The issue of bullying in the workplace in the ABC spilled over into The Australian’s media section the week before last. “Bulling complaints against the ABC have been referred by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission for investigation by an independent expert,” Sally Jackson wrote. “The complaints were made by former Inside Business executive producer Neheda Barakat, supported by journalists union Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance”.

The broadcaster and the union are due back in the AIRC tomorrow to make submissions on the issue – but there are real concerns from ABC staff that bad workplace practices are being allowed to flourish. Managers Marco Bass in Melbourne, Fiona Crawford in Brisbane and Tom O’Byrne in Adelaide are favourite targets for the ire of newsroom staff – but so is their national head, John Cameron.

ABC staff tell Crikey of their fears that careers – and newsrooms – are being destroyed. Some believe independent experts need to be brought in to interview all staff, to determine the full extent of bullying in all ABC Newsrooms. The Alliance is taking this matter very seriously indeed. Stay tuned for an interesting time in the Commission tomorrow.

Peter Fray

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