Breaking News – State Election, Invasion Day, Community Worker newspaper, Big Brother at QR?

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Invasion Day in Canberra 2012

Qld State elections just announced for 24 March 2012 — ALP to lose government, Bligh and Campbell Newman to tear each other apart, perhaps neither to win a seat — Bob Katter party to be beneficiary of the failure of Labor and Nationals.

Anna Blight to rue the day she sold Queensland Rail. See QR Use of External Workplace Investigators Big Brother Is Watching

Invasion Day Rally & March from Parliament went ahead

Please let people know. PA to be set up for an open forum plus Save Ahimsa Stall.

Community Newspaper
A friend wants to start up a community newspaper called ‘Community Worker’ that addresses all the activities of existing community organisations and engages with them.  He wants to know what people think?

I think it is a good idea, maybe it could start online and then move to print? Newspapers are online in BCC buses now. Community radio can help out on this. Online newspapers look like this now – see Echonetdaily

Big Brother at QR

The RTBU have released an article on Queensland Rail’s implementation of external workplace investigators – the contractor being Ashdale Workplace Solutions – to monitor employee conduct and data usage, a tactic which is
becoming far too common.

The RTBU have responded, but to what effect?

The RTBU article follows:

QR Use of External Workplace Investigators Big Brother Is Watching
The RTBU has recently become aware that QR has engaged a new contractor to conduct external workplace investigations. QR use external workplace investigators in disciplinary proceedings against employees to investigate employees’ conduct.

The name of the new contractor is Ashdale Workplace Solutions. In 2011, the RTBU dealt with a significantly increased number of members subject to disciplinary proceedings involving the member being investigated by external workplace investigators. In 2011, the RTBU called into question the independence of these workplace investigators. QR has not consulted with the RTBU about their use or choice of external workplace investigators. In some instances, these external workplace investigators have a real power to affect RTBU member’ careers, reputations and livelihoods. We bring members attention to the nature of the services provided by Ashdale Workplace Solutions, the new QR contractor.

Ashdale Workplace Solutions’ website states the following: “Our experienced Intelligence Analysts use the latest analysis techniques and software (Analyst’s Notebook) to identify patterns, prepare chronologies and to make sense of large amounts of data, including:”

  • Email data
  • Telephone call data
  • GPS data
  • Vehicle log book data
  • Large volumes of documents (e.g. receipts)

“By using this data, this service can identify”

1.  relationships between people,
2.  fraudulent activities,
3.  conflicts of interest,
4.  frequency of contact (i.e. harassment)
5.  frequency and nature of complaints
6.  frequency and nature of disciplinary actions
7.  response times etc.

We take this opportunity to remind all members that Big Brother is watching.

Please double-think about anything you may say, do, write, print, email, phone, as something which may seem innocent could come back to bite you. We would also advise you at this stage to be think seriously about reference to work related matters if you are using social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. that could be available in the public domain directly or indirectly.

The RTBU is concerned about the intrusiveness of these external investigative activities and therefore I am, in the first instance, seeking discussions with Queensland Rail before determining our next step.

The potential”big brother” approach by these external investigators is certainly something members will no doubt be particularly concerned about and you can be guaranteed that the RTBU is not going to sit quietly back and allow your employer to potentially intrude in your life in an unacceptable manner. Following discussions with Queensland Rail I will report to members all developments and the steps the RTBU will be taken if QR’s response does not allay the RTBU’s concerns.

Owen Doogan, Branch Secretary

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