UTS Building 6 Cafe

UTS Building 6 Cafe

We are very distressed to hear about the incident of violent assault in the workplace that took place in the UTS Building 6 Cafe on Wednesday 8th October at 3:40pm.

According to news reports:

  • A 53-year old female staff member threw a hot liquid (reported as either tea or water) in the face of a 26-year old female staff member following an argument.
  • The 26-year old was taken to Sydney Eye Hospital to be treated for burns and is reportedly in a stable condition.
  • The 53-year-old was arrested, then taken to Sydney Central Police Station where she was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. She was granted conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday 12th November

An unnamed UTS spokesperson stated that “UTS was very concerned to learn of the incident, which occurred in a food outlet owned and operated by a third party, and is cooperating with NSW Police” and that none of the staff involved were directly employed by the university as the cafe was an independently operated business.

For the time being, we will take the UTS spokesperson’s statement at face value.

It is our view that incidents of workplace violence between colleagues are usually not random or spontaneous. They usually follow a period of building tension, often due to unresolved grievances. Bad emotions fester in peoples’ minds and in often unpredictable instances, can be released in a fit of rage. It is important for managers and supervisors to act early, even-handedly and to ensure that staff are able to ‘get things off their chest’ quickly and easily. Sit down with them, look them in the eyes and listen.

We wish the 26-year old a speedy recovery from her injuries.

Media Coverage:

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