Over the past couple of weeks, the APS leadership has made a number of threats and delivered ultimatums aimed at closing down RAPS and ending discussion of the concerns we have expressed about matters vital to the interests of members.
These have included legal threats, warnings of complaints to the Ethics Committee, demands for resignations etc.
There has been no reasoned response to our concerns. We have been advised that in an anonymous Facebook comment objecting to any mention of RAPS, they were described as “garbage”.
The many highly supportive emails and other responses we have received suggest to us that they are anything but garbage.
What is garbage, is the protestation that by raising issues of concern, we risk being seen as “disunited”. Do they really believe the current situation of inequity and unprecedented division is a secret? Why will they not address the issues that divide us?
In the meantime, we ask, what secret negotiations are continuing to ensure that if any rebate survives this era of swingeing government cost-cutting, it will be the one for clinical psychologists? Would that be seen as uniting us?
The threats made against us highlight one of the other concerns that we have about the conduct of the APS affairs.
The society has become secretive, hyper-sensitive to criticism and reactionary. It does not so much serve its members as rule them. And that rule, in too many instances, is far from benign.
If the health of an organisation can be measured by the extent to which it listens to its members’ concerns, tolerates inquiry and debate and welcomes suggestions and alternative points of view, the APS is not at all well.
We have witnessed too many instances of name-calling, spreading of outrageous rumours, legal threats and ethics complaints to be in any doubt. Our organisational culture is a culture of intimidation. It has led too often to dismay, disillusionment and ultimately hopeless resignation.
As this movement’s name suggests, we are dedicated to the reform of the APS, not to its destruction. We want members to become more involved and to have their voices heard.
Members need to ask to what extent fear has become widespread within the professional society supposedly dedicated to representing their interests.
When an organisation acts like this, members are entitled to ask what is going on, and whether they are being told the truth.
RAPS will continue to ask questions. We have only just begun.