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)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Parliamentary report on Workplace Bullying

The parliamentary inquiry states that it has heard over 300 "deeply moving" experiences of bullying, some of which have ended in ruined careers and suicidal thoughts/attempts.  A number of us who were employed by the University of Newcastle spoke at the inquiry's public hearings - for those of us that did, we had all had our careers destroyed, our mental and physical health damaged and had considered suicide.  Our submissions regarding our experiences of bullying at the University of Newcastle can be read on the parliamentary website (nos 8, 25 and 53 - other submissions regarding the uni were considered confidentially).

The "committee singled out "psychologically abusive group behaviour" in which workers banded together to try to drive a worker from their workplace, as a particular concern. The phenomenon, known as mobbing, was most prolific in nursing and teaching".


This mobbing behaviour has been of specific concern to us - employees of the University of Newcastle collude with each other to cover-up any report of misconduct - thus the cover-up continues through the ranks from the individual involved in the misconduct, through heads of discipline, heads of school to Pro-Vice-Chancellors of faculties, human resources, and into senior management, including the Vice-Chancellor.

It is bad enough when one person tries to cover-up their misconduct but a million times worse when the whole organisation colludes together to protect their position and hold on power.  What does that say about the bullying culture endemic in the University of Newcastle?
The parliamentary inA Parliamentary committee has concluded a special investigation into workplace bullying in which it heard more than 300 ''deeply moving'' stories, some of which had ended in ruined careers or suicide attempts after months of psychological warfare.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/police-action-urged-on-mobbings-in-the-workplace/story-e6frfm1i-1226524378013#ixzz2DNEHqQUl
A Parliamentary committee has concluded a special investigation into workplace bullying in which it heard more than 300 ''deeply moving'' stories, some of which had ended in ruined careers or suicide attempts after months of psychological warfare.
Its report, Workplace Bullying: We just want it to stop, found constitutional limitations meant federal laws could not be brought in to better protect beaten-down workers.
But it recommended state governments bolster their laws and bring criminal charges against serious workplace bullying more often as a deterrent to others.
It recommended Victoria's Brodie's law be the example.
That legislation was introduced after 19-year-old bullied waitress Brodie Panlock committed suicide and means bullies can face 10 years' jail.
The committee found while physical cases of bullying were taken to court, no cases of psychological bullying had ever been pursued by authorities, despite the damage it could cause.
The committee singled out ''psychologically abusive group behaviour'' in which workers banded together to try to drive a worker from their workplace as of particular concern.
The phenomenon, known as ''mobbing'', was most prolific in teaching and nursing, it said.


Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/police-action-urged-on-mobbings-in-the-workplace/story-e6frfm1i-1226524378013#ixzz2DNE1B3nU
A Parliamentary committee has concluded a special investigation into workplace bullying in which it heard more than 300 ''deeply moving'' stories, some of which had ended in ruined careers or suicide attempts after months of psychological warfare.
Its report, Workplace Bullying: We just want it to stop, found constitutional limitations meant federal laws could not be brought in to better protect beaten-down workers.
But it recommended state governments bolster their laws and bring criminal charges against serious workplace bullying more often as a deterrent to others.
It recommended Victoria's Brodie's law be the example.
That legislation was introduced after 19-year-old bullied waitress Brodie Panlock committed suicide and means bullies can face 10 years' jail.
The committee found while physical cases of bullying were taken to court, no cases of psychological bullying had ever been pursued by authorities, despite the damage it could cause.
The committee singled out ''psychologically abusive group behaviour'' in which workers banded together to try to drive a worker from their workplace as of particular concern.
The phenomenon, known as ''mobbing'', was most prolific in teaching and nursing, it said.


Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/police-action-urged-on-mobbings-in-the-workplace/story-e6frfm1i-1226524378013#ixzz2DNE1B3nU

3 comments:

  1. Quoted here related to mobbing .. "collude with each other" ... " through the ranks".. "through heads of discipline" etc.. If the head of discipline plays such an important part of establishing the process of mobbing, why are they not being held accountable for their actions at the beginning phase. This would rule out the need for heads of schools, PVCs, VC and human resources becoming involved to support the head of discipline even when they are well aware that the head of discipline is to blame. Start establishing the starting point of such mobbings. Heads of disciplines would be a prime place to start. Treat the cause of such mobbings and not the effect. Until this occurs, nothing will change.

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  2. There is extensive literature on mobbing. Unfortunately some of us have experienced the effects of it first hand at this institution. Most unpleasant and it does affect all areas of your life. It was quite an eye opener to read through the literature on mobbing and to realise it was happening to you. Above all, it was that co workers could become so callous in their actions that was the hardest to come to grips with. Doing anything possible to take credit for your work, put downs whenever possible for trivial matters, workloads distributed unequally, trying even to collude with students in an attempt to demoralise, ignoring email correspondences, written attacks for made up accusations, and the list goes on and on.

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  3. KH former geographer bullied out of UoNNovember 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Yes and Yeahhh!! I so welcome the Parliamentary Inquiry into Workplace Bullying recognition of psychological bullying (also known as mobbing).

    Perhaps now the University of Newcastle will have to accept that bullying causes psychological workplace injuries!! Instead of their usual dismisal of any person who makes an allegation of bullying as being mentally ill. Unfortuately this recognition has come too late for me

    ReplyDelete