|Issue No 107||17 August 2001|
'Man Who Worked Too Hard' Wins Back Job
Sacked Centrelink worker Geoff Scott has been reinstated after the Australian Industrial Relations Commission gave his employer 14 days to take him back and awarded back pay.
On December, 29, Centrelink sacked Geoff Scott from his job in Wollongong, alleging he had failed to follow agency instructions. It was the contention of Geoff, his union and workmates that he had been victimised for assisting workmates and clients when the office had been under pressure.
The Sydney and Wollongong media quickly dubbed Geoff "the man who worked too hard".
Wollongong workers stuck beside Geoff. Some gave evidence on his behalf before the AIRC. Last week, dozens in offices throughout the Illawarra wore green ribbons to work to mark "Geoff's Day". Interstate colleagues sent emails of support.
On learning of today's reinstatement order, Geoff expressed thanks to workmates around the country.
"It's a relief to be vindicated," he said. "I am grateful for the support my case has received from other Centrelink workers, especially those I had worked with in the Illawarra.
"I'm looking forward to getting back to work."
CPSU national secretary, Wendy Caird, said Geoff's case had to be seen in the context of the current debate over Centrelink breaching procedures.
"We've got a situation, leading up to a federal election, where the Government is trying to hang Centrelink workers out to dry to cover-up for its meanness.
"What happened to Geoff Scott is an illustration of what can happen, in that environment, when a worker is prepared to go the extra mile on behalf of workmates or clients."
Ms Caird praised the "independent umpire" role of the AIRC, and said she hoped its decision would lessen pressure on other Centrelink workers.
Interview: What's The Deal?
Labor's IR spokesman Arch Bevis explains how a Beazley Government will rebuild our broken system.
E-Change: 2.3 The State of the Union
White hope or white elephant? The future of trade unions is by no means guaranteed in the networked society.
Industrial: Into the 21st Century
ACTU President Sharan Burrow looks at the landmark deal delivering workers 12 months paid maternity leave.
Unions: The Black Hole
Jim Marr goes inside Stellar to discover the human cost of a management philosophy that says: you are on your own.
History: The Age of Dissent
The Sydney Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History has organised a Conference on Social Protest Movements and the Labour Movement, 1965-1975.
Media: ABC and the Knowledge Nation
Tony Moore looks at how the national broadcaster's fortunes are closely linked to the Knowledge Nation Agenda
International: Brazil´s C.U.T. - When Big Is Beautiful
The CFMEU´s Phil Davey drops in on Brazil´s equivalent to the ACTU, the Central Unica Dos Trabalhadores (CUT).
Satire: Bracks Disputes Cabramatta tag
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has called for a national council to decide on a location for Australia's drug capital.
Review: Globalisation Is Globalisation
In an extract from his book, Christopher Shiel argues that the official Australian perspective on globalisation is strikingly narrow.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005