Education union WA hit with bullying, 'hazardous workplace' claims ... by another union

The Sydney Morning Herald Politics 1 month ago

The Australian Services Union is claiming workers at the Independent Education Union of Australia's WA branch have been subjected to "repeated, unreasonable and unacceptable bullying".

The ASU has taken the drastic step of reporting the IEUA to WorkSafe, WA's workplace safety watchdog over the allegations.

ASU WA secretary Wayne Wood has reported the Independent Education Union of Australia (WA) to WorkSafe over bullying allegations.

The IEUA represents about 4500 members working in Catholic and independent schools across the state, as well as educators in registered training organisations.

According to the ASU, the four employees of the IEUA had lodged workplace compensation claims as a result of the distress and duress they have been placed under and 25 per cent of staff were on leave as a result of workplace bullying.

There are 19 staff and 14 members of the union's executive listed on the IEUA's WA website.

ASU WA branch secretary Wayne Wood said the bullying and harassment had been going on for months at the union.

"This workplace is sadly a very dangerous place for several workers right now,” he said.

"It gives me no pleasure to have to call out another union, but our responsibility is to our members who deserve a safe workplace.

"The reality is that bullying is a major driver of mental health issues and the IEUA has been identified as a hazardous workplace for that reason."

Mr Wood said the ASU had attempted to mediate the situation, but attempts to resolve his members concerned had been unsuccessful because the IEUA's leadership had not acknowledged the behaviour.

"The IEUA branch secretary has failed in her duty of care and obligation to provide a safe workplace for her staff and she presents an imminent safety risk to her employees," he said.

"We have tried repeatedly to resolve the issue with the IEUA including at a national level and offered opportunities for mediation and conciliation.

"With no action being taken, we had no choice but to take the matter to Worksafe.

"We expect Worksafe to immediately step in and resolve this issue given the imminent threat to workers.

"While the ASU is loathed to publicly air these issues, we have been left with no choice due to the unsafe nature of the workplace and the unacceptable risk to our members."

The IEUA's WA branch secretary Angela Briant did not respond to requests for comment.

Tags: Wa, Education

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