Purpose

To guide the Community Garden in providing a pathway to resolving conflicts within the Community Garden.

Disputes will arise and our plan is to assist members to deal with them effectively so their impact is minimal. Members are encouraged to discuss issues as they arise but not spread rumour. When members cannot address them themselves, a mediator will be appointed to assist the process.

Policy

It is inevitable that conflicts will arise.

It is recognised that most conflicts should be able to be resolved to the reasonable satisfaction of all concerned.

Disputes may arise due to simple misunderstanding or communication not being as effective as could be. Problems may evaporate by simply communicating the problem directly to the person concerned.

Conflict should be dealt with at an early stage and not left to smoulder on.

Conflict should be dealt with consciously and actively rather than swept under the carpet.

The process of resolving conflict can lead to creative growth in the organisation.

Complaints and grievances from people involved in the organisation should be raised and dealt with within the organisation as far as possible.

Efforts should be made to ensure that members of the public are protected from the effects of the dispute.

Openness, honesty, confidentiality and equal respect for views of all parties are crucial for the successful resolution of conflicts.

Procedure

The Mediator will be impartial to the dispute. If the Mediator is not impartial, the matter will be referred to the Committee and someone else will be appointed for this conflict occurrence.   The Mediator will act as a point of contact for persons with a grievance.

The Dispute Resolution Process

Members may initiate the formal process or a member with a grievance / dispute is encouraged to discuss the issue with the other person directly involved if they feel comfortable with this.

1          If the person with a grievance or dispute does not feel comfortable in approaching the other person directly or if (s)he has spoken to the person directly and the complaint / difficulty continues, then the complainant should initiate the dispute process by:

a) talking to the Mediator,

b) Using the Communication Book or

c)  Using private Suggestion Box.

d) E-mails should be avoided as they are often a source of mis-information

2                 The Mediator will endeavour to mediate the dispute by hearing the concerns of both parties.

3                 If the Mediator believes that the issue is of a sufficiently serious nature, (s)he can advise the parties. The advice should include

e) A clear statement of the specific concerns

f)   The expectations regarding the resolution of the concerns

If the grievances or conflict still continues, the Mediator should inform the Committee about the dispute and the measures taken to date. The Committee should initiate further steps to resolve the conflict.
It may:

a)     Issue a clear situation statement of the matter and expectations.

b)     MAY JUDGE that the behaviour is not ‘a fair share’, is negative to the garden harmony, negatively affects the relationships between the Community Garden and outside bodies or is not aligned with the Community Gardens purpose or long term direction.

c)      A Committee member may attempt to mediate the conflict.

d)     Committee may arrange further mediation efforts using external mediators.

e)     The committee will advise that changes are to be made within a certain time span.

f)      The committee will review policies and organisational matters that may be contributing to the continuation of the conflict.

Membership termination

  1. The Committee will issue a summary of the conflict to the parties in dispute.
  2. The Committee may advise of, and terminate Community Garden membership.

This termination is subject to appeal to a General Meeting to be called with three weeks notice to vote upon the intention to terminate a membership. Prior to a decision being made, the person whose membership may be terminated can address the meeting and will then leave the General Meeting  before the decision is made.

Human Relationships

If we all spend three quarters of the time when discussing anything to listening to the emotional, logical and depth of concern of the other party, we will all get on with each other so much better.

 

–O–

 

About Michael D

Member of the Glenelg North Community Garden, Adelaide South Australia. Member of the Marion Writers Group and writing about the fascinating topic of our future. Member of SA Recreational Cycling Club. Interests in cycling for sport, socialising, health, transport and the frugal use of declining natural resources. Member of Beyond Oil South Australia. Particularly interested in the decline in world oil supplies (Peak Oil) and the effect this will have on economies based upon growth. B. Bus in Information Technology and Public Administration. A career in Information Technology.

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