Ed – a quick thank you to all our readers again, even with the silly NT DECS network ban in place we still had 712 views from 432 unique visitors in March!! Hoo-ray!! But that is eclipsed by the 189 views on one day (a new record) following the NT NEWS article on the latest teacher attacks >> click here
A quick word on that ban: our Tech Team inform us that while schools and teachers are blocked from looking at our truth telling public interest site from the NTSchools network, it seems it’s perfectly OK for other NT Gov employees to be reading it daily, many of them from their Gov issued iPads. That smacks of hypocrisy to us but is not at all surprising. The people at the top of the tree get to do and see whatever they want while telling those below (and who usually work harder) that they’re not allowed. Sounds like North Korea or Saudi Arabia. Hope you teachers are happy about that and if you’re not, then do something about it.
Now onto some other hypocrites: Lawyers from the SFNT (Solicitors For the Northern Territory) populate NT DECS Legal Services Unit, a small pond indeed with only 3 or 4 staff but a decent place to start your fledgling legal career we think. The boss for the last 3+ years is a middle aged woman called Mrs Lee Rayner who left NSW to come and help save the NT Government from its own employees, amongst other things. Even though she embarrassingly often throws her toys out the pram (like a woman with a fork in a world full of soup), we still think she’s a great lawyer for the government to have on their team.
Another lawyer in the SFNT pool, who works under her, is Simon Wiese. He used to work for the Anti-Discrimination Commission assisting people (we hope) in their fight against discriminatory and bullying employers but somewhere along the way he decided that he’d instead rather
HELP those same bullying employers try to justify the harassment and intimidation of their staff become a government lawyer so he switched sides. Now he plays for the other team.
Big round of applause for Mrs Rayner and Mr Wiese everyone.
Some of you might be under the illusion that when something goes majorly wrong in the course of your employment that you can call on NT DECS Legal to help you. THIS IS A BIG MISTAKE and one that is made often according to our research. Just because you work for DECS doesn’t mean their legal team is going to help you, no Ma’am. The hint is in the name: Solicitors FOR the NT, not solicitors FOR YOU! This is a very important distinction.
SFNT exist to minimise the damage done to the Government and also in bodies like the TRB for example. Information is shared in the background between them and can and will be used against you if you ever happen to cross any of their paths in your fight for accountability and justice, as a number of DECS employees have informed us. They also spend a lot of their time up there on the 14th Floor in Mitchell Street writing letters for senior executives, who then put their name at the bottom and pretend they wrote it themselves (yes you know who you are).
These lawyers don’t care about what you’re fighting for or what actually happened to you, they only care about protecting the government from legal liability at all costs. Some tactics they might use include: trying to bully or intimidate you, using complicated legal jargon, coming down to a school to ‘get the story straight’ for someone they are protecting, big words longer than 9 letters, legal threats (usually just more Scary Monsters hot air), belittling you in front of other people, deliberately narrowing the Terms Of Reference for an investigation to protect the government while covering up the truth, writing long letters outlining many ways to try to block legitimate Freedom of Information documents from getting to you, stretching out legal proceedings to try to bleed you dry financially, labelling you a troublemaker, accusing you of wasting everyone else’s time or just
flat out lying uttering the quote at the top of the post: “My client is going to deny those comments and deny that conversation” or “My client has denied the allegation and is unaware of the conversation [you had with them]” or “That never happened, my client has no recollection of that” while hoping that you’ll get scared, scuttle away and drop your complaint. All of the above tactics often work because NO ONE ELSE IS WATCHING. When everything is kept inside NT DECS it means that people like Mrs Lee Rayner and Mr Simon Wiese can write whatever they like and deny whatever they like – no matter how ridiculous it sounds to reasonable people outside of the organisation or other lawyers – because they think it will never be tested outside of DECS. Fellow teachers, we have to show them that they can no longer rely on this kind of nonsense – we encourage you to challenge them at EVERY OPPORTUNITY, Ed – give them lots more work to do.
Of course we all know that people lie to protect themselves and lawyers are no different. However these guys are getting paid a lot of money, from our taxes, to parrot the lies their clients (usually DECS senior executives) tell them and hope that you swallow it. They will deny something was said even when you show them a copy of it, written verbatim in front of the person at the time it was said, if they think they can get away with it. And if someone threatens to “blow you out the water” then calmly write it down, date it, make a copy and give it to someone else for safekeeping and keep yours safe so you can show a court sometime in the future.
With these kinds of devious legal tactics used against us with increasing frequency there is EVEN MORE REASON TO RECORD EVERYTHING IN AUDIO FORM AS WE SAID BELOW <<< (click link) that way, the liars and cheats of the world (and those SFNT employed to protect them) will never be able to win.
If you don’t believe us, then maybe you’ll believe Mrs Rayner, in her own words: “Here, we work on giving advice to schools, assisting the department on matters in which it is a defendant, give advice on situations about family law and matters involving students. I enjoy it because every day is different.”
Note: *it’s more important to note what she doesn’t say is her job: not helping us hard working teachers who are victims of crime or destructive bullying behaviour – based on many bad experiences we’ve heard about, we here at Cardfightback don’t believe DECS legal people, respect them nor trust them to protect us. Shielding the truth and the government is their No.1 priority, everyone else (us teachers) is treated as stupid and is expendable…..watch this space for more details soon!
This is what Lee Rayner (reportedly, cough, cough) told one of the teachers who had actually witnessed the threats spewing from Nirrpurranydji and Lindall Watson at the time, during the Gapuwiyak death threat debacle: “Lee Rayner phoned for police report details…trying to get info, using it to undermine the teachers – she said “Good it’s only hearsay then because the Police won’t do anything.” How wrong she turned out to be, thankfully, but it again clearly illustrates how NT DECS lawyers are not there to help you, they are there to save the Government and stuff everyone else. Please remember that. If something happens to you we recommend you don’t speak to them and get your own legal representation instead.
Not content with making sure NT DECS and their senior employees escape accountability Mrs Rayner also wants to legislate your behaviour – you cheeky remote school teachers out there with all those “extra benefits such as free housing”; not you city or urban teachers though – outside of school too, so as to make it easier for her and Mr Wiese and people like them to prosecute you…as she wrote in 2010 at a lawyer’s conference:
“Maybe it is time for the PSEMA and other similar public servant legislation to consider the geographical location of employment. The legislation could spell out what is expected of teachers in a remote community as opposed to those in cities or urban areas. In the Northern Territory teachers in remote communities have extra benefits such as free housing and they receive a remote allowance. If the specific standard of behaviour required in remote communities was legislated, it would greatly assist with the running of any disciplinary matters for out of hours behaviour.”
We wonder if this includes legal professional misconduct in arrogantly spitting out that “you are going to blow you [their teacher opponent] out the water” then telling them, “you know nobody in DET likes you, don’t you? Everybody hates you.”
However, SelF-iNflaTed views don’t stop there, check this out: Two lawyers from the same SFNT pool but one appears to be claiming to be a Director “at NT Department of Justice” Ed – that’s a big difference: one is in charge of many, many lawyers, the other is in charge of 2!!!, not an SFNT lawyer working for NT DECS as she signs her emails: (“Lee Rayner Director Legal Services SFNT Lawyer based in: Legal Services Unit, Department of Education and Childrens Services”). False advertising? Artistic licence? Mere semantics? Bare faced lies? Bloated ego? We’ll let you decide for yourselves:
Full marks to Mr Simon Wiese for getting it right, this time. Our judges score “nil points” for Mrs Lee Rayner.
In summary: learn to protect yourself by RECORDING EVERYTHING IN AUDIO FORM as well as written form if you can, get your own lawyer (Ron Hope has won many times against NT DECS already, he knows what he’s talking about and exactly who he’s dealing with – contact details down the right hand side of this blog) because NT DECS legal staff will try to stomp all over you if you give them the chance.
Always keep outside jurisdictions informed, send follow up FOI requests and ask for a review (remember NT DECS’s FOI guy Lance Follett has already tried to withhold information from at least one person that we know of and maybe a lot more too – again read >>> the post below) and remember just because someone is a government lawyer it doesn’t mean they never: chuck a wobbly in front of other lawyers, interpret Acts wrongly, withhold documents, give wrong advice, have a high opinion of themselves, lie, call you a liar, make stuff up, waste government/your tax money, bully you or intimidate you. In fact we’re finding that’s exactly what they spend a lot of their time doing.
Keep up the good fight everyone and keep keeping us informed.
CFB Team – Sticking-it-to-the-Man For New Teachers.
Blow us out the water?! We’d like to see you try, Mrs Angry Pants.