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Mediation is a process in which the participants to a dispute, with the assistance of a dispute resolution practitioner (the mediator), identify the disputed issues, develop options, consider alternatives and endeavour to reach an agreement. The mediator has no advisory or determinative role in regard to the content of the dispute or the outcome of its resolution, but may advise on or determine the process of mediation whereby resolution is attempted.
Problems will occur between people in a large organisation and conflict can result. The Western Sydney University Complaint Handling and Resolution Policy (opens in a new window) and accompanying procedures are designed:
- To prevent personal conflicts from becoming re-entrenched;
- To resolve grievance speedily, in a confidential, conciliatory and effective manner;
- To be easily accessible to staff and students thus enabling an effective and productive work and study environment for staff and students; and
- To enable monitoring of complaints with Western Sydney University.
The Complaint Handling and Resolution Policy and Procedures complements the Univeristy's existing dispute resolution procedures within relevant University Enterprise Agreements and University By-Laws. Academic and administrative matters will continue to be addressed directly through existing University policies and procedures.
You should in the first instance approach your supervisor to discuss your grievance.
Western Sydney University Mediation Guidelines
- Mediation is a voluntary confidential conference, where parties participate cooperatively to resolve the dispute/s between them, with the assistance of an accredited mediator.
- An accredited mediator is a person professionally trained in dispute resolution who is neutral and helps parties in dispute to discuss their differences constructively and come to an agreement that suits them both.
- Mediation requires that both parties to the dispute agree to attempt mediation.
- Mediation must be requested within twelve (12) months of the dispute arising.
- Mediation will occur normally within fourteen (14) days of both parties agreeing to the mediator.
- The mediator will organise with the area supervisor, the time and place for mediation to occur.
- At the conclusion of the mediation session the parties, with the mediator, will prepare a written statement of any resolution for signature by the parties.
- The outcome of mediation is a confidential private agreement between the parties that does not involve the University.
- Any concerns regarding the conduct of a mediation may be referred to Equity and Diversity for review.
- If mediation is unsuccessful, the parties are not prejudiced to pursue internal and external formal avenues of redress.
- Mediation provides a means of dispute resolution which complements existing Western Sydney University complaint resolution mechanisms.
Western Sydney University Mediation Process for Supervisors
- If matter cannot be resolved at local level and parties to the dispute are in agreement to attempt mediation, supervisor to contact HR advisor or Senior HR Partner.
- If OPC confirms that mediation is appropriate, OPC will contact supervisor with list of mediators.
- Supervisor will provide the list of mediators to the parties in dispute.
- Once parties to the dispute have agreed on a mediator, the supervisor is to provide the name of the mediator and parties in dispute to OPC.
- OPC will contact the mediator to provide the name and contact details of the supervisor and parties in dispute.
- The mediator will contact the supervisor to arrange the mediation (place, date and time).
- Mediation will occur.
- Mediator will report to OPC.
- OPC will communicate outcome (only in terms of resolved or not) to supervisor.
- If matter is not resolved through mediation then OPC will support supervisor to implement other dispute resolution strategies.