Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 19 November 2015) . . Page.. 4287 ..
So if you speak up, you are going to get sacked. That is what staff in Health think. If you speak up, you will be sacked. That is very different from what the Chief Minister just said when he tried to suggest the only problem was the opposition’s scaremongering.
Contributors to the review reported a lack of support. I will go on:
A culture of acceptance established over time: There is a view that the culture has emerged over time is a result of behaviours that were perceived to be acceptable in the past …
Awareness and understanding: There was a reported low level understanding of the bullying, discrimination and/or harassment policies and staff’s obligations under them.
You can see where that lack of understanding starts. If the Chief Minister comes into this place and is living in a complete sense of denial about what is going on in the front-line services of this government, then no wonder there is such a problem of denial, of understanding and awareness. It goes on:
Many Review contributors indicated that the current strategy to resolve bullying, discrimination and/or harassment had not resulted in any significant changes of behaviour.
We know that the AMA has come out and said that the strategies the government has announced as a result of this review will not actually have the desired effect. I think it is pretty clear to see when you read this report that it is management that has allowed this to be perpetuated, that it is management that has in many cases condoned this sort of behaviour and that the Chief Minister and ministers have buried their heads in the sand and tried to blame this on the opposition. It continues:
Half of the respondents indicated that the formal report strategy was either not effective at all or not very effective. There was indication that few have witnessed a formal complaint being made and, of those who said they had witnessed it, they said it was very stressful, time consuming and with little reward.
It goes on. There is positive reinforcement for aspiring bullies. Some of the respondents indicated there are examples of overt inappropriate behaviour, public threats of physical violence and more subtle examples. There were recurring behaviour themes or a lack of action given to resolving inappropriate behaviour, no consequences for wrong doing, lack of effective communication, inappropriate personal interaction and lack of compliance with legislation and policies. These are the facts. This is what is going on in Health and, as we know from other reports and as outlined by Mr Smyth, the sorts of things going on in other directorates.
A few expressed a view that managers and leaders thought they were beyond regulation and subsequently inappropriate behaviours manifested in the workplace. A large proportion of respondents identified that there was a lack of clear leadership. A lack of clear leadership: where does that emanate from? Those in leadership roles were: