I can be proud to be a member of the Canadian forces, but for right now I am not. Unless something is done about this and I will do everything I can to try to stop it. For now I have to concentrate on getting better and not having to fight these ridiculous battles of compensation.
If you are being bullied in the Canadian forces please do not give up your rights. You have a right to a safe workplace. Even though your chain of command may support the other person, you still have a right to a safe environment. All I can say is if you know you are right please contact the DND Ombudsman.
The best compliment the ombudsman gave me is this: “I knew that everything your unit said didn’t add up and were all excuses. But everything you said made sense after I investigated it. I knew you were honest.”
I know it is hard to be honest in the beginning. In short term it may seem like the bullies are winning because they lie and they make up things for their advantage. But in the long run your character will show through and your honesty will be rewarded.
Did I do any painting during this? You bet! It was either that or go insane. Here is one I did one night when all of this was getting to be too much. I call it caring for Our own and is a representation of the people at my unit and how they treated me. And all the other ill and injured that they deal with every day. They are only pieces of meat that they fight over for their own advantage.