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, January 8, 2013

New year but the same old stuff!

Brendan O'Neill in the Australian has focussed his attention on the notion of bullying, stating that "everything is defined as "bullying" these days".

He maintains that the folllowing are labelled as "bullying"
- being called out on your slackness
- being hauled over the coals for your political views
- "being put on the spot".

He considers that calling everything bullying is a result of the "touchiness of our therapeutic-era" and the belief that "people are pathetic bundles of sensitivity".

He concludes that "Bullying is now entirely in the eye of the beholder" and that "The ideas of "workplace bullying" and "university bullying" are common currency today".

In summary, he states: "In 2013, make it your resolution to never, no matter how beleaguered you feel, say, "I'm being bullied!" Those words should never cross the lips of anyone over the age of 10."

On this website we have used the term bullying to reflect serious and ongoing behaviour which negatively impacts the victim - bullying at the University of Newcastle is a serious issue.  We do not (or did not) behave as fragile, over-sensitive employees.  We were doing our jobs, usually doing them very well but the serious ongoing behaviour that we experienced has been

  • the loss of jobs, 
  • loss of health, 
  • loss of future employment,
  • loss of family and friends
  • loss of self-worth
  • ostracism etc.

A quick read of posts and comments on this blog will clearly demonstrate that we are not wilting violets who have over-reacted the the everyday rough-and-tumble of university life.

Perhaps Brendan O'Neill should read some more about the real bullying that happens rather than dismiss all reports of bullying as being frivolous and unfounded.  

How would he feel if he lost his career, future employment, mental and physical health, relationships, independence and self-worth?  What would he call that?

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