Grievance and Dispute Resolution Policy and Procedures
U3A noosa recognises the importance of conflict resolution and its application in all cases of complaints, grievances and disputes. It is underpinned by the terms & conditions of membership of U3A noosa.
This policy seeks to provide a mechanism to deal with issues that may arise regarding the activities or operations of the organisation, internally and in relation to other bodies, especially those matters arising from non-observance of the terms and conditions.
Applies as a condition of membership of U3A noosa and includes all volunteers, tutors, ex officio, reciprocal and financial members in the normal activities and operations of U3A noosa.
This policy aims to achieve conciliation and the resolution of complaints, grievances and disputes quickly with fairness, care and understanding. Our obligation is to ensure that our grievances/complaints procedure has integrity, is free of bias and unfair repercussions or victimisation against any complainant or respondent. Confidentiality of all parties will be preserved.
The following procedures are compliant with requirements of the Incorporated Associations Queensland 1981.
There are some grievances e.g. those related to discrimination or unlawful activity, where the complainant may wish to have their grievance handled by an external agency under anti discrimination, criminal or other relevant legislation.
If the grievance is of a criminal nature, it will be forwarded immediately to the relevant authorities.
The Management Committee and members must take all necessary steps to ensure the people involved in a grievance are not victimised and will discipline a person who harasses or victimises another person for issuing a grievance or supporting another person’s grievance.
The complainant is responsible for ensuring that their grievance is true, not maliciously motivated or intended to cause distress to the respondent. Persons issuing such grievances can be subject to disciplinary action.
The Secretary will keep written records of all grievance processes. The record will include details of the grievance, all actions taken to resolve the grievance and the outcome of these actions.
The Management Committee may appoint a Grievance Officer.
Complaint Handling Process
Grievances may be resolved formally or informally and the procedures provides for resolution in the following ways:
- low key informal resolution where both parties accept the basic facts of a situation and it is possible to counsel the party who has acted inappropriately about a better way to have acted
- situations where the complainant wishes to issue a formal grievance in writing and further investigation is required (see Attachment 1)
- resolution through mediation (see Attachment 2) Mediation is a confidential process that allows those involved in a grievance to discuss the issues or incident in question and come up with mutually agreed solutions. Mediation can occur before, after or instead of the investigation of a grievance.
- Hearings by a Tribunal (see Attachment 3) The Tribunal can investigate and/or determine grievances referred to it by the Management Committee, or conduct appeals requested by a complainant or a respondent to a grievance.
- It is expected that if it is a class matter, parties should first seek to directly resolve any concerns or grievances between themselves, with the tutor or the tutor co-ordinator.
- A grievance may be dealt with formally or informally. An example of an informal process would be a low-key conversation where the grievance is resolved by agreement between the people involved with no need for disciplinary action. Individual written grievance reports from the above meeting(s) will be presented to the Management Committee and treated as confidential.
- If a grievance is not resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction through an informal process, the complainant may issue a formal grievance in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org Individuals or organisations may seek to have their grievance handled by an external agency under relevant legislation.
- Where a Grievance Officer decides that a grievance should be the subject of an investigation process, it should take place in accordance with Attachment 1.
- Once the Grievance Officer receives a written report from the investigator (in accordance with Attachment 1), the Grievance Officer will determine what, if any, further action to take. This action may include:
- A direction to the investigator to make further enquiries and obtain additional information;
- Disciplinary action; or
- Referring the grievance to an informal or a formal mediation session, a hearings tribunal and/or the police or other appropriate authority. The Grievance Officer may also determine to take no further action and dismiss the grievance.
- If the complainant wishes to resolve the grievance with the help of mediator, the Grievance Officer will, in consultation with the complainant, arrange for an independent mediator where possible. Lawyers will not be permitted to participate in the mediation process. The Grievance Officer will determine which party or parties (e.g. the Grievance Officer, the complainant or the respondent) are responsible to pay any costs of the mediation process.
- Where a Grievance Officer refers a grievance to mediation, the mediation should proceed in accordance with the process in Attachment 2. NB: Mediation might not be a suitable method for resolution of a grievance in all cases.
- The Tribunal may be convened to hear a proceeding referred to it by the Grievance Officer. Where this occurs, the Tribunal should proceed in accordance with Attachment 3.
- If at any point in the grievance handling process the Grievance Officer considers that a complainant has knowingly issued an untrue grievance, or the grievance is malicious or inappropriately intended to cause distress to the respondent, the matter may be referred in writing to the Tribunal for review and appropriate action, including disciplinary action against the complainant.
- Every Grievance Officer bound by this policy will recognise and enforce any decision of a Tribunal.
|Approval and Amendment History||Details|
|Approval Authority||This Grievance & Conflict Resolution Policy was adopted by the Management Committee and minuted as such, on 12 October 2020.|
|Amendment History||Insert Date. Describe the amendment and why it was made.|
|Amendment Authority and Date||This Grievance & Conflict Resolution Policy was amended by the Management Committee and minuted as such, on Day Month Year|
This policy should be read in conjunction with related policies:
- Member Code of Conduct Policy
- Membership Terms and Conditions