September 1st, 2023Bad behaviour called out as council staff targetted
Aggressive behaviour towards Hepburn Shire Council staff is on the increase and reaching unprecedented levels.
CEO Bradley Thomas said that several recent incidents had highlighted the lack of respect shown towards council staff.
“While the vast majority of our community are respectful and behave appropriately, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of incidents of occupational violence occurring towards our staff.
“Staff are regularly feeling intimidated after being approached in the street or in other public places, like the supermarket, and verbally abused, sometimes shouted or sworn at.
“We acknowledge that we don’t always get things right and sometimes mistakes are made, but that does not excuse poor behaviour towards staff. If we get things wrong, let us know in a respectful way through the many mechanisms available and we’ll do what we can to put things right.”
Mayor Cr Brian Hood said council staff, and councillors, were entitled to have a safe workplace.
“Verbal abuse and threatening behaviour is simply not acceptable, and that includes cowardly online abuse. Council has well-established complaint handling procedures, so if community members have a complaint, they must raise it through the appropriate channels.
“Council will do everything within its powers to protect its staff and councillors. We will not tolerate aggressive, abusive or threatening behaviour.”