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Member Grievances Policy

Posted by babywearingvictoriainc in on 3 February, 2016

Introduction

Open communication and feedback are regarded as essential elements of a satisfying and productive collaborative environment. Carry Australia (CarryAus) encourages its members to resolve any issues or concerns that they may have at the earliest opportunity with each other.

The preferred process involves CarryAus members resolving issues to their satisfaction internally, without feeling they have to refer to external organisations or to authorities for assistance.

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide an avenue through which CarryAus members – including Volunteers, Admin and Peer Educators and Senior Peer Educators – can resolve any grievances, that relate to the conduct of CarryAus activities, as they arise.

Policy

CarryAus will establish mechanisms to promote fast and efficient resolution of issues arising in the course of members conducting CarryAus related activities. CarryAus members should feel comfortable discussing issues with their local Senior Peer Educators, Peer Educators or Admins in accordance with the procedures outlined below.

All formal avenues for handling of grievances will be fully documented and the member’s wishes will be taken into account in determining the appropriate steps and actions. No CarryAus member will be intimidated or unfairly treated in any respect if they utilise this Policy to resolve an issue.

This Policy applies to all CarryAus members – including Volunteers, Admin and Peer Educators and Senior Peer Educators.

Member Grievances Procedures

Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of Senior Peer Educators, Peer Educators and Admins to ensure that:

  • They identify, prevent and address potential problems before they become formal grievances;
  • They are aware of, and are committed to the principles of communicating and information sharing with CarryAus members in their local group;
  • All decisions relating to CarryAus matters are made with consideration given to the ramifications for the individual, as well as the organisation in general;
  • Any grievance is handled in the most appropriate manner at the earliest opportunity;
  • All CarryAus members are treated fairly and without fear of intimidation.

It is the responsibility of CarryAus Volunteers and Members to ensure that:

  • They attempt to resolve any issues through their local Peer Educators and Admins and through internal processes at the earliest opportunity.

It is the responsibility of the CarryAus Committee of Management to ensure that:

  • All Volunteers, Admin and Peer Educators and Senior Peer Educators are aware of their obligations and responsibilities in relation to communication and information sharing regarding CarryAus matters;
  • Ongoing support and guidance is provided to all Volunteers, Admin and Peer Educators and Senior Peer Educators in relation to CarryAus matters;
  • Admin, Peer Educators and Senior Peer Educators are aware of their obligations and responsibilities in relation to handling grievances;
  • All Senior Peer Educators are provided with conflict management training.
  • Any grievance that comes to the attention of Admin, Peer Educators and Senior Peer Educators is handled in the most appropriate manner at the earliest opportunity.
  • Any grievances that cannot be resolved at a local level are dealt with in a confidential manner by a Conciliation Subcommittee to be appointed by the CarryAus Committee of Management.

Procedure

  1. Try to resolve disputes with the other person involved before formally lodging a grievance.
  2. If attempts to resolve the dispute fail, discuss the matter with the local Senior Peer Educator.
  3. The Senior Peer Educator will mediate and seek an acceptable compromise for both parties.
  4. If a Senior Peer Educator is not available in the area or the dispute involves the Senior Peer Educator, discuss the matter with a member of the CarryAus Committee of Management.
  5. Issues of harassment or discrimination should be brought to the notice of the CarryAus Committee of Management.

Formally lodging a grievance

If a dispute cannot be resolved, lodge a grievance in writing and submit it via email to the CarryAus Committee of Management info@carry.org.au or directly to the CarryAus President (please check with the Committee for the current president’s email address).

The report should detail:

  • description of the decision/s or behaviour/s
  • grounds by which the decision or behaviour has adversely affected you
  • time and date of the decision/s or behaviour/s
  • names of witnesses
  • action necessary to resolve the grievance
  • attempts made to resolve the dispute.

Investigating the grievance

Once a formal grievance is lodged, the CarryAus Committee of Management will establish a Conciliation Committee which will investigate the matter within five (5) working days.

If any member of the CarryAus Committee of Management has a conflict of interest in the matter, they will not be appointed to investigate the issue.

The following parties will be interviewed:

  • member who has lodged the grievance
  • member against whom the grievance has been lodged
  • any witnesses
  • relevant Admin, Peer Educators or Senior Peer Educators.

All parties are to maintain complete confidentiality at all times.

Resolving the grievance

If the investigation reveals that the grievance is valid, and depending on the nature of the complaint and its seriousness, the member against whom the grievance was lodged may be:

  • required to apologise to the member who lodged the grievance
  • given a written warning and removed from their position within the organisation
  • removed from the organisation

The CarryAus President reserves absolute discretion as to making a final decision as to how the grievance or dispute will be resolved.

If the grievance cannot be substantiated because of a lack of evidence, the organisation may:

  • remind all members of their of their obligations under the CarryAus Code of Conduct and other relevant policies
  • provide resources on negotiation skills and dispute resolution to Volunteers, Admin and Peer Educators

If a CarryAus member has been found of engaging in misconduct the CarryAus misconduct policy applies.