Sunday, January 10, 2010

Excerpts from DDB's Autobiography on Justice for Hamidur Rahman pt 9

This follows part 8. Hamidur Rahman was a boy I met in passing. I had nothing to do with his death. However, had my abusers not been so bent on abusing me, I believe Hamidur Rahman would be alive today.
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2009 was a watershed year for me. I knew my money would run out in December 2008 and that I would not be able to support my unit's mortgage. My Superannuation company kept saying they were processing my claim but refused to give me a timeline of what I might be expected to do, or when it might be finalized. I had left the matter in God's hands, which to me meant I would take the practical steps of doing what I had to do, but I wasn't going to needlessly worry. If I had to sell, then I would have to sell.
I approached a lawyer to access my superannuation. I also discussed the Hamidur issue and my employment problems. My lawyer focused on Superannuation.
Halfway through the year I got an offer from an old friend to work at Fairvale HS, where Kathleen worked. I had already been told she didn't want me and they hadn't hired since they limited my availability to needs only. But my friend had found work for me as a teacher's aide, not a a teacher. With my friend supervising, I should be largely immune to attacks by Kathleen and James, so long as I adhered to some rules. Kathleen didn't want to read about what she had done or was doing, and she also didn't want me talking about Fairvale in my blog postings. I adhered to those rules while I worked there. My task was to work with the numeracy of the school students, with a focus on year 10 then year 8. I was to be paid minimum wage and this would allow me to keep my unit.
Kathleen seemed to avoid meeting with me, but when she finally did she pointed out her office was better than mine .. and that I was not being paid much. This was true, she was not paying my basic entitlements. Working full time, I would normally expect to be paid minimum wage, superannuation and get holiday pay. Instead I was hired as a day casual and paid less. Had I worked a full year without sickness then I would have earned about $30k. This would not have allowed me to pay my mortgage. With a term to go, and progressing well with the students, I asked my lawyer to intercede, draft a letter asking for my basic conditions. The lawyer decided that I had more of a chance if I asked for permanent full time work instead. They also directed the letter to James. The result was the Education Department claimed that I didn't have the right to demand full time work and ignore my actual needs. They covered themselves by paying me one days' work as holiday pay. So I was denied access to IR court too, because I wasn't considered to be working for them so I couldn't lose my job. This gave Kathleen an opportunity to end my work the week before students left for the year. And so I finished 2009 in much the same position as I finished 2008. Trusting God.
One big difference was the status of my home ownership. In 2009, my bank offered me a period of relief from paying the mortgage. It was thought my superannuation would kick in soon. But that never happened, and so beginning 2010 I needed to declare to my bank that I would have to default on my loan and they would have to demand that I sell up. The positive from that would be that I would have another way of possibly accessing my superannuation so as to prevent the loss of my home. But although the letter is to be posted on Jan 15th from my bank, the superannuation option is a gamble.
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Correspondence from the Dept. of Ed
I refer to your email correspondence dated 27 November 2009 and 11 December 2009 to the Michael Coutts- Trotter, Director- General for Education and Training regarding your complaint that you have been blacklisted by the School Education Director for Fairfield and the Principal of Fairvale HS which you claim has prevented you from gaining employment as a secondary Mathematics teacher. The Director-General has asked me to reply on his behalf

I have found no evidence that Mr James XXXXXXXX, School Education Director, Fairfield and Ms Kathleen XXXXXXXXX, Principal, Fairvale High School have never made any statements nor taken any actions that have prevented you from gaining employment as a teacher of Mathematics. There is also no evidence that you have been “blacklisted” in this way. It is understood that you have been issued with a casual teacher number and can be employed anywhere as a casual teacher in NSW.

In regard to the matter of you being employed only as a teacher’s aide at Fairvale High School, I understand that this position for a teacher’s aide Numeracy (casual) was advertised in the Sydney Morning Herald in January 2009 and you did not apply for this position when it was advertised. The applicant who was successful in gaining this position worked for a period of time during the first half of the year and then took leave for personal reasons. The Head Teacher Mathematics approached the Principal to fill the position with a casual and he suggested that you may be suitable. I understand that you commenced duties on 1 June 2009 and completed an application for relief employment. Further, you were advised by the Head Teacher that the position was until the end of the term (10 July 2009) and during term 3 you were again engaged as it appeared that the original teacher’s aide would not be returning to the position. This position is not a permanent one within the school as it was created under temporary project funding called ‘Priority Action Schools’, which is a tied fund.

As you would be aware, schools in all regions have opportunities to select teachers for permanent appointment through the Permanent Employment Program. Teachers, such as yourself, who are not currently in a permanent teaching position in a New South Wales public school are eligible to apply for the 300 positions which are advertised each year under this program on the Department’s website at www.jobs.det.nsw.edu.au. In this context, I would encourage you to consider applying for those positions and any other suitable vacancies advertised in the weekend press.

In regard to the range of issues you have raised in your correspondence, I am unable to respond in detail due to privacy requirements. However, I am advised that these matters have been considered previously by the Department’s Employee Performance and Conduct Unit, or referred to the Department’s Legal Services Directorate, or handled as grievances at the school level according to the Department’s Responding to Complaints, Suggestions and Allegations Procedures, and as such are considered to be concluded.

I am unaware of any impediments to you being employed as a teacher of Mathematics. I would encourage you to seek employment widely within the NSW public education system to maximize your opportunities to secure employment.
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The correspondence shows that that particular officer has failed to show due diligence in researching the issue. They never clarified the issue with me, or sought to ask basic questions. The final 'encouragement' is seen for what it is when it is recognized that I am applying for work in the states most disadvantaged areas, as the department describes it. My evaluation said that my performance was exceptionally good. Yet I have been denied further work for reasons other than credentials, performance or ability. The other issues have never been investigated, to my knowledge.
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