Public will have access to report into alleged workplace bullying at Wollondilly Council

Wollondilly Council staff held a stop work meeting at 9am on Wednesday. Picture: Joshua Bartlett
Wollondilly Council staff held a stop work meeting at 9am on Wednesday. Picture: Joshua Bartlett

Wollondilly Council will next week make public a summary of a report which states that no culture of workplace bullying or harassment exists at the council.

The report, produced by workplace lawyer Brooke Pendlebury, was ordered following the death of former employee David ‘Harry’ Wilson.

Mr Wilson, of Bargo, had lodged several complaints about bullying and harassment at work prior to his death.

Wollondilly Council chief executive Luke Johnson was the first to receive the report.

His initial refusal to allow anyone else to access the document had caused widespread controversy in the past two weeks.

Wollondilly mayor Judith Hannan said councillors were finally allowed to read a full copy of the redacted report at an extraordinary meeting last night.

“The only things redacted in the report were names and personal information,” she said.

“It took me about two hours to read the whole thing.

“It found that there was no systemic culture of bullying at council.”

Cr Hannan said councillors had a lengthy discussion after reading the report and it was decided that the findings should be made public.

“We made the unanimous decision to release a summary to staff and the public after United Services Union representatives have read the report on Monday,” she said.

Union spokesman Rudi Oppitz received a copy of the findings and recommendations of the report earlier this week.

He informed staff the report found there was no evidence of a culture of bullying or harassment at Wollondilly Council.

“I am surprised by that finding but will reserve further commentary until I see the rest of the report,” Mr Oppitz said.

Mr Oppitz has scheduled a stop work meeting with union members at 9am on Tuesday.

“At that time I will be providing members with further detail on the recommendations and findings,” Mr Oppitz said.

“Members will then determine what their next steps are.

“Several members have already voiced their concerns in regards to the findings revealed today that no bullying or harassment culture exists.

“I said it’s better for us to be more informed before taking any action and they’ve accepted that advice.”

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