Marist College Ashgrove science teacher Stanislaw Kosiek fired for accidentally sending reply-all email to colleagues
Stanislaw Kosiek had worked at Marist College Ashgrove in Brisbane for 22 years until he was fired on August 10 this year
A private school science teacher accidentally clicked “answer all” in an email criticizing the head of the IT department – a mistake that would eventually cost him his job.
Stanislaw Kosiek worked at Marist College Ashgrove in Brisbane for 22 years until he was fired on August 10.
The teacher has taken the case to the Fair Work Commission, and a Federal Court judge this week ordered that the case go to trial.
Mr Kosiek’s career came to an end after he sent an email to a ‘large number of recipients’ in February after inadvertently pressing ‘Reply all’. The email was only for his union manager.
A trip he made to Bali while he was resigned also affected his employment.
“My old, recent brain remembers a time (recently) when serious breaches, glitches, and minor issues were resolved calmly, professionally, and successfully,” read the email Mr Kosiek sent in February.
‘For the past two years, the same long-term staff continues to be great!
“Lately, however, leadership in the IT field has not been up to par.
Constantly leaning on past breaches with excuses for not getting current breaches.
“We have great IT staff, but recently the major parts of the city stopped eating at the pool store and are doing their $250,000 job.”
Mr Kosiek’s career came to an end after he sent an email to a ‘large number of recipients’ in February after inadvertently pressing ‘Reply all’. The email was only for his union manager
Two days later, Mr. Kosiek retracted the email and apologized.
A day later, he was told by the school’s principal, Michael Newman, that he had resigned.
Mr Newman sent Mr Kosiek a five-page email saying his email had ’caused major upset’ and ‘could amount to serious misconduct or bullying’.
“Although it appears to be a ‘one-off’ communication, it is likely to be unreasonable, unprofessional and predictably cause a stir,” Mr Newman said.
Mr Newman asked Mr Kosiek to address the allegations made in his original email, adding that it was a possible ‘breach of your own personal legal obligations to ensure the safety and privacy of children in our care’.
Mr Kosiek’s lawyer said the reference to child safety was ‘false and outrageous’, for which Mr Newman later apologised.
The science teacher was fired with pay and then allowed to take sick leave from April 17 to May 28 instead of using extended service leave.
The head of the school, Michael Newman, sent Mr Kosiek a five-page email saying his email had ’caused major upset’ and ‘could amount to serious misconduct or bullying’.
During this time, he informed the deputy principal of the school that he would be traveling to Bali.
He had booked the trip when he was on extended leave of service, saying he had received medical advice that it was fine for him to travel, and that he would take unpaid leave.
Mr Kosiek and the school went back and forth in emails in May and June, with the science teacher claiming that ‘he had been treated differently from other employees against whom allegations of misconduct or bullying had been made’.
He told his lawyers to refer the matter to the Fair Work Commission upon his return from Bali to Australia.
On July 11, Mr. Kosiek apologized directly to the head of the IT department.
But on August 9, he was told he had been fired.
Marist College Ashgrove said he had taken a holiday during a period of ‘alleged incapacity’, saying Mr Kosiek’s apology to the IT staffer ‘was not approved by the head of the university or was not delivered in the manner agreed ‘.
‘The Board has also become aware that this apology was not considered adequate by (the head of IT),’ said the Board.
Kosniek’s lawyers argued that the board was informed of his trip before his departure.
Federal Court Judge Berna Joan Collier ordered in her findings that the case go to trial.
Mr. Kosniek is fighting for reassignment, compensation and fines.
Marist is an independent Catholic boys’ school.
The school fees for senior students cost $14,330 per year.
Marist College Ashgrove is an independent Catholic boys’ school