DAB Vogt Evidence
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Vogt on Cross

The Cartoon  August 26th Meeting  Cross Examination   Question of Accuracy  Cartoons on Cross  Justification of criticism 

MERVYN VOGT

New day MV Gives evidence as KS not available. KS is permitted to give evidence on a later day. The propriety of this is unclear.

A Mr. Kirk was present ?

Asked for his functions MV " It is my responsibility to represent the members when they have problems, to disseminate information, to service them as best I can in their industrial and personal matters. Asked for more detail . Mv stated From head office they sed out periodically a number of publications, newsletters, bulletins and so on.

"Originally we had regular weekly meetings with my members of 30 minutes. At the complaint of management because apparently they didnít like the meetings or their content, we in a spirit of co-operation shifted to fortnightly for 40 minute duration and in the interim at the request of my members I commenced to produce a newsletter which would cover the odd week in which we did not meet.

Wraight: So the purpose of the newsletter was to fill them in, in the off week, if you like?

Thatís correct, and to provide stimulation for discussion of matters of interest to them.

Questioned further MV pointed out that discussion about the lease had been generated by an email from the previous National General Manager Danita Lowes January 1995. ÖÖ. It was common knowledge the lease on building 1 was due for the option to be taken up in Jan 97 and would run out completely July 97.

Union Documents were produced from June and July, which mentioned a cut of 25-35k jobs. It was established that such documents were also put on the notice-board. Was there a response from staff? Yes. The staff were sensitive to job insecurity since it was clear there would be cutbacks. MV also stated there had been considerable concern at the manner in which the top part of the organization has been conducted.

Asked about a document regarding superannuation MV stated that it had stimulated considerable discussion.

Asked for the sourcing for articles for the newsletter, union documents, periodicals such as Business Review Weekly, International TV, Australian Communications Review.

Asked about on what authority, the answer was first authorization was from my membership meetings. Also in the initial kit which I received from the CPSU on taking up my delegacy there were a number of duties imposed on me, one of which was the dissemination of information and it was in writing. MV stated that he understood it put an obligation to distribute to members information which affected them in their working lives.

Asked how the members came to ask MV for the Newsletter MV said that the members expressed concern when forced to go to fortnightly meetings, they felt to use their terms they were paying their fees, they felt what I was doing was basic and essential. The idea was generated. Whether I might have suggested the idea or one of the members I cannot recall. MV gave evidence that at the setting up and after at 4 of the meetings the vote was unanimous or without dissent as team leaders had come into a couple of meetings. Asked if there had been any assistance given from members MV said yes at times a committee of 3 had been set up that is one from each of the 3 meeting groups but basically I was responsible for the content.

In regard to the Meeting held by Robert Holland

MV it was one of only 3 meetings held by RH with the staff. A number of issues were to be raised. MV attended that meeting with prepared questions which had been discussed previously at union meetings. These were reproduced in newsletter 26 from my written notes. There is no dispute about the accuracy of the questions. The answers were written at the time and the newsletter is an accurate reflection.

On the Cartoon:

MV I have little artistic ability and the cartoons are taken from a clipart computer program called Corel, where appropriate for a particular comment, you will note I use a different one each time. I did not want anyone to be identified, and do not wish them any harm or hurt. The comment yesterday was the first time Mr Holland has ever told me he has a problem with it. A member of staff later joking said they thought RH was upset by it so I later put a disclaimer in the masthead. I am surprised that RH identified with the cartoon at the bottom of the page as it is short and squat, the only resemblance is the baldness and moustache. Mr. Holland is in fact tall and thin.

Meeting of August 26th

I had been at a training session in another building and there was a scheduled local consultative council meeting.

Wraight : Before that meeting was there any approach by management in relation to the newsletters?

Was there a directive?

MV; Nothing official. The management, that is Kelly Simpson, expressed displeasure at them, but never said what it was in the content to which they were objecting. They accused me of using Telstra equipment and materials. Though entitled under S170 agreement as it says delegates will be given access to all photocopying and facilities.

Asked if the newsletters had been raised at earlier consultative meetings before 26th Cannot recall any. A number of matters were discussed but management has withdrawn access to my emails and electronic records and I believe they have been destroyed.


After the formal part of the meeting as I was about to leave Kelly made a comment about the newsletters again raising the question of I couldnít use Telstra materials. I replied she knew perfectly well that I did not. KS stated that she had stayed behind one night and watched me. My reply "Well look Kel, if youíd come and asked me I would have told you I was on my own time and on my break time" I also pointed out that she got good value out of me. I am constantly in the workplace on unpaid time after work time clearing up various things that need to be done. I used to be paid for it on overtime I have not been for some time .Iím often there for 40 minutes, indeed some team leaders kick me out of the place. On the nights of the union meetings I do not take my long break and rarely take my last break. My parting comment was that I would take the matter up again with my members. That I did and Newsletter 27 under the heading "The Newsletter and Freedom of Communication" A,B,C,& D are the actual resolutions passed. I had also stated to Simpson that if she had any problem with the content there is an open invitation for the management to respond. It is in fact printed there as item C . The motion was passed without dissent as there were team leaders present.
(the staff were really brave to vote like this under the scrutiny of the managers and they (the staff) refused to be intimidated. In fact at a later date they voted to exclude the managers from the meetings)

MV It has not been officially approved by the SDC Copies have always been sent to them and distributed to them, sometimes they have distributed them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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