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Safety at work is our priority

February 2, 2023

AWU members working at Remembrance Parks Central Victoria have expressed genuine fear for their safety regarding the recent management direction to remove items from graves, a task which they do not believe is necessary, and which is causing great emotional distress to some grieving members of the public.

AWU members have been subjected to verbal abuse and threats from emotional members of the public, they have had the public take photos and video of them and post onto social media without consent. Our members have also reported that they have been abused whilst outside of work due to this issue.

AWU members at Remembrance Parks are made up of office staff and grounds staff, both are finding themselves increasingly not wanting to attend work because of the ongoing fear of these attacks from members of the public.

AWU members do not support the removal of these personal items from graves, and do not want to participate in this request. This is a work issued request from management and our members are just doing their job. Management have made the decision to remove the items from graves and memorials, however they have made no effort to resolve the concerns of AWU members or the public that place these items as a form of grieving and remembering lost ones. This is causing our members unnecessary stress and the AWU believes that management should be held responsible for this. No one should feel unsafe at work.

The acting CEO, Emma Flukes has made the decision along with the Trust committee to carry out this work and they should be the ones taking responsibility for public reaction, not the office staff or grounds staff who are just following direction and doing their job.

Quote attributable to, Jimmy Mastrandonakis | The Australian Workers’ Union | Victoria Branch Assistant Secretary

“This has now become a serious OHS issue for management at Remembrance Parks Central Victoria, AWU members are being abused and they fear for their safety, no one should ever feel unsafe at work, we support our members and will continue to do so until this is resolved.”

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