Published by Unemployed Peoples Embassy often regularly since 1980 – first in 1976.
SMILING LIAR !
SITE MANAGER DEFAMES WHISTLE BLOWER
Job Futures “Work Venture” (JobNetwork member) new site manager, Lucy, has swore false evidence in a court document against a man whose “interview” with Lucy we published in our September issue (which we have accidentaly erased from this webpage, but which now appears in the Nov online issue of our TIMESTREAM Magazine). He was on Sickness Benefits due to suspected stress to his heart after that interview, where Lucy told him to leave the Work Ventures premises after he said he was going to complain, in writing , to the Dept of Employment and his local MP, about how Work Ventures staff had been abusing him. The transcript of the taped interview shows that Lucy's motive in asking him to leave (which he did peacefully) was to try and falsely discredit him so the Dept wouldn't believe his complaints about them.
Work Ventures' overriding motive is profit motive – so any internal complaints by its jobless “clients” are being ignored – while clients making external complaints will be punished. What is at stake for the Job Futures company is the renewal of Federal government contracts – in competition with other agencies. The humiliation of “M” by their “Work Ventures” regime started soon after he gave them a letter from his doctor indicating that he had increased back problems and could only work for limited hours in any week. That they then sought to humiliate him with false claims about his hygiene, interview skills and manners (by staff members who weren't even his “employment consultant”) doesn't bode well for how people, the Howard government wants pushed off Disability Pension onto the dole – will be treated by the privatised Job Network. “M” is also over 50 – which plus being male, especially limits his prospects for employment – despite his several tertiary qualifications and recent skilled work experience.
“M” indicated to the new Work Ventures site Manager, Lucy, that not only was he going to complain to the Dept of Employment about how they were treating him – but he wanted them to “exit” him from their agency – adding that he had not wanted to be with them in the first place (as they were located too close to where he lived and he expected they would treat him badly – which was his experience previously having done a course with them). Centrelink kept telling him that it was the Dept's decision to let him be transferred away from Work Ventures – and the local MP's office was no more helpful at the time. Since on his weekly mandatory “job search group “ visit, Lucy said she was calling the police (just because he asked why she was telling him to leave, after he said he was going to complain about them) he faced the prospect of having his dole cut if he didn't turn up next week for another job search session. He taped his interrogation by Lucy that day – as he told them the week before he would.
He rang them to say he'd see them for the job search on 1 October instead of this usual day (earlier in the week). By then the stress of trying to find out how to exit from Work Ventures led him to see his Doctor again – who detected heart problems and got him onto Sickness Benefits for two weeks while a test was done. Even so he felt he should take in their form, with jobs he'd looked up, written on it on the Friday (1 October) – though he was now covered by Sickness Benefits and needing some time off from the months of weekly humiliation by Work Ventures. This was at a bit before 10am – when clients are supposed to go in. Curiously there as a “closed” sign on the door – but the door was open . He thought he could at least hand in his weekly list of jobs – but he was interested to find out if he was allowed to go there for job search – as their Activity contract said he would be “breached” if he didn't go weekly. He had a tape recorder on at all times that he was in their office. Here is his account.
LEGAL DEFENSE ON TAPE
“I walked into Work Ventures and saw that they had another client being interviewed in the staff office to the right. I was prepared just to drop the form at Reception, where Yasmin, (whose humiliating tactics and comment I'd already complained to them about) was no doubt poised to be nasty to me again, but I saw that the “employment consultant” Alison was in her little hutch (desk with low buffers on two sides) area, located on the way to the job search area – whose door was at the back of the reception area on the left wall. This was the public area of the shopfront that everyone walked through. The tape shows that nothing was said until after I handed my form to Alison. (The Receptionist tick off the names of clients as they walk in - as they knew their names by sight – unless they were new clients). I naturally walked over to hand my form over the low buffer on one side of Alison's desk. Despite Lucy's sudden bizarre unannounced move to try and stop me handing it to her, by partly leaping in front of me, Alison and I both moved a bit (to my left) so Alison could easily take the form out of my hands. The tape clearly picks up me saying “I am now on Sickness Benefits –thanks to you” as I started walking back out of the office. I even managed to say to Lucy, very quitely - that this means I can come back? (after being told to leave the premises for no reason, by Lucy, on 20 September – the last time I was there). Lucy didn't say anything about me handing in my weekly form (to the Receptionist instead ) and didn't come after me or tell me to leave – but her physically aggressive behaviour (while smiling) towards me made me want to never want to return again. I didn't say that this was the last form I would hand in - as she falsely claims to the police. I thought it was up to them to allow me to transfer to another Job Network agency.
However she had said something while I was there – which I felt the tape recorder running in my pocket would not have picked up distinctly. Having the tape recorder running was just to show that I was speaking quietly. I didn't expect it to record anything but the level of voices – if anything at all. The tape in fact only records some muted talk from Lucy as I was leaving. Lucy didn't say anything about me not being allowed to hand the form to Alison or that I wasn't allowed in that area (at any time) - as again she falsely claims to police. I repeat that he tape shows that she said NOTHING until I was already leaving the front office. It was important for me to return to try to record what Lucy had to say – as she had been pretty ambiguous in her statements when she talked to me the last time and I hadn't aimed to tape her at all. Curiously she was smiling all the time – unlike the other staff, who had been there longer than her and actually knew me to some extent. With some dread, I walked back in and said “can you speak up, I didn't get that”. Adding “ so I can come back in, right?”. I spoke up – but I didn't know even if I was being recorded. Again I left - but realising I probably hadn't recorded whatever they said – I returned – producing the tape recorder from my pocket and holding it out to make sure I got a recording of any comments they made. I still had to speak up a bit to make sure my voice was recorded as well. I just came inside the front door as I did the last time and said “ excuse me , are you seriously (saying that) I'm not allowed in this place again? Are you saying that? Can you say that to the tape recorder? Are you saying I can't come to this office. (Contrary to her false statement to police) No? And therefore I will come back." Still no instruction to leave the premises – (which apparently were supposed to be "closed" for some reason )– but I left again. I still didn't know whether Lucy had told me to leave permanently on 20 September.
Outside once more - I still felt I had to at least finalise a couple of things that I may have no other chance to raise with this Lucy “Manager” – who apparently had already used the authorities to try and falsely blacken my character. Inside I asked; Me-” And did I say to you (pointing to the previous female acting site Manager whose name I forgot as I only found out recently she had that position) and Alison...”. Lucy- “goodbye M”. Me - “...that if you wanted to interview me, (in private, to “counsel” me rather than listen to my complaints about them – after they had ignored my written complaint) I wanted to tape it. I said that a couple of weeks ago (which was before Lucy turned up) Lucy-”Goodbye M”. She was now coming towards me as I was starting to leave again – perhaps to actually lock the front door. Me- “I have a right, okay”. Lucy (still smiling as ever but turning around to talk to her staff behind her) “Can you call the police?” Me - ”Why? You have(had) no right...” Lucy- “Leave M” Me-”... to tell me to leave before (on 30 Sept) – and I did leave and you got the police and mental health people?” Lucy- “Yes M, that's right”. Me- “and that's disgusting (sound of door opening as I leave – which street noises now heard) That is disgusting”. The tape shows I did not say any of this loudly (except a bit at the end where the front door was open and traffic noise needed to be counteracted)– but in fact I was the one in fear in this situation. As a Centrelink officer said later – in my complaint against work Ventures – it was my word against theirs. Luckily – at least I managed to record just about all of my words. The tape shows that Lucy's repeated “Goodbye M” comments were taunts to me – where she is laughing as she says it. I was the one in fear, as she had proved to be a very cunning liar.
That is the last time I saw Lucy, though a few weeks later I dropped in to their Reception (but not talking to anyone – and especially not her – as it was the abusive Jasmine) while a homeless long term friend of mine watched from outside – since their front door was open. He had refused to come inside – as he said Work Ventures had treated him really badly in the past (while another Job Network agency had recently forced him to take a 15 hour a week cleaning job – rather than one recognising his skill certificates). Since 30 September various people have been knocking on my flat door – more than usual. However living in Dept of Housing – I never answer the door and have my (downstairs buzzer) disconnected as druggies kept pushing it find out where the drug dealers are in our block. Eventually I found a note was put under my door after someone tried to get in using some keys. The note indicated that they were police and they had the AVO notice Lucy had instigated with them as Work Ventures Manager – available at the Police Station."
NEWSFLASH: A letter from the Dept of Employment dated 9 November upheld M's complaint against Work Ventures saying that what happened was “disappointing” and referring to the JobNetwork Code of Practice. They also allowed “M” to transfer to another JobNetwork agency, which is not something that allow usually as they like the jobless to remain with the “same” Job Network agency. The Work Ventures' Manager, failed to get an Interim Order for her police instigated AVO in Court on 5 November. A Hearing is due in early December, where “M” is allowed no Legal Aid to get a lawyer to represent him in court. The police had never interviewed “M” about Lucy's contradictory and false allegations against him. Her Work Ventures site has failed in its two efforts to have “M” officially called in for an “interview” - the second of which where he was told to report to their abusive Receptionist, Jasmine.
Presumably Lucy would have called the police again when he attended (on pain of having his dole cut if he didn't. On 11 November, Centrelink confirmed that he would never have to see them again, as he was now transferred to a different JobNetwork agency (which does have an internal complaints procedure for its jobless clients). A further written complaint was made by “M” to his local MP. His next complaint about Work Ventures will be to the Anti Discrimination Board (or whatever it's currently called), Human Rights Commission – and any other official watchdog organisation in Australia and internationally. The Embassy urges jobless and disabled people being victimised by Job Network agencies to contact us with their stories. They are especially urged to join and assist our organisation in its projects (as the Embassy is a registered non profit since 1981). Together we stand – divided we fall.
The UNEMPLOYED PEOPLES EMBASSY received a grant from the Human Rights Commission in 1984
NOTE: A computer glitch means the September issue was lost off this web page – and the August and September issues exist only in hardcopy versions as they contain artwork – and we have no access scanner currently. Send a donation to the Embassy (if you are employed – via our postal address, or an SAE for a membership form, and we will post you the last issues. we apologise for typos appearing in the first production of this issue- but there are certain time pressures involved in trying to publish the truth in an increasingly police state like Australia. A police state is where everyone acts like they are your “case manager”. A Case Manager is often like a jailhouse “screw” (but without the duty of care obligations that captors have when they have you totally under their control).
HERE IS AN ARCHIVAL ISSUE FROM WHEN WE DID HAVE SOME SCANNER ACCESS:
MAY 2001 issue DOLE NEWS
MAYDAY FOR LEFT
SYDNEY: 1 MAY ,am
About twenty youngish activists block