WorkSafe investigation reveals reports of bullying at City of Stirling


City of Stirling Administration Centre. Picture: Marcus Whisson d421221
City of Stirling Administration Centre. Picture: Marcus Whisson d421221

A WORKSAFE investigation has unearthed reports of perceived bullying, inappropriate workplace behaviour and defamation attempts at the City of Stirling.

WorkSafe found there had been a breach of workplace safety and health laws regarding bullying behaviour and issued two improvement notices on October 16 ordering the City to provide staff with conflict resolution training.

The notices said an investigation revealed several reports of inappropriate workplace behaviour, breaches in code of conduct and perceived bullying between April 2015 and October 2017.

It also reported diagnosed mental stress injuries, perceived threats to health and concerns of targeted attempts to defame elected officials.

A previous notice issued on April 12 showed employees were exposed to yelling, aggressive language and gestures, swearing, as well as inappropriate and excessive emails from a councillor, and at the time the City’s lawyers confirmed it referred to councillor Elizabeth Re.

Cr Re was found to have breached Local Government Regulations following an allegedly aggressive altercation with a City staff member in 2015 but was cleared by a State Administration Tribunal review in June.

The notices required the City to ensure staff responsible for workplace conflict resolution received adequate training and conduct a workplace risk assessment by December 15.

A City spokeswoman confirmed the notices, which had been displayed for staff to view.

“WorkSafe have conducted a thorough process review and determined the City could improve by providing additional training as a way of process improvements for those staff who may deal with conflict resolution in the workplace thus assisting them to be better equipped,” she said.

“This training has been completed.

“Furthermore, as a City we will continue to review our training programs and ensure that future programs include conflict management skills as appropriate.”

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