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Graemea & CYF New Zealand

Graeme Axford documents his Employment dispute with Child Youth & Family, (CYF) New Zealand

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Table of Content  Page 22 of 28

To CYF Management

To: Peter Hughes Chief Executive officer.
CC: Chris Auchinvole MP.
Response to Christine Stevenson Acting Chief Executive letter and CYF management about my ongoing issues.

It worries me based on your reply that illustrates to me you are void of a sense of justice and fairness. It seems CYF are more interested in trying to save face then being truthful.

I believe this based on the irrefutable facts documented which I will outline and you failed to address in any previous correspondence which is why I keep on having to repeat myself. If CYF have nothing to hide why are answer not forthcoming.

At the first interview when it was revealed I had dyslexia I noticed the change in body language with some on the panel. The eyebrows were raised and what I consider some nonverbal communication of a negative nature took place. It become clear to me Christine McKenna Site Manager (Chair) was displeased with this revelation which set the tone for all my dealings with CYF from this point on.

Remember I was only two points off the mark and had I been able to use my laptop and Dictaphone which I brought with me might have achieved them given my clear headedness for that interview. Remember disability affects my literacy skills and memory meaning without these tools the (work sample) written scenario would have been substandard as happened.

The second interview had some prerequisites CYF agreed to in writing and then failed to deliver on, but still wanted the interview to go ahead example:

Agreed to write up the record of discussions and send to Graeme for agreement by early next week. This will occur before Graeme's scheduled interview.

Two timeframes one, "next week" other "before scheduled interview". (Notes from meeting first transcript held in Greymouth with Paula Attrill, Shona Hickey Graeme Axford, Oct 12, 11.00 am) After this did not happen as agreed before the second scheduled interview , Paula said in an email to me on Thursday 16/11/2006 after the second interview took place.

I accept your expectation was that the meeting write up would be agreed before your interview..

This is the first an only time CYF has conceded and been honest.

These and other things happening in the background created the environment of mistrust for me preceding the second interview. That hardly seems like a good setting and backdrop for a good interview performance and result as happened.

I have noted CYF have totally ignored all these aforementioned factors. Only stating the obvious that I did not measure up, which would be understandable given the circumstances as explained above one would think?

Let us not forget I made it clear to CYF I was extremely unhappy about attending the second interview under these circumstances. That resulted in communication with Judith Larking via phone and email about this topic. On Tuesday, 31 October 2006.

Also on 3rd-5th November Chris Pickering rang a few times and eventually got a hold of me to confirm if I would be attending the second interview. As you well know I legally had too. If I refused CYF could have said they made the opportunity available and I turned it down end of case. It would have also meant having turned the offer down I would have no other course of redress. By going I knew I was being setup to fail and it would be a lynching squad as happened. What a catch 22 for me and win-win for CYF no matter what I did and CYF played it well. As the saying goes “I was damned if you do and damned if you don't” go either way.

I think these actions show a lack of professionalism, integrity, and bring the department into disrepute which breaches the SSC code of conduct.

Setting someone up to fail hardly seems fair or just more so when they refuse afterwards to explain themselves in light of these repeated claims…
I was anything but clear headed, worrying about how the panel would preserve things and knowing it was a lynching Squad.

Given I only attended under duress a bad result could be expected. Given I had 2/3rds of the same panel back for the first interview at the second whom I accused of discrimination only added to the feelings of unease and mistrust.

Had CYF at any point acknowledged the second interview took place under unfavorable circumstances which they regretted then one could say in all fairness things went wrong unintentionally . As CYF have made no such concession it shows malice and planning given the over the top comments and failing to address my concerns. CYF have totally ignored these claims.

I believe CYF needed a bad result to continually justify not considering or employing me with mainstream and to keep it of the agenda/radar permanently as happened.

At the meeting in Greymouth on Monday 11 December 2006, 4:15 5:20pm
With myself and: Chris Pickering: Professional Services Team Leader.
Pam Walkinshaw: Acting Operations Manager
Some interesting comments were made that prove this point:

It was suggested to Graeme that he might look at the NGO sector first as a first step in his social work career and when he had cemented his learning he might then consider applying to Child, Youth and Family:.

Neither Chris nor Pam could identify courses that Graeme could attend to bridge the identified skills needed as Graeme had already completed a social work qualification.

Graeme advised that he had downloaded 40 editions of a Social Work Now magazine to try and understand the role of a statutory social worker. Chris spoke of his concern if Graeme felt reading the books would teach him the skills.

CYF went over the top calling into question the quality of my providers and standard of my qualification suggesting they where wanting based on the second interview result. Ignoring the fact I went under duress and I had 2/3rds of the same panel back who I accused of being discriminatory which seems of no concern to CYF. I would have thought having 2/3rds of the panel back could create a conflict of interest.

I fail to see how any of CYF actions as outlined in this letter shows honesty, professionalism and integrity. Everything was staged as CYF could have postponed the second interview until issues were resolved. CYF deliberately concealed facts given I had two meetings over these issues spanning 6 months. Up until the first interview panel found out I had dyslexia I was doing good from that point it went downhill quickly. Adding to that keeping mainstream off the agenda and the lengths CYF have gone to get the bad result, I can claim discrimination. Given I have seen it before I know what it looks like. At the first interview there were only 4 people in the room to which I was one. Brent Schmidt was writing when I advised the panel of my disability. So that makes three people observing each other and I know what I seen.

The reason for keeping mainstream out of the picture is simple. If it was on the agenda/radar CYF would soon learn their myths about my disability are ill-conceived nonsense. Need I remind you of the notes kept hidden which states CYF were concerned about how my disability would be affected by stress. Then how my disability would impact on the team, etc.. ( 21 July 2006, CYF670 Social Worker, Greymouth) vacancy.

Let us not forget CYF after having two meetings failed to mention these notes existence until they had to nearly 6 months later.

So CYF seem to think these factors are all inconsequential. To me this shows a lack of integrity and actions for which bring the department into disrepute.

Given mainstream applicants aren't allowed to apply or take advertised positions why did CYF being aware of this insist on that path. Considering it is acknowledged by being approved for mainstream clients are not work ready therefore would not meet the normal interview criteria because of a disability which is why logically they can't use this method. So having a interview via normal standards as CYF did only sets me up to fail which is predetermined by the fact I meet the mainstream criteria already. It shows how desperate CYF are to keep mainstream off the agenda.

The reason why CYF wanted the second interview to go ahead is simple. CYF took advantage of the unfavorable circumstances which CYF had total control over. E.g. the finishing the transcript or postponing the interview. MY support person pulled out as things were not resolved as CYF agreed.

Now CYF have the bad result they wanted they can now say Graeme did not show enough stills to be consider by the mainstreams standards anyway based on his last interview. That was the whole point of ding what they did to get the result they wanted. Anyone under pressure does not perform good at interviews. When the people holding the interview apply the pressure that is underhanded dirty tactics in my view.

CYF knew the first interview result and feedback they kept hidden was good which is why they failed to mention until after the second disastrous interview had happened. CYF could not have kept the mainstream off the agenda for long based on the first interview results as they were good to spit having been disadvantaged during that interview process.

Now aimed with the Second interview result and based on they CYF are now justifying not employing me even under mainstreams as it was very poor performance which they wanted.

Our many attempts to try to answer your issues in a way that you will find satisfactory have not been successful and I am concerned that the Ministry's ongoing responses to you will ultimately leave you dissatisfied.

Yes Christine, I am dissatisfied as CYF have not addressed the honesty, integrity and professionalism issues and ignored the fact the interview was held under duress for all the reason outlined in this and many other emails and letters. I raised some of the same concerns 7 times and they have gone ignored so that makes a mockery of your claims about trying to answer. Prove me wrong Christine. Where do CYF address the second interview being held under duress, information being concealed, and my retort to both interview panels feedback?

Excuse me but many attempts to cover your asses, keep information from me would be more like it. The reason for the copious amounts of correspondence was simply because I had to keep asking the same questions or restating my case. Compare the files and its clear who put the most effort in and how more questions that answer still remain.

The people I hold accountable are:
Christine McKenna Site Manager Greymouth
Pam Walkinshaw, Acting Operations Manager Upper South.
Judith Larking Acting Regional Director.

Any of you could have postponed the second interview but didn't.

Also I included Christine Stevenson Acting Chief Executive and Peter Hughes Chief Executive officer to which I leave you with this quote:

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

Visit my new webpage for more in-depth information.
This letter is only a short summary of the outstanding facts gone unanswered.

Table of Content  Page 22 of 28


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