Taylor’s still reporting on Ombudsman. Eyebrows were raised again at last night’s extensive report by ABC Victorian political reporter Josie Taylor on the latest Ombudsman report on serious child protection failings by the Office of Corrections, Victoria Police and DHS. The problem is the perceived conflict of interest arising from Taylor’s father being the deputy ombudsman — raising the question of what advance notice Taylor had of a report subject to parliamentary privilege.

Previous instances of a close working relationship between the ABC reporter and the ombudsman’s office — as detailed by Crikey early last year — have been investigated and reported on through the ABC complaints process. However, ABC management should take another look given they turned a blind eye to what was seen as biased reporting from Josephine Cafagna during her time at the helm of Victoria’s Stateline program, only to see her then jump ship and take up a position of director of media for the incoming Baillieu government. Are standards being upheld?

Sub-hub salary not as good as it sounds. There will be no 4% pay increase for subbies moving to News Central, as Crikey reported on Monday. The money is, according to Cumberland and Courier Newspapers editor-in-chief Bob Osburn, simply a pay increase in line with a general increase that would have happened anyway. The award agreement ran out on December 31. The new pay would have been effective on July 1 with back pay to January 1, as these things normally happen.

So the only gratuity is that this pay increase is occurring four months earlier. The company at first tried to falsely suggest that the 4% increase was a payment as a sweetener to move to Holt Street. Now that has been shown to be bullshit, and the company a shifty employer. News is also offering $2500 on top of base salary — as a one off or on top of salary so it is $2500 per annum. It won’t say if  the 4% is 4% of old base or new base.

Mulder’s still deciding on everything. Terry Mulder may very well be saying “no decision has been made on … the Regional Rail Link”, as Crikey reported yesterday. But from what I gather from frustrated transport bureaucrats, Mulder is saying “no decision” on just about everything …

Handy guide to Muslim students. There’s not much indication of cultural assimilation being encouraged at one central Adelaide Catholic school …

Dear Colleagues,

With the meet the ………. it may be worth reiterating a memo I sent last year reading some cultural issues which may/may not be pertinent for some of our ………. students from the Muslim faith.

  1. Students may politely decline shaking female staff hands (inappropriate culturally)
  2. Please be aware of Muslim students’ personal space, there should always be appropriate distances, it would be very inappropriate to touch them  i.e. pat on the back, hand on the shoulder, touch on the arm etc.
  3. It would be inappropriate to have students in a one on one situation, there needs to be other students present ( no one on one tutoring),
  4. When students’ parents visit the same applies to their mothers — they will respect males enter through doorways first instead of the western culture of inviting guests to go first. They may also choose not to sit at the same table as their husbands and child in parent teacher meetings.
  5. It would be inappropriate for staff to disturb their lunch prayer time when it is occurring in the Chapel Reconciliation Room.

Peter Fray

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