The new Mediation Policy: Some extracts from the new policy will explain this new alternative dispute resolution option for both staff and students the best:
- Mediation may be used before invoking the formal procedures or at any stage of the formal procedures where the parties agree that engaging in the mediation process may resolve some or all of the issues.
- Mediators will maintain complete confidentiality and the parties will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and guidelines. None of the parties to the process may be required to give evidence during a formal investigation about anything said at mediation.
- Mediation is non-prejudicial and the parties do not waive their rights to access other procedures or processes by agreeing to participate.
- Mediation is an informal process which is often more effective if the parties involved in the dispute engage unaccompanied in discussions with and through the mediators. However, staff may, but need not be, accompanied by a colleague of choice. Legal representation is not permitted.
- Not all issues or circumstances are suitable for mediation. The mediators will assess the case at the initial meetings and advise the parties if it is appropriate to proceed. The parties may also decide at this stage that mediation is not suitable for them.
- The parties cannot enter into any agreement that may modify or impinge upon their own or another’s employment rights, or that might alter the terms of employment contracts.
- Either party may pause or end proceedings at any stage and revert to the formal procedure.
Other policies approved by council (5 March 2008)