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Stop the Bullying within Warren Shire Council, Warren NSW

This petition had 27 supporters

I wish to bring to the attention of the Councilors of Warren Shire Council the serious bullying problem within management of Warren Shire Council.I saw  just this week that another central western council has made news with a similar problem.It has since had crisis talks.

I wish to share my story to let people know of the bullying issues and subsequent covering up that goes on,together with diversional tactics move on a tangent away from the core issue.

 I became a victim of this bullying and subsequent cover up. It began when my fellow workmate and I were negotiating for better camping out conditions. When the meeting became heated the General Manager, who appeared to be hung over, became very aggressive and made many offensive comments, including a racist slur against my former partner.

I complained to the relevant complaint avenues. The evasive procedure that followed was unbelievable.

Due to the fact that the Mayor is a relative ,the complaint was referred back to Council. It was decided internally that the General Manager`s subordinate, Manager of Administrative Services and close friend to the General Manager, be the person to oversee the complaint. I objected to this but was laughed at.

I continued to complain and the bullying escalated over a 4 year period. I documented 76 instances of this, including stalking me by management, while I was off on stress leave. Also, my timesheet had was  tampered with on many occasions.

I insisted that the minutes of the final meeting that I had with Warren Shire Council be documented. To my dismay, I discovered that the minutes had indeed been tampered with 78 times. In that meeting there were threats made towards me and provocative comments that were extremely intimidating. I was also told that the meeting "is confidential" and "there would be consequences" if I talked about it outside the room.

Is it legal for a member of Council`s administration to offer my position to someone else if he or she "gives the right information to the Work Cover investigator"? Or is it a coincidence that someone was directed take some "old paperwork " to the rubbish tip and put it in the carcass pit , on the day the investigator was interviewing people with regards to my problem? I don`t think so. Isn`t it a legal requirement of Local Government that any paperwork is retained for 30 years? 

This whole issue has been covered up and it seems that there is no accountability for this. There were serious false allegations made against me by a person within management who also attempted to put an AVO onto me to intimidate me. It was a total fabrication from a known compulsive liar.Without any  proof whatsoever,the General Manaager visited my worksite the following day to attempt to issue a verbal warning. I stated that I would not accept that and that I would defend this set up very vigorously.There was even an attempt to invent a witness to make this allegation stick until I found out  that there was indeed a real witness that saw the whole discussion and dismissed any wrong doing on my part.

 Even after I had given notice to resign while on sick leave, which had been applied for as stress leave, Warren Shire Council administrative employees drove past where I lived slowly every 30 minutes on one particular day which I believe was stalking.

I believe there was a conspiracy to set me up and railroad me out of employment from Warren Shire Council because I stood up to the bullying. 

I eventually moved interstate to try to start again.

Even after I had left town , my family suffered the effects. A family member had applied for work there and was rejected. The partner of another family member had reference to me during a job interview for a position on Warren Shire Council.

I know of many other bullying victims within Warren Shire Council. It seems that I am the only one who has the courage to follow up and expose this problem.

I am risking a legal backlash from Warren Shire Council by making people aware. If that was to happen, wouldn`t that be the ultimate bullying by an employer?

It has come at a great cost to me personally and financially. There seems no avenue for compensation so I believe that the best thing is to eliminate the chance of anyone else becoming a victim. I believe that the public deserve to be made aware of this, apparently out of control, bullying problem and the culture within the Local Government Authorities of covering it up and trying to pass it off as "Behavioral Problems".

This has ruined my life. I cannot hold a job down because of my extreme sensitivity to bullying.

I sent individual councilors copies of the relevant information but I strongly suspect that they were intercepted.

I have been informed by current employees that the bullying problem indeed is still a major problem today.

I have approached many different avenues of complaint including The Local Government Department, The Police, The ICAC, The Ombudsman, The Equal opportunities commission, Work Cover NSW and ,it seems , there is no real avenue to follow.

I am 55 years old and, in Australia as we all know, we are expected to work until we are 70.How do we do that if an organisation like Warren Shire Council has destroyed one`s credibility and confidence?

I have approached several lawyers but ,it seems ,no-one wants to get into a complex legal case where covering up and encouraging witnesses to "forget " or lie is quite likely.

It has ruined me financially and destroyed my confidence. If nothing happens in the way of accountability towards my bullying situation, this organisation will be getting away with destroying yet another life and will have gotten away scott free again. 

Why is it that when a victim sees a doctor, a psychiatrist, who is supposed to help the victim, he can laugh and say something like "what can you do about it?" and then twist the facts to make it appear that it was the victim`s fault?

I realize that the statute to limitations is 3 years but a case such as this is a life sentence for me. I have been campaigning this for years now because the problem is ongoing.

I am giving the Councilors the opportunity to have this problem thoroughly investigated and for the senior members of staff involved to be disciplined or dismissed.

If this doesn`t reach the Councilors , then it would appear that I will need to take this to a much higher authority.

This epidemic of bullying and the culture of cover ups must stop. It will only become much worse.

Is it right that senior management of an organisation such as Warren Shire Council can deliberately destroy a person`s career because the victim stood up to a sociopath? I believe that actions have consquences, whatever the level.

Since I have indicated to Warren Shire Council General Manager that I hold him accountable ,he went to the Police to attempt to harass me further.Fortunately the Police saw this fairly and could see that I had done nothing outside the law.

It seems the latest attempt to intimidate me is to pick on my 85 year old Mother.There was a less than friendly letter in the post recently to pick at her about a minor issue.Surely this type of unprofessional behavior is unacceptable?

I will not be silenced through intimidation.This has destroyed my working life.It needs to be stopped before another victim has a similar fate. 

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