Greens candidate for Bega, Will Douglas, is being investigated by the Department of Education after a complaint regarding his comments on the school climate strike.
As The Bay Post/Moruya Examiner previously reported, Mr Douglas "informed" youth at a non-school based forum of a climate strike event at Moruya.
He said the School Strike 4 Climate on Friday, March 15, was an opportunity to show their disapproval with their political representatives and adults about how climate change has been handled.
He said he was told his employment as a casual teacher has been suspended, until an inquiry was completed.
Do you think he has managed his political activities accordingly?
As an employee of the Department of Education, the code of conduct states Mr Douglas is required to serve the elected Government of the day.
The code also states Mr Douglas is entitled to make public comments in relation to education and training matters as long as it is clear the comments represent the Greens and not those of the department.
"You are required to clearly acknowledge the capacity in which you are expressing such views," the code states.
"It is your obligation to ensure that your involvement in any political party, industrial organisation, or community and personal activity is understood to represent your view or those of the organisation you represent, and not those of the Department."
According to the code; in participating in any political, community and personal activity, you must:
- Not make any comment that may cast doubt on your capacity to implement departmental policies and guidelines objectively
- Not participate in private political activities in the work environment
- Not claim to represent the Department, a school or TAFE Institute and make public comments that are critical of the Government, government policy or the Department.
- Not use the Department’s resources (for example – stationery, printing supplies, mail services, phone, email, internet services and motor vehicles) to assist your political, community or personal activities.
- Not use information obtained through your work at the Department to assist your political, community or personal activities, or make the information known to any other person.
- Not intentionally misrepresent the position of the Department.
What happens if Will Douglas breached the code of conduct?
Breaches of the code can include management or remedial action, or disciplinary action ranging from a caution and reprimand to dismissal.
The NSW Department of Education code of conduct considers:
- The seriousness of the breach
- The likelihood of the breach occurring again
- Whether the officer has committed the breach more than once
- The risk the breach poses to employees, students and young people or any others.
- Whether the breach would be serious enough to warrant formal disciplinary action.