Bullying at the University of Newcastle (Australia)

We are working to highlight and stop academic workplace bullying at the University of Newcastle, Australia. We are a group of staff and students who have been bullied for speaking out about misconduct.

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This will help us gather as much information as possible so that we can put an end to this bullying with its’ decades-long history.

“Systemic bullying, hazing and abuse generally are identified with poor, weak or toxic organizational cultures. Cultures that are toxic have stated ethical values that are espoused but not employed, and other non-ethical values which are operational, dominant, but unstated.

Such cultures thrive when good people are silent, silenced, or pushed out; when bad apples are vocal, retained, promoted, and empowered; and when the neutral majority remain silent in order to survive. Those who are most successful in such a toxic culture are those who have adapted to it, or adopted it as their own”. (McKay, Arnold, Fratzl & Thomas, 2008)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Changes to policy by McConkey

In a previous post, we mentioned the email from McConkey, DVC at this University.  He spoke about the distress caused by anti-bullying emails and posters.

Remember that he said the  
"campaign goes against everything that the University stands for as outlined in our code of conduct - honesty, fairness, trust, accountability and respect."

Well, just after he sent the email, McConkey added some new examples of actions that are considered to be harassment (Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy 941).(Amendment of wording in Attachment 1, Approved DVC(A&GR) 1 November 2011).

"Behaviour which may constitute harassment may include, but is not limited to: .......................
  • displaying or sending offensive or pornographic information such as posters, letters, e-mails, faxes, screen savers, websites or books;
  • making offensive telephone, electronic mail, or other electronic communications;
  • unwelcome invitations especially after prior refusal."
THe Oxford English Dictionary defines "offensive" as "Giving, or liable to give, offence; displeasing; annoying; insulting."

So if you send anything to anyone that they do not want to hear, or anything that they feel annoys them, displeases them or offends them, it can be considered "offensive" and so you can be accused of "harrassment".

Yet another way of silencing dissent and preventing freedom of speech.

Of course, when McConkey sends emails about the latest promotions of bullies, plagiarists, etc, that does not displease or offend or annoy those of us who have suffered - so that is definitely not harassment!

12 comments:

  1. We used to be a nanny state when we were told how to behave, now we are definitely a police state when we are told to shut up. Why are they getting away with this level of mania ? What are these control freaks frightened of? Do they think they'll last for ever in their positions of power?

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  2. I feel really harassed by these dreadful emails telling me about the promotion of bullies, plagiarists and awards given to ass lickers. It makes me vomit to see these guy elevated to new heights of power. They get the tax payers to fund their so-called research and publications and backstab their colleagues like no one's business. We should run a separate department for these sorts of people so they can leave the rest of us alone to do our good work.

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  3. Was he train by the secret service?

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  4. Are we talking about an Australian?

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  5. Our days are numbered so we have to hurry up and grab as many goodies as we can.

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  6. What's the point of changing the policy. If they have any decency, they should change the way honest and hardworking academics are treated.

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  7. A friend of Michelle'sNovember 19, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    On Thursday 17 November, in the Workers Compensation Commission, the University of Newcastle Insurer accepted full liability for the injuries that Michelle Adams suffered as a result of the bullying and harassment at the University of Newcastle. She no longer can work and has lost more than just her career. What is the University going to do to those staff members who did this to her? I guess nothing, the University seems too busy trying to block information on anti bullying, rather then doing anything to the people who use their power to destroy other people's lives. Perhaps if NSW had the same laws as Victoria then true justice could prevail. In the meantime, I hope people at the University of Newcastle who have been treated like Michelle Adams take her example and fight to the end. She always said "the truth will win."

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  8. That Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy is just a load of empty words and very few people know it to exist. I just hope the man/woman who designed the policy act accordingly.

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  9. Do they really believe in it themselves?

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  10. Who the hell are they trying to fool anyway? People have eyes and they see what's happening.

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  11. "Systemic bullying, hazing and abuse generally are identified with poor, weak or toxic organizational cultures. Cultures that are toxic have stated ethical values that are espoused but not employed, and other non-ethical values which are operational, dominant, but unstated.
    Such cultures thrive when good people are silent, silenced, or pushed out; when bad apples are vocal, retained, promoted, and empowered; and when the neutral majority remain silent in order to survive. Those who are most successful in such a toxic culture are those who have adapted to it, or adopted it as their own". (McKay, Arnold, Fratzl & Thomas, 2008).

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  12. Lets not forget were we live and the fundemental values we have as a nation, as a people and as seen by the rest of the world, please do let not allow these values to be diminished by people of likes of Saunders and McConkey.

    http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/choose-australia/about-australia/five-freedoms.htm

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