TThe final question asked of AFTRS by Senator Catryna Bilyk (ALP, Tasmania) in the February 2016 Senate Estimates hearing, related to legal action taken against the institution by former staff. This was no doubt prompted by this report in Inside Film.
In brief the story says A former AFTRS executive is suing the school and head Sandra Levy for more than $1 million over claims that she bullied and micromanaged staff. Professor Katherine Blashki has launched legal action over claims she was forced to work outside normal operating hours at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School when she was initially told her hours could be flexible because of her intellectually disabled daughter.
So the Question was put in the following terms:
In the years from 2008 to 2015 how many former staff have taken legal action or lodged claims for compensation against AFTRS following their departure from the institution?
Was ‘unfair dismissal’ the common legal term associated with each of such claims?
How many cases were settled privately?
How many cases were the subject of court proceedings?
In how many cases was a settlement made which involved a payment by AFTRS to the individuals involved?
List all such payouts individually, and what was the total sum of any such payouts? What legal fees were incurred in relation to each case?
How much money was spent on recruiting replacements for people who left AFTRS in such circumstances?
And the answers: Well nothing to see here according to the info provided to the Senate. In brief, which was the form that AFTRS reverted to on this occasion, the answers are as follows and presumably the case referred to in Inside Film all those years ago went nowhere…… Nothing to see here.
One. No. One. Nil. Nil. Not applicable. $6389.