Workplace bullying at the University of... Inquiry into workplace bullying, House of Representatives Committees, Australia

Under the Terms of Reference for this Inquiry:
The prevalence of workplace bullying and the experience of victims; and role of workplace cultures in preventing and responding to bullying I wish to draw to your attention:

• the entrenched systematic culture of bullying at the University

• the lack of support from the University following my initial allegation of bullying; and more importantly

• the enforced punitive punishment regime I experienced following my submission of a formal grievance that attempted to expose bullying within the workplace.

 Brief summary of submission:

I experienced 5 years of bullying within my discipline (2000-2005):

• Constant changing of my work tasks (courses deleted without consultation that resulted in the development of new courses outside of my specialization);

• Constant public humiliation (belittling of my expertise/ideas at staff meetings); • Excessive teaching workload resulting in 75hr plus working week that prevented me from engaging fully with my research commitments;

• Withholding of financial resources allocated to cross-faculty courses that I was responsible for;

• Overt ostracisation following my support for two post-graduate student whistleblowers that were treated badly by senior staff Lack of support and punitive punishment following my formal allegation of bullying (2005-2008)

• Refusal of the University to allow me to return to my academic duties following sick leave for major depression in early 2005 which I claimed had resulted from bullying

• The University’s refusal to accept medical certificates from my GP, my personal psychiatrist reports and the University funded psychiatrist’s reports stating my medical fitness to re-engage with my academic duties

• Placed under restrictive workplace conditions following my objection to the removal of a ‘stop workplace bullying’ poster from my office door

• Stigmatisation of my mental health injury that I had experienced in early 2005 through an University management enforced three year punishment regime of social, professional and physical isolation on campus; and

• The development of a discriminatory survey by Human Resources to justify their draconian and punitive punishment and subsequent forced early retirement.

Dear Honourable MPs,

First, I must state that in July 2008 under considerable duress I signed a confidentiality agreement (aligned with a ‘voluntary’ redundancy) stating that I would not discuss my employment with a third person or take legal action against the University. However, I will always regret being complicit in a cover up of malicious workplace behaviour at the University.

Unfortunately, I personally know of too many instances where the complainant and/or whistleblower has been destroyed by a culture that promotes and condones workplace bullying. That the University places higher credibility to traits of malevolence, malice, cowardice and self-protection rather than uphold values of excellence and integrity is shameful and should be exposed...

More at: http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=ee/bullying/subs.htm  - Submission Number 8