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
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, August 31, 2012
Injured or ill workers, their families, support people and interested community members are all welcome to attend.
The aim of this meeting will discuss planning for future meetings and activities.
Date: 3rd of September, 2012
Time: 2-4 PM
Location: Newcastle, Workers Health Centre, Suite 5, 453 Hunter St, Newcastle
(The Workers Health Centre is situated in the arcade next to "Hamburger Haven").
If you are interested in attending please contact John on (02) 9749 7566, or email: email@example.com
"It is injured workers and the community who already bear an overwhelming majority of the costs associated with their injuries or illnesses. Injured workers much more so. Employers (and no doubt insurers), on the other hand continue to get an increasingly free-ride."
To read more about this petition and to sign it, click here.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Only one more submission has been authorised for publication - No. 216 from the Government of South Australia.
All the submissions so far authorised for publication (115 submissions) can be read on the Parliamentary Inquiry website. Three of the individual ones (nos 8, 25 and 53) are submissions from ex-academic staff of the University of Newcastle who reported staff misconduct.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
He states that "Probably the most telling argument against legislative intervention is definitional". He gives examples of "bullying":-
- "criticism by a superior about work presented"
- "giving of directions or merely disagreeing with the subordinate"
His answer to bullying is to "remove the incentive to create disputation" and
"reset the rules at the workplace so that staff understand that their role is to
facilitate the workplace and not to frustrate managerial prerogative".
According to him, legislation against bullying will "cause absolute mayhem
in the workplace".
We invite Mr Phillips, who states he is a partner at the national law firm
Middletons, to read the three submissions published (see here nos. 8, 25
and 53) about the experiences of three ex-academics from the University
Tell us, Mr Phillips,
- how you would describe the experiences of these three academics ?
- are their experiences merely "in the eye of the beholder"?
- are their experiences merely "subjective"?
Monday, August 20, 2012
S.S. (no. 53) has reported her experiences of being bullied in Speech Pathology at the University of Newcastle as a result of reporting staff misconduct (e.g. soft marking, told to ignore plagiarism, conflict of interest, etc) to the head of discipline. SS was told by the head of discipline to relocate to another office on the other side of the University, not to enter it during office hours and not to communicate with the head of discipline. This delayed her government-funded research for 14 weeks.
SS also reports that she cannot obtain employment - her applications "go missing". her emails are "never received". Her previous teaching in Sydney evaporated. She is shunned by previous research colleagues and other speech pathologists in universities in Australia. She has been physically prevented from attending her inter-university research group, was unable to obtain her mail, and has also been prevented from attending workshops. She has been isolated from her discipline in Australia.
SS also states that she was never given any reason for this, either before, during or since. When she made a Protected Disclosure and a complaint to the University, she was told that she had been thrown out of Speech Pathology because she had made a complaint about being thrown out of Speech Pathology!!
This additional submission provides further evidence of how the University of Newcastle uses bullying and collusion to cover-up staff misconduct.
In all three submissions, staff involved in this bullying and collusion have been rewarded with promotion and/or other rewards. This sends a clear message about the University of Newcastle - bullies are rewarded and the victims of the bullying are destroyed.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
People who had been bullied were invited to present impact statements to the Committee. Twenty people gave impact statements.
THREE (3) (of the twenty) were ex-academic staff of the University of Newcastle who had been bullied out of the University for reporting staff misconduct.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The Committee has a huge job to read and edit these publications. News is that there will be another lot of submissions authorised for publication tomorrow, Thursday.
Exciting news - there should be more submissions from bullied staff and students from the University of Newcastle authorised for publication. We will keep you alerted to this!
Remember what John Howard said "Stay alert but not alarmed".
So be alert - it is the University of Newcastle that has to be alarmed.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
"world first Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use: Translating Innovative Prevention and Treatment will receive $2.5 million in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding over the next five years. "
In our survey about bullying at the university, the effect of bullying resulted in 21.5% of our respondents (i.e. 40 individuals) reporting that they had increased their alcohol and smoking intake.
This increased intake accompanied reports of mental health issues resulting from their bullying viz.
- depression (56.4%)
- suicidal thoughts (23.1%)
- panic attacks (27.2%)
- sleep problems (61.5%).
Thursday, August 9, 2012
For visitors to our blog, there are now two published submissions from ex-staff at the uni - KH (see previous post) and MA (Michelle Adams).
Michelle's submission can be read in detail on the Workplace Bullying Inquiry's website (M.A.). She has also had her experiences reported in a number of newspaper articles (see right-hand side of this web-page and a very recent one here).
She states that
"In 2012 the Workers Compensation Commission (WCC) determined that my psychological injury was permanent and caused entirely by the bullying and workplace harassment I had experienced from the University of . I was awarded compensation. Days latter the University of released a statement to the Herald, denying that it was liable for my injury."
Michelle's submission provides clear evidence of the University failing to follow its own policies, providing erroneous information to various legal bodies (the Police, Workers Compensation Commission, Human Rights Commission, medical practitioners, etc) and using university funding to pay for legal services.
These two submissions provide the public with a clear picture of how the University treats anyone who does not collude in the cover-up of staff misconduct.
Additional submissions relating to the University, not yet published, will support and confirm the bullying situation at the University of Newcastle.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
"in July 2008 under considerable duress I signed a confidentiality agreement (aligned with a ‘voluntary’ redundancy) stating that I would not discuss my employment with a third person or take legal action against the University. However, I will always regret being complicit in a cover up of malicious workplace behaviour at the University ."
Under the parliamentary privilege afforded to submissions to the Workplace Bullying Inquiry, KH now has the opportunity to have her experiences of being bullied out of the University of Newcastle published in the public domain.
Her maltreatment included a survey by the university to determine whether her “return would adversely impact on the working environment for staff and/or the operations of the area". This survey of discriminatory questions was completed by eight staff members, even though only two had any personal involvement with KH's dispute. How much lower can an organisation sink!
At last, the extreme lengths that the University of Newcastle goes to to get rid of ethical and hard-working academics is there for the public to read.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
A total of 71submissions have so far been authorised for publication.
At last individual submissions (indicated by initials), including some relating to the University of Newcastle, can be viewed on the website.
This is a huge step - it means that even people who were gagged by their organisations have the opportunity to publicly report the bullying they experienced without fear of litigation (under parliamentary privilege).
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the Jews And I did not speak out
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
"University of Newcastle has very quietly reduced student and union representation on the governing council of the Uni. Once there were four. Now there are two!
This is another example of the Uni ignoring the law, rules, policies, etc.
Help stop the Uni from halving student representation - sign this petition.