BAD BEHAVIOUR IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE: A GUIDE TO DEALING WITH WORKPLACE BULLYING, HARASSMENT, VICTIMISATION AND DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC SERVICE AGENCIES

By Jaq James

Paperback

AU$25 rrp + postage

How great would it be if you could attend work every day in an environment that is positive, friendly, supportive, safe, and free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination? Of course, all public servants would thrive in such an environment. Unfortunately, however, around one in five public servants are mistreated in the workplace each year. With the public service in many countries being one of the biggest employers around the world, this makes for a huge number of sufferers.

The purpose of this book is to guide targets in the public service on how to deal with perpetrators, their employers and external government complaint bodies. There are a couple of justifications for writing a book focused solely on bad behaviour in the public service. Firstly, with the incomes of public service employees being funded by taxpayers, the public wants to be sure that their tax dollars are not going to waste. Since studies have shown that bad behaviour in the workplace negatively affects employee productivity, the upshot is that taxpayers are cheated of the efficient use of their tax dollars, and the production of high-quality public policy and service delivery. Secondly, public service agencies are awash with a litany of workplace conduct policies and procedures that profess high ethical standards, openness and transparency. This lures naïve targets into making complaints within the system, only to be confronted with a reality that is nothing like the rosy picture painted by the public service mantras of being worthy of trust and confidence. Rather, targets are confronted with a cultural reality of cover-up, blame, victimisation and stifling red tape, leaving the targets better off to have not used complaint channels in the first place.

The research behind this book originated in the Australian context, but is largely applicable to other jurisdictions as well. The information contained in this book is based on thoroughly collected targets’ experiences, information provided by insiders, and literature. Distilled from this research is essentially a formula that public service agencies use in responding to complaints of workplace misbehaviour.

This book will arm you with the knowledge you need to navigate through the maze of traps that comes with being a complainant in the public service.

Some feedback for the content of this book includes:

"Your book is a gift! I was moved by your meticulous understanding of the processes and how they can be abused by senior management in the public service to demoralise and drive out competent staff perceived as a threat. In fact, I was moved to tears as someone has finally dared to speak out about the big white elephant in our alleged democratic public service. Well Done!"

"This book precisely echoed my experiences of being bullied in the public service in Australia. It is an essential guide for anyone thinking about taking on these Goliaths, and is (sadly) spot on about the tactics they will use against you if you dare to complain about the mistreatment. Until there is an immense cultural change along the lines recommended in this book, I fear that we will see many more talented and committed public service employees bullied and harassed to the point of breakdown, or even worse, suicide. Bravo Jaq James for shining the light on the very unsavoury practices of these organisations that are being supported and paid for out of our tax dollars."

"Thank you so much for your book with its information ... for targets of workplace bullying. The book captures everything: what they do, why they do it, how they do it, what it is doing to us - the bad, the bad and the ugly. There is nothing good in being a target of workplace bullying. What you state in your book resonates with my own experience, that is, mobbing by management and the process of 'containment' through denial, discrediting, falsifying and burying information, and obstruction tactics - all causing further psychological harm. With this comprehensive book, I will be able to navigate better through this ugly situation. It confirms my experience, what I have observed, and the conclusions I have arrived at, that is, an embedded endemic culture where like protect like up the perpetrator ladder. ...
I will no longer be silent and I stand with the collective against the human rights abuses perpetrated in the Public Service. Thank you for the healing, the tips, the guidance and how to protect myself mentally, physically and vocationally. I am grateful for your courage."