15 January 2009

NEWS : Is Kevin Rudd a Workplace Bully? - Kevin Rudd's 13th staff exodus - Toxic Workplace

Kevin Rudd's 13th staff exodus - Toxic Workplace

K-Rudd's workplace practices need to be investigated due to OHS breaches.

K-Rudd is about to lose his 13th staff member since the election with the departure of his popular media adviser, Tim Gleason.

Mr Gleason, 35, previously married to former NSW minister Reba Meagher, denied he was quitting because of the gruelling workload.

His departure follows the loss of the PM's chief of staff, David Epstein, Labor Party national secretary Tim Gartrell, Mr Rudd's senior health adviser Rod Glover, media adviser George Wright and nine other staff members since Mr Rudd took office 14 months ago.

Mr Gleason told The Sunday Telegraph he will leave at the end of January after two years in the high-pressure job.

Mr Rudd is well known for presiding over a demanding 24/7 work regime but Mr Gleason denied the relentless workload was a factor in him leaving.

Figures provided to Parliament's Finance and Public Administration Committee show 12 staff members have left Mr Rudd's office since December 2007.

Senior advisers Fiona Sugden and Alex Gordon will also leave in coming months on maternity leave.

Ex-staff have spoken of discontent within the PM's office and described the environment there as difficult and unpleasant.

At the time of Mr Epstein's resignation, there was fervent discussion about turmoil and low staff morale in the PM's office.

He is understood to be concerned about how the departure of senior staff is perceived politically, after the Opposition used Mr Epstein's resignation to their advantage.

The Sunday Telegraph understands there is also a restructure in the Prime Minister's media team with press secretary Lachlan Harris moving out of his office and positioning himself in the central, open-plan area.


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