This policy is designed for members to register their grievance (as defined below) with the Society. A grievance process should be undertaken after conflict resolution has been attempted following the guidelines in the Conflict Resolution Policy.
The grievance policy is intended for members to register complaint against any person in a position of responsibility within the organization.
This policy is intended to provide steps and deadlines for all involved, and provides an open and fair way for volunteers to make known their problems and aims to enable grievances to be resolved quickly before they fester and become major problems.
Definition: A grievance is a real or imagined wrong or other cause for complaint or protest (e.g. Unfair treatment, abuse or gross negligence).
1. Filing a grievance
A written letter of grievance must be sent to the Board by email or written letter by the member with the grievance (referred to herein as the “complainant”). This statement should outline the relevant facts that form the basis of the member’s grievance. The grievance shall include a statement with respect to the remedy(s) desired by the complainant.
2. Complaint Procedure
The Board has up to 14 days to appoint a Director (referred to herein as the “investigating director”) to investigate the grievance, to meet with the affected parties and to reply to the complainant.
The appointed investigating director cannot be someone implicated in the complaint.
Upon receiving the complaint, the investigating director shall conduct an investigation, which may include the following:
- interviewing the complainant;
- interviewing any person who is implicated in the complaint;
- interviewing any witnesses identified as a result of the above; and
- keeping a record of all aspects of the investigation.
The board of directors may involve, and may delegate the investigation to a qualified mediator. In the event that a mediator is retained to investigate or to assist in the investigation, the mediator shall provide a report to the board of directors at the conclusion of the investigation and, upon request, shall provide interim reports.
All interviews will be held in a private area and all information obtained or recorded will be dealt with confidentially and permission will be obtained before sharing such information with other parties, unless required by law.
4. Dispute Resolution
Once the investigation is complete, the investigating director may conduct separate interviews and discussions with the involved parties and may convene a meeting of the involved parties in an attempt to resolve the grievance. The investigating director may retain an external mediator or other professional to mediate the grievance.
If an external mediator is involved and no agreement is reached, the mediator will disclose only the fact that no agreement was reached and shall make no report unless otherwise directed by all parties involved in the grievance.
If the any party wishes, a fellow member may accompany him/her to meeting to provide support. However, this effort at resolution is not to be regarded as an adversarial proceeding and is not subject to the legal procedures of a court of law. The presence of legal counsel at the meeting is not permitted. Note taking is allowed, but tape recording of the meeting is prohibited.