Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NO EVIDENCE FOR BULLYING AT CANBERRA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY?



Below is the answer FINALLY squeezed out of ACT Education Minister Joy Burch where she states that NO CASES of bullying at CIT have been substantiated!



"It is my advice—and there are only small matters outstanding—that no

cases have been substantiated. There have been internal improvements from a system

approach about how the organisation as an entity goes about its business of good

people safety and occupation health and safety and people management through to

perhaps counselling or discussions with individuals concerned. But let us be clear:

there is no evidence and there have been no findings of systematic bullying and no

cases have been substantiated." 

Oh, so WHY spend three years plus, up to 10 investigators at a time and LOTS of public money just to jiggle things around a bit, you know, just OH&S stuff? And 'PERHAPS' a bit of counseling or discussion with individuals concerned. Huh? What individuals? If no one was bullied they can't be having discussions or counseling 'individuals concerned' can they? Concerned with WHAT? If I was one of those poor folks counseled at CIT and it was suggested I might have done something wrong I'd be so cranky I'd, I'd' I'd I'd bloody well put in a bullying complaint I would!




Joy Burch also states that the matters outstanding will be finalised by March! Well, we are five days into March and I am getting SO EXCITED ... excited because when I get the letter I fully expect to get that denies I was ever bullied I will finally know what a corrupt bunch of people have run this investigation. Oh but ... what matters? Joy Burch already knows all of the answers remember ... she already knows the outcome of the whole investigation including all about my matters doesn't she ... she is preempting the investigating that there will BE NO SUBSTANTIATED matters.

OR ... OMG, all of we complainants are either dreadful liars or all suffering from the same mass delusion that we were bullied at CIT! Lets see ...



1. Workplace Commissioner Mark McCabe was suffering from a terrible delusion when he said that he got SO MANY complaints that, something just had to be done. Mind you, he also said that many of the bullies would never be caught up with because of the amount of time that has passed and guess what? Since then, many rats have deserted the ship! BUT NOT ALL OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE I think this is one of the excuses that the ACT Labor Government and CIT will use ... we couldn't find em! I also favour ... 'We asked em and they said nah, so we are sayin nah'. Because as you know, those accused can say what they like about the complainants ... any shit they like and the complainants will never see this to contradict it (outside of heavily redacted documents obtained under FOI) because we have no right of reply (except in the law courts).

2. Former Labor Education Minister Chris Bourke was also suffering from flights of fancy when he called all of the CIT management together and absolutely read them the riot act about the bullying and their lack of action and the dismal outcome this lack of responsible action had caused. I have a witness who was in that meeting. What do you say to your colleague now Ms Burch? Poor fella, no wonder he is sitting up at the back of the classroom now.

3. Chief Minster Katy Gallagher also had the wool pulled over her eyes because she authorized huge expenditure just because a bunch of nuts said they were bullied and they were not! How about that for incompetence? How are you feeling tax payers of Canberra?
She is also said to have said words to the effect of 'Well, it'll be ugly (the whole matter of the investigation) but we'll have to wear it'. Well, lucky you don't have to wear it and you've found a solution ... NO BULLYING YAH!!! ... And the victims get to wear it instead!

4. Commissioner Kefford and his team of up to 10 investigators. Mr Kefford told me himself that at times there was up to 10 investigators working on the CIT 'matters'. This includes someone who was previously a police investigator who ran the whole investigation reporting to Kefford. Well, the poor poor guy, and all of those workers, sent on this dreadful wild goose chase. 

5. Last but not least all of those bullied. We've had various numbers and at one time it was up to 70. Apparently quite a few withdrew their complaints because they felt that the early explanations and perceived changes to management practices were satisfactory to them. If this is the case then I am happy for them. I know of at least two who withdrew their complaints in disgust at the lack of information and the way they could see the investigation going (and they were absolutely right as proven by the ministers answers in the assembly). The remaining numbers are about 45 and as I have said, I have been personally contacted and gotten to know the story of at least 15 of these.

The majority of the 'outstanding' matters, are people like myself who no longer work at CIT and so have not been able to see any of the changes they claim to have made despite many requests.  Also, many of us know that 'our' bullies ... or those who unprofessionally used their power to get rid of us ... STILL work at CIT. In fact, some still work in upper management.

At the start of the process I really believed that Andrew Kefford really meant to go through the place with an ethical vacuum and clean it up. Then, as I asked questions ... even visiting the investigator several times, I felt I left more befuddled than before. My experience was that real answers were not forthcoming and in time me and others began to be seen as nuisances and up to date all emails and letters have been ignored.

As I said many many times ... the process was NEVER clear and transparent as promised but secretive, evasive, and dealt with behind closed doors. Also as I said many times, had CIT ever been genuine in feeling they wanted to assure us that what happened to us would never happen to anyone else, they would meet with us and/or show us proof of the changes especially in their management practices. They have not, and  their arrogance speaks volumes. Unhappily, the amount of dissembling by CIT and Keffords office has increased the volume of stress for some victims to breaking point and beyond. What kind of a genuine process would allow this to happen? They could decide tomorrow to deal properly with us and we would STILL accept any opportunity in good faith. That they refuse to do so is proof positive for me that they want us to just fuck off now. They have thrown us the only 'bone' they intend to ... a supposed apology. AND if we were not bullied what the hell did they apologise for??????????????????

Lastly, I just wonder how much evidence they need when roughly 12 complaints (that I know of) are all against one person who still works at CIT? Just what is in it for CIT and the investigators office to continue to protect this person? I wish I could disclose details but I can't ... suffice to say that they include bullying towards both staff and students over many years and serious professional miss conduct including the serial seduction of young students. I wonder does the minister know any details of the matters? Chris Bourke at least really got amongst it, Joy Burch may well be as incompetent as the ACT Liberals say she is.


Heard as the rats were deserting the ship ... "I was never on the  ship"

"I never bullied anyone on the ship".

"Some naughty people bullied others on the ship but it wasn't me".

"They fixed lots of stuff on the ship anyhow, so whats the problem?"

"Whats a ship"?




Full transcript of question time in the ACT Legislative Assembly last week.




Legislative Assembly for the ACT 27 February 2014





Canberra Institute of Technology—alleged bullying

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, my question
relates to your response to the report of the review of allegations of workplace
bullying and other misconduct at the Canberra Institute of Technology. Minister,
which are the—and I quote your comment—“small areas” within the CIT that the
report confirmed had problems?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his question and his continued interest in
occupational health and safety at CIT. Let us be very clear that the report that the
commissioner put out back in September of last year was very clear in its statements
that there were areas of poor practice. It covered a range of things. It covered
communication; it covered how grievances were managed. The report was very clear
in its statement that there was no evidence and no substantiation of systematic
bullying. That does not mean to say that those individuals involved were not
aggrieved, were not troubled and were not hurt by some individuals within CIT. I am
not saying that. But there is a very clear distinction between an allegation of
systematic abuse and bullying within a workplace and individual areas of concern and
poor practice.

I would also refer back to the report of the commissioner, who said that the changes
and the improvements put in place by CIT are the right changes and the right
processes, and the right direction for an organisation to be in. I have confidence that
they have certainly learnt lessons that needed to be learnt, that positive changes are
put in place and that they are on the right track.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, as you have just stated, a lot of people have been hurt
and—

MADAM SPEAKER: No preamble, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT:Minister, what if any actions have been taken against the
perpetrators of those problems?

MS BURCH: It is my advice—and there are only small matters outstanding—that no
cases have been substantiated. There have been internal improvements from a system
approach about how the organisation as an entity goes about its business of good
people safety and occupation health and safety and people management through to
perhaps counselling or discussions with individuals concerned. But let us be clear:
there is no evidence and there have been no findings of systematic bullying and no
cases have been substantiated.

The apology from CIT management to those individuals was sincere. Some may not
feel that, but as the minister responsible for CIT I can absolutely give assurance that
that apology was sincere.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how does CIT work with industry and government on
OH&S programs within the CIT?

Mr Hanson: On a point of order on relevance, this line of questioning and the
answers from the minister go directly to the issue of bullying and the report and
response to that, not to the other elements.

MADAM SPEAKER: I think I am right that bullying of staff is an OH&S issue. I do
recall that Ms Burch mentioned OH&S in answer to one of her questions. Mr
Gentleman, would you like to repeat the question, because I have lost track of it?

MR GENTLEMAN: Certainly, Madam Speaker. Minister, how does CIT work with
both industry and government on OH&S programs within the CIT?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for his interest here and—

Members interjecting—

MS BURCH: Madam Speaker, I am sorry. Sometimes I do get distracted and I
apologise for that.

MADAM SPEAKER: It happens to us all, Minister Burch.

MS BURCH: Thank you, Madam Speaker. We work very closely as a government.
We have an absolutely clear commitment that there is no tolerance for bullying in a
workplace. I think the reality in any institution and in any workplace is that, sadly, it
may happen but, as a government, our principle is that there is no tolerance for
bullying and workplace harassment.

As part of the response and the change of practice within CIT, following quite an
extensive—I do not think members in this place can underestimate the level of
interrogation and review that was undertaken through the commissioner and
independent investigators through this process. Since September last year when the
commissioner’s report was released, for example, Mr Gentleman, CIT has recruited
and trained an additional 10 RED contact officers—that is, respect, equity and
diversity officers—that are available to CIT staff across all campuses.

Prior to the commissioner’s report, CIT engaged independent external investigators
that were involved. Again, as this works through—there are still a couple of
outstanding matters so it will probably be next month when all matters are
PROOF P18 Legislative Assembly for the ACT 27 February 2014
concluded—there be a complete set of findings. But CIT has made an absolute
commitment that if any findings show there can be improved practice they will get on
and implement that.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson

MR HANSON: Minister, how can this report be the final report when there are more
cases still under investigation?

MS BURCH: The report I am referring to was from the ACT public service
commissioner, who put his final report out in 2013. Within that report there are a
number of matters that CIT needed to conclude investigations on. So they have been
working with independent investigators to conclude that process. It is my
understanding from the last time I spoke to CIT about that—their advice to me is that
those matters will be concluded—

Mr Doszpot interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Doszpot!

MS BURCH: by March. So the commissioner concluded his report. As a result of
that, there are still some matters that are being worked through, including by some
independent investigators. Some of those investigators could be the investigators who
were part of the commissioner’s report. In short, we will come to the end of this
process in March. Those actions that need to be done will be done.

But it is very clear that we have a great organisation here in the ACT—the Canberra
Institute of Technology. Its enrolments, as I understand, are very strong. Its offerings
are very attractive to our Canberra community and region. They have a strong place in
making sure that this city and this region are prepared in an education sense and in a
working with industry sense. It will do all it can to look after its workforce and make
sure it continues to be the premier institution—

Mr Doszpot interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Doszpot!

MS BURCH: that it is.

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