|David Brock: newsrealblog.com|
Winston sank his arms to his sides and slowly refilled his lungs with air. His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them… (George Orwell 1984).
Past staff and students and some current staff and students have had so many trips around the mulberry bush at the rough end of the pineapple with CIT that they really deserve to see some plain English speaking that is direct, forthright, honest, straightforward, artless, frank and open ... just to make myself plain.
The person who told me that I was not employed to teach in a certain centre at CIT anymore should win an award for evasiveness. Similarly, CIT spokesman CEO Adrian Marron says all of the 'right things' while not saying that much at all. I do note though that Adrian has finally said that he recognises that people are hurting - the most human and straight forward thing I have heard him say so far.
Some of us fear that promises of more staff training, confidence building, and procedures revision, are just so many words as are statements that CIT are 'on record' as saying they support the changes implemented by the McCabe report. Der! Actually, they have NO CHOICE, they are being forced to make changes. However, the ACT Government is still largely leaving it up to the 'agency' (read CIT) to implement these (nameless undefined) changes.
Fixing (nameless undefined) processes may help current and future staff and students but how does staff training, confidence building (whatever that is) and procedures revision help sacked staff and past students? As we have seen with yesterdays Canberra Times front page , both the Minister for Education Chris Bourke and CIT CEO Adrian Marron make a point of saying that many of the complaints are 'old' ... therefore, by their own (accidental?) admission, the majority of them will be from people no longer working or studying at CIT.
There are words, words, words, ... and then there are actions. 'We are taking it seriously' ... 'we have appointed a team' ... 'we will look at all issues' ... ' we have taken on board' ... 'it is worrying' ... 'it is an opportunity to change' ... 'we are on record as agreeing' really mean nothing without action and is just so much palaver. We are told over and over that things are changing, that processes are in place but we are not told WHAT HOW and WHEN. Adrian Marron needs to do some straight talking. We have heard no solid ideas, no plan of action, no offer to be a part of the process. There is a hand picked team working behind closed doors to fix us all up - so what's new? For example;
- Will past staff and students be contacted with an apology?
- Will they be offered counselling?
- Will they be invited to CIT to be a part of a real consultation process or will CIT do things as they always have ... behind closed doors with all of the solutions coming from the boardroom - from the top down?
- Will people unjustly dismissed be offered their jobs back?
- Will past and current staff and students see those who have bullied them suffer some consequences greater than being sent to anti bully school with full pay while they attend?
Past processes and experiences at CIT have created so much fear in victims that it behoves CIT management to now be fearless in its pursuit of justice - if they are genuine. It is the very least they can do.