ABC management has ordered broadcaster Stephen Crittenden back to work although it has upheld a finding of serious misconduct against him.
Crittenden, the presenter of ABC National’s Religion Report, was suspended on full pay six weeks ago over an article he wrote for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Graeme Thomson, ABC section secretary of the Community Public Sector Union, said the fight was not over.
It’s only a partial backdown and needs to be seen that way -¦ We will be consulting with Stephen and his legal team to decide on the next step, Thomson told the Star.
The Sydney Morning Herald article dealt with Samuel Huntington’s controversial book on the rise of militant Islam, The Clash Of Civilisations. Crittenden had supplied management with a pr?s prior to publication but ABC management maintain Crittenden did not have approval for publication.
This is not the first time Crittenden has fallen out with management over his public views on controversial issues. He was issued with a formal warning after publishing an article in The Sydney Morning HeraldÂ in March this year on homosexuality and the churches.
ABC’s editorial policy enshrines their employees’ right to make public comment including the publication of articles and speaking engagements. However, ABC management have proceeded against Crittenden under another section about external employment which does require prior management approval.
Thomson said Crittenden and the union may seek to have the disciplinary action reviewed by the Industrial Relations Commission.