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)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Yes, we do need whistleblowers!

"The reality is that all organisations hate having their inner workings exposed, the more so if it incurs collective odium and risks jobs. The wagons gather into a circle to defend a wounded superior. The gossip-mongers get to work on the whistleblower's reputation. Why could he not just live and let live? What is the harm in a bit of misconduct?

More to the point, whistleblowers are rarely club players. They are usually driven to break ranks through a sense of moral outrage that eludes their colleagues, despite knowing that it will probably bring pain and ostracism. It is thus easy for the organisation to dismiss them as weird, as grasses, snitches, friends of any enemy, even if the enemy is the public interest."
"I see whistleblowers as strange, brave and necessary mavericks. I realise why any organisation spits them out like poison. They break the glue of discipline, the bond of faith between individuals that is required for any joint enterprise. They threaten the institution in claiming to decide for themselves what should be the boundary between confidence and disclosure.

Yet as organisations and, above all, government get ever more powerful, making them account for their activities becomes ever harder. All dealings between individuals require a degree of confidentiality, but, especially in public bodies, the line between secrecy and transparency must be patrolled. If it cannot be patrolled from outside – if misconduct is rife – the last resort is from within. That requires exceptional protection which few at present seem to get." (full report)

Those of us who have been harassed, victimised and bullied out of our jobs at the University of Newcastle spoke out (but within the University) about misconduct - usually University academic staff misconduct. 

Universities are publicly funded -
-   Do you as taxpayers want your hard-earned money supporting academics who behave unethically?
-   Would taxpayers prefer us to keep quiet about what we saw and experienced, and just kept quiet and  joined in with the misconduct and unethical behaviour?
-   Do you want your money used by the university to pay for legal fees to defend these unethical academics?
-   Do you want your money used by the University to pay and gag whistleblowers so that their voices cannot be heard?
-  Do you want your money spent on educating students to a high level?
- Do you prefer your money to be spent on huge salaries for senior management ($800,000)?

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