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CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND PERSONAL GRIEVANCE

Policy:

Hamilton Junior High School must encourage:

a)      Personal reconciliation, an active commitment to restore damaged relationships.

b)      Just settlement of substantive issues; an active commitment to develop agreements that are just and satisfactory to everyone involved.

The process followed must not contravene the principles, processes and employees rights stipulated in the current Teachers Collective Agreement.

Purpose

  • To maintain positive relationships with colleagues
  • To resolve all conflict fairly

Procedures

  1. Staff must be encouraged to recognise that conflict resolution is assisted by:
  • Forgiveness
  • Open communication
  • Co-operative negotiation
  1. Staff must be encouraged in the view that:

a)      Conflict is an opportunity for growth

b)      It is the responsibility for each person to examine their own contribution to conflict before confronting others

  1. Staff must be made aware that the resolution of conflict may call for:

a)      Reconciliation between parties

b)      Education and/or new ways of doing things

c)      Engaging in continued dialogue or confrontation to correct an injustice.

  1. If the conflict can be dealt with as a matter between colleagues then the following steps may be taken:

a)      Make the first move towards reconciliation

b)      Perform acts of kindness and forgiveness, overlooking the offence

c)      Undertake constructive confrontation

d)      When undertaking constructive confrontation a person may go privately and express personal concerns and affirm the collegial relationship and a desire to work things out.

  1. If a conflict arises and one or all those involved are unable to resolve the conflict in the manner outlined in iv, then this process may be used.

a)        Consider approaching a friend to discuss the matter and then together undertake a constructive confrontation

b)        Consider writing an account of the conflict situation and formally approaching the Principal for assistance

c)        If the conflict still remains unresolved consider placing the matter before the Board of Trustees asking them to act as arbiters in the situation

d)        At all stages all participants in the conflict must keep each other informed of the actions being taken and be given a chance to make a response

  1. There are certain conflict situations that may result in personal grievance under the Employment Relations Act 2000.
  2. Personal Grievance.

a)        A personal grievance is a particular type of employment relationship problem that normally must be raised with the employer within 90 days of the grievance arising. An employee may have a personal grievance where:

  • They have been dismissed without good reason, or the dismissal was not carried out following due process
  • They have been treated unfairly
  • Their employment or a condition of their employment has been affected to their disadvantage by an unjustified action of their employer
  • They have experienced sexual or racial harassment, or have been discriminated against because of their involvement in a union or other employee organisation, or have suffered duress over membership or non-membership of a union or other employee organisation
  • They have been discriminated against in terms of the prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Human Rights Act 1993.

NOTE

The full meaning of the terms of personal grievance, discrimination, sexual harassment, racial harassment, and duress, shall be the meaning given by section 103 to 110 of the Employment Relations Act 2000. For ease of access these are attached at the end of this policy as an Appendix.

b)        The employee and the Board should first make a reasonable effort to discuss the problem and settle it by mutual agreement. If it is a personal grievance, it must first be raised with the employer and within 90 days. An employee or the Board has the right to be represented at any stage. When a problem arises, union members should contact their local Union representative field officer for advice and representation.

c)        Either party can refer a personal grievance to the Employment Relations Service of the Department of Labour for mediation assistance, or to the Employment Relations Authority.

d)        If the problem relates to a type of discrimination that can be subject of a complaint to the Human Rights Commission under the Human Rights Act 1993, the person can either take a personal grievance, or complain to the Human Rights Commission, but not both, If in doubt, advice should be sought before deciding.

viii.  Services available: To help resolve employment relationship problems the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)  provides:

a)      An Information Service

  • This is free. It is available by contacting the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment or by phoning toll free 0800 20 90 20. The Department’s Employment Service’s internet address is http:/www.dol.govt.nz/.

b)      Mediation Service –

  • The mediation service is a free and independent service available through the Department of Labour. This service helps to resolve employment relationship problems and generally to promote the smooth conduct of employment relationships.
  • Mediation is a mutual problem solving process, with the aim of reaching an agreement, assisted by an independent third party.
  • If the parties cannot reach a settlement they can ask the mediator in writing, to make a final and binding decision.
  • A settlement reached through mediation and signed by the mediator at the request of the parties is final, binding and enforceable. Neither party can then take the matter any further and , either party can be made to comply with the agreed settlement by court order.
  • If the problem is unresolved through mediation either party may apply to have the matter dealt with by the Employment Relations Authority.

c)      The Employment Relations Authority –

  • This Authority is an investigative body that operates in an informed way. It looks into the facts and makes a decision on the merits of the case and not on the legal technicalities.
  • Either an employer or an employee can refer an unresolved employment relationship problem to the Authority by filing the appropriate forms.
  • The Authority may call evidence, hold investigative meetings, or interview anyone involved. It can direct the parties to try mediation. If mediation is unsuitable or has not resolved the problem, the Authority will make a decision that is binding on all parties. Any party can contest the Authority’s decision through the Employment Court.
  1. All employment relationship problems, including personal grievances and any dispute about the interpretation or application of this agreement must be resolved under Parts 9 and 10 of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

Review

This policy will be reviewed as part of the Board’s cycle of review/schedule


Date of Approval __________________________________________________

Chairperson _________________________________________________