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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“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)
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Silencing of whistleblowers, gagging clauses and now silencing of political activities at the University of Newcastle
The former Labor government, with the support of the Greens, enacted the SSAF legislation in 2011. The legislation re-imposes a compulsory fee on students to make them pay for basic services that should be freely provided at university campuses. It contains the stipulation that funds raised from the fee cannot be used to support political parties or the candidacy of a person for any political office.
The purpose of this anti-democratic stipulation has been clear since the legislation was introduced—to prevent student organisations from making financial grants or donations to political parties or candidates in an election, while no such restriction applies to granting funds to organisations of a religious, sporting or social nature.
Now, for the first time at any university in Australia, University of Newcastle Clubs and Societies is re-interpreting the SSAF to justify proscribing political activities that have been carried out on campuses for decades."
"It is not accidental that the management of a university has begun to re-interpret the fee legislation in a way that facilitates the suppression of political activity. The political atmosphere is changing rapidly and the conditions are emerging where large numbers of students will be turning to politics, especially to socialist politics, to fight against the attacks being waged by governments of all stripes on living standards, the erosion of democratic rights and the dangers of war.
The IYSSE warns that the UoN Services’s re-interpretation of the SSAF legislation is setting a precedent that will be used to prevent students from developing the political means to fight these attacks through the organisation of political lectures, classes, meetings, debates and demonstrations.
We therefore call on all students, student clubs and student unions across Australia to insist that UoN Services withdraws its “interpretation” of SSAF and upholds the democratic right of students to engage, without management interference, in political activity on campus."
For the full statement and report see http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/07/newc-m07.html