Conflict Resolution Policy
This policy was adopted by the board on February 27, 2011.
- CAA wants to be a safe and inviting environment for all participants.
- We want to respect the concerns of all activists, with attention to fairness and confidentiality.
- As a social justice organization, we strive to be sensitive to issues such as sexism and racism.
- CAA wants to maintain neutrality and resolve disputes amicably where possible.
This procedure is intended to address disputes or harassment that an activist encounters when working with CAA that they feel they need assistance addressing. Activists are encouraged to try to resolve disputes "face-to-face" first before resorting to the use of this procedure. If the issue should be reported to the police (for instance stalking, theft, or assault), this procedure does not apply, but CAA will support victims in reporting.
Activists are asked to attempt to resolve conflicts using this policy, and to keep the details of conflicts private.
Activist A will be given a choice of four initial steps depending on the severity they perceive and their personal comfort level:
- Record the incident. Staff contact will record the incident in a confidential file for future reference.
- Issue a notice. This will be a confidential conversation with activist B that notify them that issues exist and that CAA is aware of them, but will not reveal who has brought the complaint. Activist B will be asked to confirm they’ve understood the complaint and be given a choice of escalating it to step 3 or 4 if they so choose. If the problem persists, activist A can choose to escalate the issue further.
- Mediation. The staff contact will attempt to arrange a CAA-mediated discussion between activists A and B to resolve the problem.
- Board decision. If the above steps are unsuccessful or either side feels uncomfortable directly addressing the other party, the board will decide how to address the issue after hearing the relevant details from each side and the staff contact. At this point, both sides will be made aware of the claims made by the other in the interest of fairness. This is considered a last resort measure.
The staff contact should keep a confidential record of relevant details of the dispute process including:
- date(s) of incident
- date of report
- names of those involved
- relevant details of complaint
- record of acknowledgement of each notification and decision in the above process
- collection of relevant emails
Alice is upset about remarks that Betty has been making about her style of dress. These have escalated to the point where Alice no longer feels comfortable with being at events where Betty is present. Alice contacts the Director of Volunteer Programs (DVP) and the DVP gives her a choice of how to proceed. Alice chooses to have Betty receive a notice and discusses the form of the notice with the DVP. The DVP makes confidential notes of the discussion.
The DVP calls Betty and tells her that there has been a complaint that she is making people uncomfortable with her discussion of their appearance. the DVP gives her a choice of either accepting the notice and changing her behavior or escalating the discussion to mediation or a board decision. the DVP makes a record of the specifics of the notice, Betty’s acknowledgement and decision of how to proceed and the date and time of their conversation.