Doctor, Doctor you have to help me out! Certainly, which way did you come in?

I bet this doctor is regretting his actions, now that its gone to court....

A SELF-CONFESSED footy fanatic is appealing a landmark ruling that upheld his sacking for taking the day off work to watch AFL legend Kevin Sheedy coach his last game for Essendon.
Mr Anderson, 27, obtained a medical certificate after telling a doctor, Eric Salter, that he wanted to see Sheedy coach his last game - against the West Coast Eagles - in Perth on September 1 last year.
He was warned by Crown not to take sick leave to attend the game, but flew to Perth, later insisting he had been suffering "emotional distress" at the thought of missing the match.

Mr Anderson told The Australian last night that he was "very disappointed" by the decision and had filed an appeal. "I wouldn't have taken the day off (through sick leave) had Dr Salter not written the certificate and Dr Salter and I still think he wrote the certificate on valid grounds. The court didn't see it that way ... "it's not as if I went to the doctor and told him I had diarrhoea and then went off to the footy. I was upfront with my situation and I still got done. I lost my job."
I mean come on. This story was run on under Australia's sickie tradition "under threat". Of course it should be under threat! It shouldn't exist! Ever since Bob Hawke famously said 'Any boss who sacks a worker for not turning up today is a bum.’ there has been almost an enshrined "right" to chuck a sickie.
Lets look at this turn of phrase for a moment.
To "chuck a sickie" - take the day off sick from work when you're perfectly healthy
Other phrases with "chuck"? To chuck a tantrum, to chuck a spaz or a wobbly. Yep, its all above board guys....

What an idiot this guy is to think that he could have this overturned going to court. Sick leave is there for a reason. Annual Leave is there for such frivolities as deciding you don't want to go to work on this particular day, you want to go to the footy instead. Can you imagine what sort of horrible precedent would have been set if the magistrate HAD overturned the termination and re-instated him?

When I was at school, there was a girl in the year below us, Nicki, that seemed to have lots of private tutoring type sessions with the Head English teacher, Mr Sinclair. There were of course whispers about something sordid going on, but no one really beleived any of it at the time, we were just high school students trying to spice up our day.
After we left school however it was revealed (on the NEWS) that they were in fact having an affair, that did start when we were watching them through the windows (ok that bit sounds creepy, but I have distinct memories of walking past classrooms with side windows and noticing them, time and time again).
This may seem like a total deviation from the above story, but go with me-

SO they ended up on A Current Affair etc, there was quite a furore at the time, I think they may have even scored a cover of SMH-which I bet she never wanted THAT to be how she became front page news.
Now I don't care much whether they got together or not, young love/old love/new love/illicit love, each to their own. One outcome of this however was that Mr Sinclair was removed from the school during our final year in a shroud of secrecy. Again with the rumours about Nicki, hotly contested by some of the girls in my year who had him as a teacher and worshipped the ground he walked on. He was quite a good teacher.
As students we asked other teachers what had happened and we were told he'd taken "Administrative leave" and was working at the Dept of Education HQ "for a while". All this while he had 2-3 Year 12 English classes he was taking, not exactly ideal conditions for your teacher to be yanked out of class.
However an extraordinary precedent was set in the aftermath of this by the Workers Compensation Commission:

...the recent decision of the Workers Compensation Commission awarding Sinclair generous benefits, you would think he was the victim.

It makes for surreal reading. The compensation arbitrator, Bruce McManamey, found that Sinclair suffered a "psychological injury" because of the way the Department of Education handled the allegation that he had developed a "close personal relationship with a student".

McManamey awarded him $28,000 in back pay to the date of his sacking last August plus $317.20 a week from January 21 this year "to date and continuing".

McManamey complained that it(Edu Dept) had "not sought to tender any of the material which formed the basis of the investigation". He said it was a difficult investigation because Nicki would not co-operate "and in fact denied the allegations".

McManamey said Sinclair was treated unreasonably because he was told only that he had "developed a close personal relationship with a student", which Sinclair found "quite confusing". "There are many relationships between teachers and students which could be described as close and personal which nonetheless are not improper conduct," McManamey wrote.

The decision to transfer Sinclair to non-teaching duties during the investigation was also "not reasonable". He "was placed in the position of not being able to assist Ms Shackle in what was for her a personally very difficult time".

A large part of the evidence tendered were emails between the lovers, which I won't share as they turn my stomach to think of Mr Sinclair as writing them. However Sinclair denied they were written by him, they have no signature and it is not an email address associated with him.

I don't think I'm alone in thinking its patently ridiculous for this to occur.

The affair has since ended, with Nicki gaining a new boyfriend and going overseas for a spell. Sinclair hasn't seen a penny of the money since as its still wrapped up in appeals, and he's not allowed to teach ever again.

I heard a rumour his wife might take him back, I don't necessarily think that would be a bad idea.

2 kindred spirits ~ This bugs them too!:

Reanan said...
March 19, 2008 6:56 PM

Firstly, what a knob. He deserved to be fired. And he deserved to have his appeal thrown out of court and pay the legal fees. What a goit.
Did he stop to think about how many people out there would like to have seen this and took leave or even missed out totally.
NO. Instead he did something he knew was wrong and that moron doctor went along with him, I would drag him through the mud as well.
Secondly, ew - old principal? YUCK (even if he was relatively young, still not right!)
This is both the same issue here isn't it? Both have abused a privileged, a trust that must implicitly remain or else nothing works.
You must go to work if you are capable and not sick (this is not implicate to the fact that I have never chucked a sickie because I have, but it's such a web of lies that backfires on me to the point I actually get sick) that is how the economy works and why one gets paid.
You must not schtupp your student even if she does wander in with no clothes on and strip of condoms in her mouth.

Dataceptionist said...
March 20, 2008 2:57 PM

Firstly, Good. Agreed.

And secondly he wasn't the principal, he was a head teacher, he was 53.
Yes I thought they were similar and shared parallels.

Something I found very disturbing though when I went looking for research for the facts on that story, the poor man is listed on an Offender's register website that tracks their movements. Creepy.

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