Thursday, 27 June 2024

CPSU NSW making your workplace safer – Library ‘Live Chat’ improvements

Recently, one of our members encountered what we considered to be criminal threats to their safety through the Library’s ‘Live Chat’ service.

Upon investigation, we found that alongside legitimate inquiries, there was a history of ‘client’ interactions ranging from pranks and time-wasting to severe abuse and sexual harassment of staff, particularly targeting women.

Our Union’s Women’s Officer, Rachelle Down, identified that these incidents were predominantly caused by external clients without affiliation to the University.

Initially, Library management hesitated to heed your Union’s request to ‘gatekeep’ the Live Chat service, citing legitimate use by non-affiliated academics.

However, your Union persisted, and we have since received confirmation from the Library that external inquiries will now be handled through a ticketing system rather than direct live interaction. This solution aims to maintain the service for external clients while safeguarding our members from further abuse.

We extend our gratitude to our Union delegate Rachelle for her exceptional advocacy, as well as to the library members who contributed to this process.

If you are involved in similar service provision at the University and experience exposure to clients that includes threats, harassment, or behavior contrary to the University’s Codes of Conduct, please reach out to us. Your Union will always fight to keep your workplace safe and improve your working conditions.