Bad Apple Bullies

Bad Apple school principals and departmental officers bully classroom teachers into ill health and out of work.

Education Queensland Discipline Files.

What happens when you try to make a Public Interest Disclosure (PID) to the CMC Liaison Officer in Education Queensland Head Office?

 

  • The CMC Liaison officer may not respond to your email.

 

  • The people that you are complaining about may be warned that you are trying to make a PID.

 

  • They may decide to "pay you back" or "get in first". This is not supposed to happen. It happens.

 

  • You will have to try again and again to contact the CMC Liaison officer.

 

  • If you eventually manage to contact the Education Queensland CMC Liaison officer, and ask the CMC Liaison officer for his or her advice on the situation, a Disciplinary file may be opened on you.

 

  • When you make a Freedom of Information Application for your documents, the covers of the files may not be released to you by the FOI officers, so you may not realise that the file being released to you is actually a Disciplinary File.

 

  • If you make a written complaint to the Education Queensland CMC liaison officer, your complaint may be sent to the District office - to the people whose behaviour you are complaining about. It may not be obvious to you that this is what has been "going on" if you apply for the documents under Freedom of Information ( FOI ). The file that you receive will be labelled "Human Resource Services Branch". The fact that the CMC file was being stored in the District Office may be concealed from you for four more years.

 

  • Your complaint to the CMC Liaison officer will be concealed from any Education Queensland "Internal Reviewer" because it is being stored in the District Office rather than in Education Queensland Head Office. So the "internal reviewer" cannot be held responsible for "knowing" what it is that you are complaining about.

 

The real-life experiences on which these conclusions are based -

In December 2000 I made a Stage 1 Grievance to the District Office about Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR's abuse of the Diminished Workplace Performance Process (DWP - now called Managing Unsatisfactory Performance).

I now realise that Lynch-Mob State College usual principal Mr EL had also been involved in the abuse.

I did not believe what Mrs GR was telling me about Mr EL in December 2000.

I repected and trusted Mr EL absolutely.

He had persuaded me to stay at the school in 2000.

He had assured me that he would deal with the problems at the school.

And I had not had an opportunity to discuss the situation or Mrs GR's behaviour with Mr EL because he was on leave when he made an agreement with Mrs GR on 29 November 2000 that "the (DWP) process is warranted".

A copy of the letter dated 29 November 2000 which advised me of this agreement between Mrs GR and Mr EL can be found at -

2421 File F - the "private file" of real and imaginary "records" concerning me that Mrs GR claims to have secretly collected - document 59.

A copy of the letter can also be found in-

2469 File F - the file of real and imaginary "records" that Mr EL seems to have sent to the District Office, creating the false impression that they had been discussed with me during the Stage 1 Grievance process - document 19.

 

My Stage 1 Grievance was that Lynch-Mob State College acting principal Mrs GR had abused the DWP process to "pay me back" for -

  1. asking for her support in dealing with the unsupervised groups of Grade 7 children who were roaming about the school, disturbing the other classes.
  2. being shocked into ill health by her response: Mrs GR advised me to discuss the situation at a staff meeting and put it on the agenda for the next staff meeting. But she began the staff meeting by announcing that there was "a person" on the staff who was humiliating children. She told at least one other teacher that 'the person" she was talking to the staff about was me. That teacher later told me that I was "the person" that Mrs GR had been talking about to the staff .
  3. asking for a mediated meeting with the School Behaviour Management Committee to discuss the school Behaviour Management Program.
  4. and asking for a mediated meeting with Mrs GR to discuss our relationship (as I had been advised to do by the District Office Staff Welfare officer, a Queensland Teachers' Union ( QTU ) Officer and two consultant specialist teachers).

 

On 5 February 2001 I attended a meeting which was represented to me as a meeting to discuss Lynch-Mob State College usual principal Mr EL's report on his investigation into my Stage 1 Grievance about Mrs GR's abuse of the DWP process.

Mrs GR threatened me five separate times during this meeting.

She threatened to "take action" against me if I continued to complain.

I presumed at the time that Mrs GR meant that this action would be taken if I made a Stage 2 Grievance about her abuse of the Diminished Workplace Performance Process.

So I was afraid to make a Stage 2 Grievance about the bullying for several months.

 

But on 31 August 2001 I made a Stage 2 Grievance to the Director-General that there was systemic abuse of the -

  • Queensland Department of Education Dimininished Workplace Performance Policy
  • and the Education Queensland Grievance Policy 

- to bully and intimidate Queensland teachers.

I believe that this Stage 2 Grievance was a Public Interest Disclosure.

 

This might explain why all but three pages of my grievance were immediately "lost" by Queensland Department of Education Head Office staff -

 

31 August 2001

I mailed -

  • a 2 page letter
  • a 27 page Stage 2 Grievance,
  • a History of the Situation
  • and several support documents.

 

19 October 2001 - only six weeks later -

all of this documentation had been falsified down to 3 pages - the two page letter to the Director-General and the first page of the Grievance.

 

Ref:  FOI 2421 C 197 Fax Message from Peter Milton to District Office Employee G.N. dated 19 October 2001 -

 

"Hi  (G.N.),

Letters attached are what Michelle obtained from Legal and Exec Services.

There was a blue folder of documents which has gone missing & may need to be re submitted if possible.

I can explain this mix up if you give me a call.

Regards

Peter."

 

Peter Milton faxed a total of 14 documents, only three of which seem to have been written by me.

 

6 November 2001

- three weeks later -

Two Department of Education Head Office Discipline Files seem to have been secretly opened on me - presumably to "pay me back" for complaining about the systemic abuse of the Diminished Workplace Performance Program  -

 

FOI 2733 File S Administrative Law Services Branch

Documents 1-5

Document 2733 S 1 is a cover sheet.

It contains a copy of -

2469 File M Human Resource Services Branch.

"Application 2469

(My Name)

File M

Human Resource Services Branch"

 

But this 2733 file is not exactly the same as the 2469 File M.

Document 2733 S 2 is a Discipline file cover sheet.

 

  • The fact that 2469 File M was a discipline file was concealed from me on July 12 2004, when the 2469 File M documents were first released to me.

  • It was concealed from me till 27 October 2005, one month before the Verifact Investigation into my complaint about the huge mass of falsified "records" that had been secretly placed on my Education Queensland file.

  • In fact, this was more than a Discipline file, it was a CMC file.

  • And the CMC file was not being kept at Head Office, it was being kept at the District Office.

  • That was concealed from me for three more years, till after 12 June 2008, when I received FOI 340/5/1295 document 3156:

 

7 June 2004

11:46 AM Noel Hausler emailed Matt Woodforth, the EQ Freedom of Information Officer.

Subject: TRIM RMS CMC Investigation File (Pre June 2002) TJ 250/10/67 : HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT DISCIPLINE (My Name) closed and archived 17/4/2002

"Hi Matt

Further investigation on this officer has located a file in a District Office.

Please advise what if you wish to retrieve this file

Cheers

Noel"

 

The Discipline File

At the side of the cover sheet are the numbers "067  10"

Beside the numbers is written:

"TJ 250/10(67)

Human Resource Management

Discipline

(My name)

Op 6/11/01"

 

The Discipline file seems to have been opened eight days after I contacted Katherine Mahoney, the Education Queensland CJC Liaison Officer (the CMC were called the CJC at that time).

"C/& Arch 17/4/02"

And the file seems to have been closed on 17 April 2002.

 

Inside this Discipline file there are only three documents -

 

1. A true copy of my 29 October 2001 letter to Mr JHD - the Education Queensland officer (from another District Office) who was chosen by The District Office to investigate my August 31 2001 Stage 2 Grievance to Jim Varghese, the Director-General of Education.

This document can be found at-

2469 File M Human Resource Services Branch document 3 (numbers at top right hand corner of document)

It can also be found in -

2733 File S Administrative Law Services Branch document 3 (numbers at bottom of document)

 

"I enclose a copy of my letter to the CJC Liaison Officer for your information.

... If her advice is that it is not a public interest disclosure I will either report the matter directly to the CJC myself or I will proceed with the grievance as a Stage 1 Grievance against Education Queensland."

 

My understanding of Mr JHD's advice to me was that my complaint about the systemic abuse of the DWP and the Grievance process to bully teachers could not be dealt with at District level - he did not have access to the (statistical and other) information necessary to investigate my complaint properly.

And my understanding of his advice to me was that I could not make a Stage 2 Systemic Grievance to Education Queensland Head Office unless I had first made a Stage 1 systemic Grievance.

 

"I have decided not to pursue a separate Stage 2 Grievance against Lynch-Mob State College usual principal Mr EL.

I thought that it would be a waste of time to go through the issues twice.

The systemic issues are my main interest.

 

We agreed that you should destroy your faxed copies of my grievance"

 

2. A true copy of my 29 October 2001 letter to Katherine Mahoney, the Education Queensland CMC Liaison officer, confirming that I had requested that all documentation relating to my Grievance to be handed to her.

 

This document can be found at-

2469 File M Human Resource Services Branch documents 1-2 (numbers at top right hand corner of document)

It can also be found in -

2733 File S Administrative Law Services Branch documents 4-5 (numbers at bottom of document)

 

" On the 12th and early in the morning of the 13th of December last year I sent emails to Human Resources asking for help with this situation.

In the second email I said that I thought it might be a Public Interest Disclosure.

I asked how to contact you.

I was threatened repeatedly during the course of the Stage 1 Grievance meeting.

I believed that the threats would be carried out.

I was afraid to proceed with a Stage 2 Grievance.

It is now seven weeks since I first submitted this Grievance to the Director-General.

The officer who handled it in Brisbane did not realise that it was a systemic Grievance and sent one document to the Principal Personnel Officer, District Office, Mrs GN, an officer who was named in the Grievance.

The other documents were lost."

 

I had asked Mr JHD, the investigator appointed by the District Office, if my Grievance was a Public Interest Disclosure.

He told me that most of my documents had been lost, so he was unable to express an opinion.

 

"In the circumstances I felt that it would be best to ask for all of the documents to be located and handed to you so that I can seek your advice on whether this is a Public Interest Disclosure."

 

Eight days after I wrote to Katherine Mahoney, the Department of Education Administrative Law Services Branch seem to have opened a Discipline file on me.

 

  • This Discipline file seems to have been concealed from the Queensland Department of Education "Internal Reviewer" because he demonstrated no knowledge of the contents of my letters.

 

28 February 2003

I flew to Brisbane to try to raise awareness of the fact that something very odd was "going on" at the District Office.

I had been twice assured on July 9 2002 - the day that I retired - that the bullying was under control.

I had accepted these assurances.

But it now appeared that the bully had actually been promoted a few days later.

I made an appointment to speak with John Ryan, Director of Human Resources, Queensland Department of Education.

I was so stressed by the situation that the nerves on the right side of my face were twitching uncontrollably.

I had to hold the right side of my face still so that I could speak to John Ryan.

I asked him how the bully could possibly have been promoted just days after I had been given assurances that the bullying was under control?

Who could have given the bully a reference?

During our conversation John Ryan told me that, if ever I applied for work with the Queensland Department of Education again, there would be a note on my file at the District Office, directing them to contact the Department of Education Head Office, because there was a file on me at Head Office.

I now presume that John Ryan was referring to the Discipline files described here.

I knew that, by telling me this, John Ryan intended to kindly reassure me that there was nothing detrimental to me on my file in the District Office.

But I was astonished.

I had complained about the systemic abuse of the Diminished Workplace Performance Process and the Grievance Process to abuse Queensland teachers.

The District Director had personally assured me - twice - that the bullying was under control.

But the bully had actually been promoted a couple of days later.

And file was being kept on me at Education Queensland Head Office!

And if ever I applied to work with Education Queensland again, the staff of the District Office would be alerted to contact Head Office!

 

I could make no sense of the situation.

 

The existence of this Discipline File on me was concealed from me till after 27 October 2005.

This was ten days after Ken Smith, the Director-General, had written to me to advise me that-

 

"The Department has commissioned a private company called Verifact Commercial Investigation to investigate your claims of falsified records being placed on you (sic) file."

 

I have never been provided with any documentation that explains either the decision to open or the decision to close this Discipline file on me.

Surely decisions of this nature must be documented?

 

TRIM Corporate File 620/2/17

This seems to be another Discipline File that was secretly opened on me:

 

This is the file described by Kathleen Isles in an email to Pia Higson sent on Thursday 11 November 2004 11:09 AM:

 

"Hey Pia,

there are items relating to Ms - - - - - - on the file 620/2/17 which is a TRIM corporate file ( buff coloured) in the compactus in the section with the disciplinary files closest to the photocopier.

The file is labelled. :)

Kat"

 

This email from Pia to Kat is FOI 2606 File D Human Resource Services Branch Document 17 (number at top right hand corner).

And FOI 2733 File W Administrative Law Services Branch Document 2 (number at bottom of page).

 

I presume that the 16 documents attached to this email were in this file.

As the file is "with the disciplinary files" , I presume that 620/2/17 is also a disciplinary file.

But the cover of the file is missing, so there is no information concerning the date that this disciplinary file was opened and the date that this disciplinary file was closed.

Nor any documentation of the process by which the decision was made to open / close this Disciplinary file on me.

 

I have organised the documents in this file in time-order to try to understand why this Discipline File was opened on me -

 

25 June 2002 - Documents 4-9

16 June 2002 11:52 AM I had emailed PMR.Feedback@qed.gov.au

I asked what was the "due procedure" for putting somebody on the DWP.

On 21 June 2002 10:07 AM Peter Milton responded.

He copied the email to Phillip Whitehouse.

Peter Milton passed my email on to Russell Egan

Russell had written the new Managing Unsatisfactory Performance Policy, the process that would replace the DWP.

I asked Russell if I could read the new MUP policy.

He emailed a copy of the policy to me.

Documents 4-9 were my response to the policy.

I pointed out that several groups representing principals had been invited to respond to the new policy.

But no classroom teacher who had been bullied by mis-use of the DWP had been consulted.

Classroom teachers were only represented by the QTU.

And the QTU was conflicted - it supported both the principals who abused the DWP process to bully teachers, and the teachers who were being bullied into ill health and out of work.

 

  • Was this file opened on me because I wrote a response to the new MUP policy?

 

July 1 2002 - Document 10

Russell Egan's response to my response to his new MUP policy.

This may be a generic letter because Russell Egan's letter seems to be unrelated to my comments on the new MUP policy.

 

January 1 2003 - Documents 12-14

My January 1 2003 letter to Anna Bligh asking her what was "going on".

I had been assured by the Disrict Director that the bullying was under control - but the bully seems to have been promoted a couple of days later!

 

February 13 2003 - Documents 15-16

Ken Smith's letter to me dated 13/02/2003.

Yes, the bully had been promoted.

 

December 1 2003 - Documents 1-2

My 1st December 2003 disclosure to John Ryan -

 

"Mr Ryan, there was a conflict of interest in The District office.

My Grievance should never have been handled by that office.

I have made a full disclosure of this situation to the Ombudsman and the CMC."

 

I urged Mr Ryan to ring District Office employees C.H.R. and G. N. that day. 

They would be able to confirm that what I was saying was true.

 

December 17 2003 - Document 3

Document 3 is a letter from John Ryan to me.

It is undated but "response posted 12/12/03" is written by hand at the bottom.

I received the letter on 17 December 2003.

Mr Ryan stated that I had previously been advised by Mr Murray Watt, Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister and Ms Jenny Cranston, Deputy Director-General, Office of State Schooling, that the matter was closed.

He considered the matter closed.

No further correspondence would be entered into.

 

December 18 2003 - Document 11

My email to Ken Smith dated 18 December 2003 9:26 PM.

The email was copied to Keith Hynes, Director of Ethical Conduct, EXECLEGL, Correspondence and HUMANRES, Human Resources.

In this letter I clearly described the conflict of interest in the District office.

 

"It would be really good if you were able to deal with this yourselves.

Please ring The District office TODAY and advise (name of District Director), District Office Employee C.H.R. and District office Employee G.N. on how to deal with this ethical situation."

 

At the bottom of this email somebody has written by hand

"To Kathleen Isles NRR"

(I presume NRR means "no recommended response")

and this handwritten note is signed "J..."

 

June 22 2005

I attended the Queensland Teachers' Union (QTU) Annual General Meeting in Brisbane.

I spoke to a QTU Officer about the workplace bullying that I had experienced.

 

The QTU officer suddenly turned to me, as if she was exasperated, and said in a very unpleasant and "meaningful" manner, something to the effect of,

"Did you ever consider that she might have made a complaint about you?

Did you ever consider that?"

(I identified this officer in my letter to John Battams dated 21 February, 2007)

 

I can only presume that the QTU officer made this comment to me because she knew for a fact that I had been "paid back" for making a Stage 2 Grievance about the systemic abuse of the Education Queensland Diminished Workplace Performance Policy (now called the Managing Unsatisfactory Performance Policy) and the Grievance Policy to bully Queensland teachers into ill health and out of work.