By ERWIN CHLANDA
“De-escalating serious student behaviour” was already on the Yirara College agenda two years ago when senior staff, Lutheran Church heavies, John Proeve (pictured), the Executive Director of Lutheran Schools Australia, the teachers’ union and Work Safe had a two-day pow-wow.
Despite the best of intentions to address urgently “significant issues” not much has changed, according to two teachers employed there last year, and one working currently, who went public in the Alice Springs News Online in the past two weeks.
But it’s all good according to Work Safe which, asked for a comment by the News, provided us with the following statement today: “NT WorkSafe conducted an investigation at Yirara College between May 2012 and August 2013 after being notified of an incident.
“During the course of the investigation, it became evident that some of the work health and safety policy and procedures in place at the college were inadequate.
“An improvement notice was issued to the college requiring the development and implementation of more robust policy and procedures.
“The notice was complied with and the investigation has been completed.
“NT WorkSafe has not received any further notifications or complaints from Yirara College since the above incident.”
College principal Roger Ashcroft yesterday cancelled at short notice a meeting he had asked for with the News, and we still have no answer to our request for a news gathering visit to the college.
A two page memorandum after the March 2013 meeting was leaked to the News.
It was addressed to “Colleagues” and said issues had not been dealt with “in a timely manner”.
The principal at the time, Andrew Mirtschin, “affirms the right of staff to act collectively and be represented by their union”.
It is the Independent Education Union Queensland and NT, whose Lead Organiser Nick Holliday was a co-signatory of the memorandum.
Mr Mirtschin apologised for not responding formally to a communication from the union chapter.
The college committed to “compiling an appropriate policy and procedure” addressing serious student behaviour and “providing staff with ongoing training”.