||Issue No. 212||12 March 2004|
Interview: Baby Bust
Safety: Dust To Dust
Bad Boss: Shaming in Print
National Focus: Work's Cripplin' Us
International: Bulk Bullies
History: The Battle for Kelly's Bush
Economics: Aid, Trade And Oil
Review: The Art Of Work
Poetry: Sew His Lips Together
Seven Good Reasons To Save Medicare
Naked Leading The Blind
Naked Leading The Blind
Your article "Stop or You'll Stay Blind" was misleading and suggested that Royal Blind Society unfairly disciplined 12 staff, some of whom were vision impaired, in relation to one offensive email. This is not the case.
After seeking industrial relations advice, Royal Blind Society has spoken to a number of staff in relation to regularly sending and receiving large quantities of emails that were in bad taste, sexist and offensive over a number of months. This material ranged from offensive jokes to images of the bodies of dead accident victims and pornography.
Four staff were suspended on full pay and asked to respond to the allegations in writing within three days. During this time at least two of them sought union advice.
All four tendered their resignations at or before the time they were due to respond. Two others received a warning and the staff member associated with the pornographic material was dismissed. None of them were blind or vision impaired.
All staff are informed of Royal Blind Society policies and procedures through the induction process with the staff manual forming part of all our employment contracts. Staff are also reminded of key policies through the monthly staff newsletter.
Staff who have been identified as breaching this policy are being treated in accordance with the Royal Blind Society counselling, warning and dismissal policy.
As you would appreciate, Royal Blind Society has a responsibility to ensure that funds generously donated by the community are wisely spent. While we know staff will inevitably send a small number of personal emails, Royal Blind Society management will not tolerate anyone using the Royal Blind Society email system to circulate inappropriate material, especially with attachments, that could be considered as sexist, obscene, vulgar, discriminatory, insulting or bad taste.
We will continue to provide the highest quality service to people who are blind and vision impaired in NSW and the ACT and any non-business activity that diverts our funds away from core service delivery will not be tolerated.
Chief Executive Officer
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