Authority rules

on ‘abandoned’ OT worker

The Employment Relations Authority finds Oranga Tamariki was justified to compulsorily retire a social worker. David Williams reports

A personal grievance taken by a former Oranga Tamariki staffer has failed.

Bai Zammit-Ross had been a social worker for the Ministry for Children since 2010, working at the Te Puna Wai ō Tuhinapo, a Christchurch youth justice facility. Her wrist was injured in 2017, while breaking up a fight between two youths, and that spiralled into other health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Zammit-Ross left work in October 2017 and never returned. She was compulsorily retired by Oranga Tamariki on medical grounds 16 months later.

At an Employment Relations Authority hearing in February, Zammit-Ross, and Janice Gemmell, secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE), claimed her problems were exacerbated or caused by low staffing levels at Te Puna Wai, poor supervision, and inadequate follow-up while she was on sick leave.

Andrew McKenzie, Zammit-Ross’s lawyer, told the hearing she had been neglected by the children’s ministry.

Link to article: Authority Rules On ‘Abandoned’ OT Worker | Newsroom


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