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NTEU Holds Swinburne to Account for Union Busting - Culprits Must Go

Posted 8 October 2015 by Josh Cullinan (Vic Division)

Today, 8 October 2015, the Federal Court has declared Senior Management of Swinburne University threatened adverse action against its own staff.

In the remarkable judgement, Her Honour Justice Mortimer goes to some length identifying the conduct of Senior Management. Numerous references to the conduct of Senior Leadership at Swinburne culminate with:

However the seniority of those involved does say something about the calculated nature of the contravention, because for those at such senior levels to be involved, it is clear that this was a carefully planned course of action, over a considerable period of time, with objectives and outcomes to which experienced and senior people had turned their minds. Part of that plan (I accept, not the whole of it) included a consciousness that the entitlements of employees at Swinburne College could be adversely affected if the proposal went ahead. Indeed the cost savings and more favourable industrial landscape for Swinburne (especially at the expense of its casual and fixed-term employees) were motivating factors in the proposal.

Download the judgement here:

In June 2015, the Federal Court of Australia heard admissions by Swinburne University that Senior Managers had threatened adverse action against staff.

NTEU uncovered the antics led by now Vice President Andrew C Smith. In the days the threats were being made, Mr Smith was rewarded with his promotion to Vice President.

NTEU is not aware of any disciplinary action being taken for what is clearly serious misconduct.

Now, NTEU can expose the secret documents which show how Mr Smith intended to bust NTEU using public funds and resources. These can be downloaded below and went on the public Court record in June.

In resolving the Court Action, Swinburne agreed to:

  • pay $120 000 of the NTEU legal costs associated with the case;
  • close the secret phoenix company used to try to smash the conditions of workers and their unions;
  • plead guilty to threatening adverse action against its own staff; and
  • pay a penalty for their conduct.

NTEU will not rest until we know that union busters at Swinburne are no longer responsible for the working conditions of members. Without taking appropriate action to prevent a recurrence of this scurrilous use of public monies, Senior Management is failing to exercise real contrition for their actions.

We now call on the Vice Chancellor to remove union busters, such as Mr Smith, from any office which involves oversight of workers and their conditions. We call on the Vice Chancellor to take appropriate action to ensure the Swinburne community can be confident union busting is treated as seriously as any other attack on our human rights. 

 

 

Comments

  1. Kerry Howard said on 14:34 Wednesday 18 Nov, 2015

    [ +1 ] Andrew Smiths behaviour is in breach of 'Swinburne Behaviour' policy. He should be subject to discipline proceedings in relation to bullying, and removed from his professional position within the university.

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  2. MHV said on 11:51 Monday 12 Oct, 2015

    [ +2 ] Andrew C Smith must step down. He undoubtedly lacks any form of empathy towards teachers and for him to be promoted to VP- Engagement shows an oversight by the VC Linda K. It is also worth mentioning how they had deviously and successfully got rid of many staff, casual and contracted, to accommodate new staff ( who obviously would not dispute) to be employed under their new agreement. I would question and look into their books of all their dealings, including their claim of transparency in hiring new staff and firing the old. Like Smith and the other senior managers at Swinburne College, a handful who are vicious and still exist there, MUST step down! They have destroyed the once vibrant college.

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  3. MHV said on 11:51 Monday 12 Oct, 2015

    [ +2 ] Andrew C Smith must step down. He undoubtedly lacks any form of empathy towards teachers and for him to be promoted to VP- Engagement shows an oversight by the VC Linda K. It is also worth mentioning how they had deviously and successfully got rid of many staff, casual and contracted, to accommodate new staff ( who obviously would not dispute) to be employed under their new agreement. I would question and look into their books of all their dealings, including their claim of transparency in hiring new staff and firing the old. Like Smith and the other senior managers at Swinburne College, a handful who are vicious and still exist there, MUST step down! They have destroyed the once vibrant college.

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  4. Michelle said on 11:37 Monday 12 Oct, 2015

    [ +3 ] The Vice Chancellor, Professor Linda Kristjanson, was clearly complicit in Mr Andrew C Smith's plans to threaten adverse action against Swinburne staff.

    This constitutes serious, overt misconduct.

    As such, she and Mr Smith, should both stand down, or be stood down from their positions immediately.

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  5. Michelle said on 11:36 Monday 12 Oct, 2015

    [ +1 ] The Vice Chancellor, Professor Linda Kristjanson, was clearly complicit in Mr Andrew C Smith's plans to threaten adverse action against Swinburne staff.

    This constitutes serious, overt misconduct.

    As such, she and Mr Smith, should both stand down, or be stood down from their positions immediately.

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  6. Steve said on 12:20 Sunday 11 Oct, 2015

    [ +1 ] I love that in Mr Smith's 'Stakeholder Analysis' he says that there will be a "LOW" level of engagement with NTEU and predicts the NTEU's "LOW" potential to impact on project success.
    How wrong Mr Smith was... And proof of what a LOW individual he is.

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  7. Richard said on 18:23 Friday 9 Oct, 2015

    [ +2 ] Andrew C Smith is a disgrace! As CEO of Swin College he was touting the future of the place then promoted to bust it. A two timing snake. He must be sacked or resign. I am happy to be out of the place.

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  8. Ian said on 1:00 Friday 9 Oct, 2015

    [ +9 ] Swinburne admits that Mr Smith threatened staff and yet he continues to be employed? even promoted?
    Does the Vice Chancellor condone the behaviour he was prosecuted and fined for in the Federal Court?
    Mr Smith has been exposed as a common bully. Swinburne's VC must decide if she tolerates bullying by her executive.
    If the VC does not remove him immediately, perhaps it is a matter to escalate to the attention of the education minister.

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  9. Caitlin said on 23:13 Thursday 8 Oct, 2015

    [ +2 ] The whole university sector is being overtaken by extremists intent on shifting education from a service to a short term business, if not even more fundamentally disempowering those who can critique the rationality of the supposed economic rationalists. There was a reason tenure was central to university work, and the society is no longer being served by knowledge but by intimidation.

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  10. Heidi said on 17:49 Thursday 8 Oct, 2015

    [ +6 ] Disgraceful behaviour! Andrew C Smith must resign immediately.

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