24 February 2009

WORKCOVER INVESTIGATION into workplace Bullying and Harassment at Brimbank City Council - offices raided

WORKCOVER has confirmed it is working with Brimbank City Council to resolve a number of internal bullying and harassment complaints.

Last August 2008, the council was rocked by the launch of an Ombudsman’s investigation following “concerns over council’s practices and governance”.

The Ombudsman’s office raided the council offices, seizing computers and documents relating to that investigation. The outcome is yet to be determined.

A source told Star there were up to six current workplace bullying and harassment cases within the council and that further cases had been filed and settled for undisclosed sums over the past 18 months.

A WorkCover spokesman confirmed that the organisation had received complaints of this nature from Brimbank City Council employees.

Star submitted written questions to council in relation to this issue via email, as per council’s media policy.

The council responded that it was unable to answer the majority of the questions by deadline.

The council also refused to answer a question in relation to costs to the council and ratepayers for agency staff in the 2007/2008 financial year.

The same questions were sent to Maribyrnong City Council, which provided a comprehensive response.

Maribyrnong corporate services general manager Helen Morrissey advised that among council’s workforce of 800, it had dealt with 34 work-related injury claims in the past 18 months and eight cases involving allegations of bullying and harassment.


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