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.

Help make a difference –

*answer our survey,

*contribute to the blog, or

*contact us.

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)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some ideas for Caroline

Joydeep Hor, managing principal of specialist employment law firm People + Culture Strategies, states that
"Workplace behaviour must be treated as a strategic priority and adequate resources must be devoted to the regular evaluation and addressing of issues that may arise such as bullying or harassment. In fact, workplace cultures are referred to with increasing frequency in cases of workplace bullying or harassment, particularly when reported incidents are not escalated or addressed appropriately."

We and others have repeatedly drawn attention to the culture of bullying at the University of Newcastle.

"To effectively manage a workplace culture, employers first need to be attuned to signals of a problem or gap in the culture. Hor explains that an increase in staff turnover, grievances and absenteeism are key indicators that there may be an issue with the workplace culture."

We know from our survey that a substantial number of staff/ex-staff either have left or are considering leaving the University because of the bullying culture.

People + Culture Strategies have provided some advice concerning workplace culture.  

  • "implement regular staff surveys, including 360 degree reviews to monitor for culture issues
  • conduct exit interviews with outgoing employees to identify any culture issues
  • complete a regular analysis and review of employee leave patterns, especially sick leave
  • regularly evaluate the number of staff grievances and types
  • managers and supervisors should be trained to make informal observations and identify issues
  • regular training in behaviour and culture should be a prominent part of human resource’s deliverables, and
  • allocate adequate resources to achieve compliance, such as in budgets."
These strategies may be of use to you, Caroline, if you are at all concerned with dealing with the bullying culture at the University.

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