Monday, 30 June 2014

How safe is the Clarence Valley Council workplace?

On 19 March 2014 this letter to the editor appearing in The Daily Examiner set the alarm bells ringing, coming as it did on the heels of an earlier letter to the editor by another person and a locally reported application to the Industrial Relations Commission which led to a Clarence Valley Council employee returning to work after being officially dismissed:

Question bullying

Councillor Margaret McKenna's motion in council regarding violence against people on the basis of their sexuality is commendable (DEX, 15/3).
The violation of anyone's human rights is unacceptable in a civilised society.
Bullying and intimidation in the workplace is equally abhorrent and, I would suggest, a far more widespread form of human rights abuse.
If the good councillor were to ask just how many complaints of this kind of abuse have occurred within Clarence Valley Council over the past 12 months, she may be very unpleasantly surprised.
Bullying in the workplace can become endemic if it is not addressed forcefully and publicly. Bullying and intimidation are trademarks of an absence of quality leadership.
The impact on its victims, their families, their work colleagues, and the productivity and morale of the entire organisation is as profound as it is irreparable.
It cannot be contained or hidden.
We live in an age when social media and personal networks can negate any attempted commercial blackmail of mainstream media.
I would suggest Cr McKenna and all Clarence Valley councillors need to address an issue that threatens not only the reputation and integrity of this council but its continuance in office, and they need to do it immediately.

Ian Saunders

Bullying in the workplace is a serious issue, but what has been rumoured since then is even more serious. 

There are allegations that the Clarence Valley Council workplace is now so toxic that some employees are quietly beginning to look for jobs elsewhere.

Some spooked by the alleged verbally abusive behaviour of more senior staff, others worried by the alleged scapegoating of workmates and some shocked by alleged threat/s of serious physical violence.

The general impression gathered is that Clarence Valley Council is no longer considered a safe workplace by sections of the wider Clarence Valley community.

I have no idea who Mr. Saunders is, but he appears to have come close to hitting the proverbial nail on the head.

If even one of these allegations has a basis in fact, it is time that all nine shire councillors addressed the issue of how and why local government workplace culture has been allowed to sink to such problematic depths.

1 comment:

Ursula Tunks said...

A corporate culture and ethos that extends to their true employers, the Rate Payers of the Clarence Valley. How do we change this situation????