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Victoria Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Ryan Smith

Brumby Silent On Bullying

Victor P Taffa

The State Services Authority 2009 People Matter survey has revealed the shocking legacy of the Brumby Government’s inaction on serious public service bullying issues, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Ryan Smith said today.

The survey  withheld by Premier John Brumby for more than three months, according to Victorian Public Sector Union Secretary Karen Batt highlights an alarming culture of workplace bullying within government ranks.

“John Brumby is Victoria’s Chief Bully, so it’s not surprising bullying is rife within government ranks.” Mr. Smith said.




“John Brumby and his arrogant ministers regularly lead by example by bullying the media, community groups and protesters for example, by calling protesters ‘ugly, ugly people’ and ‘quasi-terrorists’.”

Instances of bullying by a fellow worker or by an immediate manager have risen since the 2008 survey (2009 People Matter Survey, page 9), with almost 20 % of those surveyed reporting that they had experienced bullying in the workplace (2009 People Matter Survey, page 30).

In addition, almost a third of respondents reported they had witnessed examples of bullying within the public service (2009 People Matter Survey, page 30).

Further almost one in five workers said that they were not confident they would be protected from reprisals if they reported improper conduct (2009 People Matter Survey, page 22), and almost one in four were not confident that they would not suffer negative consequences if they lodged a grievance. (2009 People Matter Survey, page 45)

“John Brumby’s invisible Minister for Industrial Relations who used to be a so-called champion of workers’ rights is mute about his own government being a leader in bullying and we haven’t heard a peep from the so-called Minister for Respect.” Mr. Smith said.

“Through his arrogant bully-boy approach, John Brumby is giving the green light for bullies to run amok in Victoria’s Public Service.” Mr. Smith said.


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