Richard Guilliat says that people are making claims for compensation for workplace bullying.
But they do not understand what workplace bullying really is - workplace bullying is not an isolated difference of opinion.
And, in addition, I believe that Queensland teachers should have the professional right to engage in professional discussion / differ in their opinion without being threatened with Managing Unsatisfactory Performance.
If a Queensland principal puts a Queensland teacher on Managing Unsatisfactory Performance for trying to deal with the numbers of children missing from classrooms, roaming about the school and disrupting the other classes, that's workplace bullying.
Richard Guilliat says that workplace bullying can be terribly debilitating and terribly costly for an organisation.
Workplace bullying can change the focus of an organisation for the period of time it takes to resolve.
And the effect it has on the individuals involved can be absolutely traumatic.
But the focus should not be on resolving workplace bullying.
It should be on dealing with workplace bullying -
The CMC 'devolution process' should be funded properly to ensure that complaints are properly investigated.
Investigations should be properly conducted by a truly impartial body.
The Education Queensland promotion selection process should be improved to weed out dim, illiterate, lazy principals.
The Queensland Teachers Union should support bullied teachers.
Bullied classroom teachers should be given QTU-funded access to independent legal support.
The workplace bullying in Queensland schools will stop when principals know that the Queensland government and the QTU want them to stop bullying teachers.
Nadine Flood, national secretary of the CPSU, says that although awareness campaigns have raised the profile of bullying, they have also led many workers to erroneously believe that launching a grievance claim will somehow make their office a happier place.
"In my view, encouraging people down the legal path when there are simpler, quicker solutions doesn't do them any favours," she says.
My understanding of a QTU organiser's advice to me in 2000 was that he had never known a Queensland teacher's Grievance to be upheld.
And my own experience also suggests to me that the Grievance / investigation process has been corrupted.
Grievances frequently spiral into compensation claims for stress.
Workplace regulators report that these cases are among the most difficult they deal with.
Not only are they protracted and emotional, but most of them are ultimately dismissed.
Because the law is not about justice or truth.
It is about money.
Questionable claims are clogging up the system.
Genuine cases may get overlooked.
Richard Guilliat says that Brodie Panlock's suicide highlights the messy 'reality' underlying many bullying cases.
Brodie Panlock was in a s-xual relationship with her chief tormenter at the cafe, Nicholas Smallwood.
Richard Guilliat says that this is 'an important element of the story which often goes unreported'.
Brodie killed herself after an incident in her own flat, when she drunkenly allowed Smallwood in and had s-x with him, then became distraught after he ignored her pleas to stay.
Perhaps Brodie hoped that Smallwood would protect her from the bullies if she allowed him to have s-x with her.
Does Richard Guilliat really mean to suggest that if a fellow worker allows you to have s-ex with her it makes it OK to subject her to months of ridicule, relentless insults, demeaning remarks about her appearance, physical assaults, holding her down and pouring oil on her, putting Ratsak in her bag at work and mockingly challenging her to suicide?
Is this Richard Guilliat's tdea of a normal boyfriend-girlfriend relationship?
Or was Brodie Panlock so utterly desperate to stop the workplace bullying that she was even ready to have s-x with one of her tormentors in the hope that this would spark a little compassion for her situation?
Michael Tooma, a workplace lawyer with Norton Rose and a writer on occupational health issues says he agrees with Grace Collier that the majority of workplace bullying claims appear to be about relatively trivial issues.
"The reality is that many of the cases that are brought are just someone being upset because they are being performance-managed ..."
On the contrary, Mr Tooma, in my experience, the Managing Unsatisfactory Performance Process seems to be being abused to 'pay back' Queensland teachers who try to deal with issues at their schoool.
It seems to be quicker and easier for a Queensland principal to put a classroom teacher on Managing Unsatisfactory performance than to deal with poorly behaved students and their abusive parents.
Teachers are trapped by the Education Queensland Code of Conduct.
Teachers can't complain.
But poorly behaved students and their abusive parents can complain.
Jillian Ramsden is suing WorkSafe, the very organisation charged with stamping out workplace bullying in Victoria.
Ramsden's written complaints were ignored.
When other colleagues lodged complaints, Ramsden says her managers criticised her for inciting trouble.
By July, her dread of going to the office had become so acute that she found herself standing on a footpath "wondering whether I could get killed by a bus or a truck so that I wouldn't have to go to work".
Ramsden's solicitor, Josh Bornstein of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, freely admits using the media to publicise such cases, which he says have left him with a "visceral" sense of outrage.
"I unashamedly will publicise terrible cases of bullying because I've had a gutful of seeing people who are chopped liver," he says.
I think Mr Bornstein has the right idea.
The Queensland Teachers Union needs to publicise cases of workplace bullying in Queensland schools.
The QTU need to demonstrate that they will give legal support to bullied Queensland teachers.
Then the bullying will stop.
Workers at war, Richard Guilliat, The Australian, 26 November 2011