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Sandi Logan ends free expression in the Public Service

By johnboy - 13 August 2013 46

The Age has the intriguing story of how Michaela Banerji was run out of the public service for differing with the mighty warlord of Immigration Public Affairs Sandi Logan.

The Federal Court has just ruled this is totally OK.

The upshot is if you’re in the public service and want to have a social media profile of your own you better keep it very quiet.

What’s Your opinion?


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46 Responses to
Sandi Logan ends free expression in the Public Service
MrBigEars 2:45 pm 13 Aug 13

I had just completed a great performance assessment but staff numbers in my department needed to be reduced and I was lucky that one of my SES and I got along brilliantly…

Wow. I’m not even sure my SES knows my name.

devils_advocate 2:44 pm 13 Aug 13

I am frankly astounded that someone in the public service had not only the technical ability, but the work ethic, to conduct this kind of investigation and be able to form a view about who was behind an anonymous twitter account. I suppose spite and fear can be a powerful motivator.

Savanna100 2:35 pm 13 Aug 13

There’s no real point me going over the circumstances of my APS departure, suffice it to say that, Given this awesome opportunity, I did my sums, adjusted my lifestyle and now can retire and do things I really enjoy. I’ll think of you slaving away at your desk Pitchka while I’m having a Gin and Tonic in my country garden, having to obey no one or endlessly re-write everything as it goes up the line, as we all had to. I’m out, you’re still in (and probably for a while yet) enjoy 🙂

schmeah 2:20 pm 13 Aug 13

Pitchka said :

Savanna100 said :

Glad I got handed a VR without asking for it…

This still happens, generally its those underperforming, or are hated by their peers who are pushed out in this manner… I dare say the APS is glad you havent been back either.

Don’t know if that is particularly fair. I’ve worked with under performers who are shown no such benefit, they’re just kind of ignored in the workplace; given no work because they can’t be trusted but still given a pay packet every week. I’ve even worked with other underperformers who have been promoted well and truly above their capability. But having lunch with the EL (and occasionally the SES) boss every day didn’t have anything to do with it at all I’m sure.

Toxic is not an inaccurate description.

Savanna100 2:18 pm 13 Aug 13

Pitchka said :

Savanna100 said :

Glad I got handed a VR without asking for it…

This still happens, generally its those underperforming, or are hated by their peers who are pushed out in this manner… I dare say the APS is glad you havent been back either.

I had just completed a great performance assessment but staff numbers in my department needed to be reduced and I was lucky that one of my SES and I got along brilliantly…she knew I was bored out of my mind and suggested it rather than me just quitting. The APS was lucky to have someone as experienced as me in the field my department worked in…its their loss, I assure you.

Pitchka 1:51 pm 13 Aug 13

Savanna100 said :

Glad I got handed a VR without asking for it…

This still happens, generally its those underperforming, or are hated by their peers who are pushed out in this manner… I dare say the APS is glad you havent been back either.

Savanna100 1:38 pm 13 Aug 13

Masquara said :

Simple. Her colleagues didn’t like her and wanted her out of the team. Nothing to do with her social media activities. Don’t you know how the APS works?

Yes, for too many people, this is exactly how it works. I made some lovely friends in the APS but I also saw people victimised for no reason too.

Savanna100 1:31 pm 13 Aug 13

The outrage should be (and should always have been) directed towards the outrageous APS Code of Conduct. When I joined the APS, I couldn’t believe that it was intended to cover your behaviour 24/7…they must be kidding. The CPSU should be seriously campaigning to restrict this nonsense to working hours. It was the poor woman’s after-hours tweets which has bought this on. Couple this with another article in todays SMH which talks about bullying in the APS being up 30% and you have a completely toxic workplace…glad I’m out, Glad I got handed a VR without asking for it…there is three years and 1 month I wont ever get back. Find something better to do with your one and only precious life !!!

Primal 1:30 pm 13 Aug 13

The thing that stands out for me is the fact that the comments directly related to her own agency. I can’t see the same result occurring if she was commenting on another agency that she didn’t work for. It’s rather hard to think that taking anonymous pot shots at your higher-ups is a pure matter of political expression.

Masquara 1:28 pm 13 Aug 13

Simple. Her colleagues didn’t like her and wanted her out of the team. Nothing to do with her social media activities. Don’t you know how the APS works?

Thumper 1:02 pm 13 Aug 13

Got to admit, I’m surprised at the lack of outrage over this.

All seems a bit heavy handed, unless, of course, there is a bit more to the story than we are yet to know.

switch 12:36 pm 13 Aug 13

Mothy said :

Running on what this article stated as the facts of the case, the staff member in question was recommended for dismissal for TWO breeches of the APS Code of Conduct.

“breeches”

Sandi Logan must really wear the pants in the APS…

HiddenDragon 12:31 pm 13 Aug 13

I would be interested to know whether Ms Banerji egregiously misused privileged information in her tweets, or whether she simply said things which any member of the public could have come up with, had they been prepared to put sufficient time and effort into it. If the latter is the case, this looks like a rather heavy-handed over-reaction, and leads me to wonder whether the tweets were used to get rid of someone who just didn’t “fit in”.

We’ll know they’re really serious when the PS ACT is amended to allow convicted dissidents to be shipped off to Manus Island.

Can’t help but think that social media would be in meltdown by now if this had happened under the Howard Government.

schmeah 12:25 pm 13 Aug 13

I think we’ve all come to know by now that opinions don’t count for crap in the public service, especially if yours happens to be at odds with your SES overlord or the newest teenager running the minister’s office.

Mothy 12:21 pm 13 Aug 13

Running on what this article stated as the facts of the case, the staff member in question was recommended for dismissal for TWO breeches of the APS Code of Conduct.

While the “free speech” argument is interesting, particularly the acknowledgement from Justice Neville that we enjoy no “unfettered implied right (or freedom) of political expression”, it is not the only show at this particular circus.

Holding down a second job could detract from one’s capacity to fulfill ones first job, and could be an item of concern, no?

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