It’s just not cricket
Julie Davis has been checking tickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for 16 years and is wheelchair bound. She loves her job.
Despite repeated requests, MCG management had refused to supply Julie with an underground car park so she could have safe access to her workplace.
Instead, she had been told she has to leave her car in the public area in the parklands outside the ground. This is a grassed area and when the weather is wet and rainy it becomes muddy.
Julie finds it difficult to make her way into the stadium in these weather conditions.
There have been times when Julie has got stuck in the mud and fallen from her wheelchair in the rain, and there have been times when Julie has had to rely on members of the public to assist her in simply getting from her car to her workstation.
To have to endure this is demeaning and unfair. Julie had twice written to MCG management directly about this issue, asking for a car park to be provided.
The response she received from management was a brief email that flatly rejected this request.
This had forced Julie to cancel shifts, depriving her of income as a result of her disability. This could have been prevented by the MCG making reasonable accommodation for Julie by providing her with a safe car park.
When Julie’s workmates heard about management’s repeated knock backs of a parking space, they co-signed a letter to the MCG management asking for it to reconsider this blanket refusal to provide a safe working environment for Julie.
And to back that up, MEAA launched an online petition through Megaphone to back its members.
The good news is that within 24 hours, MCG management had contacted both Julie and MEAA to inform them that a safe car park would be provided in future.
Julie is now looking forward to getting on with doing the job she loves at a workplace she has been committed to for 16 years. She also wants to thank MCG management for listening to her concerns. This could not have come about without the support of her union colleagues and the public.
Everyone deserves respect, equality and safety at work, particularly workers with a disability. No one should be humiliated simply for trying to do their job.