Northcote Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities

Approved by the AGV Northcote State Election Campaign Committee (NSECC) October 2017

The following roles and responsibilities apply to campaign volunteers within Northcote. They are subject to the broader consitution, bylaws, policies and legal obligations of the Australian Greens Victoria.

Rights

As a volunteer for the Victorian Greens in Northcote, you have the right to:

  • Appropriate orientation and training relevant to your role;
  • A healthy, safe, and welcoming workplace;
  • Appropriate and adequate insurance coverage;
  • A well defined job description, or well defined description of tasks;
  • Appropriate support and management;
  • Access policies pertaining to volunteers and your role;
  • Access information on grievance and disciplinary policies and procedures;
  • Be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the campaign if negotiated prior to expenses being incurred; and
  • Be advised on opportunities to participate in campaign decisions.

Responsibilities

As a volunteer for the Victorian Greens in Northcote, you must:

1. Be considerate

You will be working as part of a team. Your work will be used by other people, and this team in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision this team takes will affect users and colleagues, and the team should take those consequences into account when making decisions.

2. Be respectful

This team and its members treat one another with respect. Everyone can make a valuable contribution. Team members may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour and poor manners. It's important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. The Greens expect members of the team to be respectful when dealing with people outside the team.

3. Be collaborative

Collaboration is central to our work. This collaboration involves individuals working with others in teams within the Greens, and working with other internal and external projects. This collaboration reduces redundancy, and improves the quality of our work. Internally and externally, we should always be open to collaboration.

4. Resolve differences gracefully

In most cases, disagreements should be solved personally and respectfully. In cases where that is not possible, the Northcote Campaign Harassment Policy should be followed. AGV members are also reminded of the AGV Disputes and Grievance Procedure.

5. If unsure, seek assistance

Projects occasionally go off the rails because individuals feel embarrassed to ask for help. Even if you think your question seems stupid or that you should know the answer please ask. Asking questions avoids many problems down the road, and so questions are encouraged. Those who are asked questions should be responsive and helpful.

6. Step down considerately

Members of every project come and go. When somebody leaves or disengages from the project, in whole or in part, they should do so in a way that minimises disruption to the project. This means they should tell people they are leaving and take the proper steps to ensure that others can pick up where they left off.

7. Data Confidentiality

The data maintained by the Greens in its offices and its systems is highly sensitive. You should accept that your access to Greens data and other systems will be limited on a strictly need to know basis. If you are given access to confidential material you must safeguard this at all times.

8. Developing procedures and related issues

Even if it's not obvious at the time, your contributions will impact on the work of others. Making changes to procedures, computer systems, infrastructure, policy, documentation, and translations without appropriate consultation and implementation planning may negatively impact on the work of others.

 

Northcote Campaign Harassment Policy

Approved by the AGV Northcote State Election Campaign Committee (NSECC) October 2017

This policy applies to staff and volunteers related to the Northcote campaign.
It is subject to the broader consitution, bylaws, policies and legal obligations of the Australian Greens Victoria.

Volunteer Well-being Coordinators

Name

Phone Number

Email

Michael Gourlay

0404 255 317

michaelgourlay@optusnet.com.au

Marcella Brassett

0411 026 142

marcebrassett@gmail.com

     

Further Greens Contacts

Name

Role

Phone Number

Email

Jess McColl

Northcote Campaign Manager

0422 912 098

jess.mccoll@gmail.com

Naomi Blackburn

Vic Greens Head of Campaigns

03 9912 2992

naomi.blackburn@vic.greens.org.au

Clare Quinn

Vic Greens State Director

0421 840 986

state.director@vic.greens.org.au

 

Safety and Wellbeing

At all times, the first priority is the safety and wellbeing of staff and volunteers, as well as the people they contact as part of Greens activities.

 

Definition of Harassment

Harassment includes any unwelcome behaviour that could be reasonably expected to make someone feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Harassment can occur in person, over the phone, and via email, text or other electronic or written forms of communication, including social media.

Whilst not an exhaustive list, forms of harassment include:

  • Physical contact;
  • ‘Jokes’;
  • Offensive language, shouting or behaving in an intimidating manner;
  • Gossip;
  • Slander;
  • Offensive, insensitive or sectarian songs or messages;
  • Obscene or offensive email and screen savers etc;
  • Coercion for sexual favours or sexually suggestive remarks;
  • Continued requests for social activities after it has been made clear that such suggestions are not welcome; and
  • Verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

 

Making a Complaint

A volunteer who believes they have been harassed (the complainant) should:

  • If comfortable to do so, inform the alleged harasser the behaviour is offensive, unwelcome, and should stop;

  • Make a note of the date, time and location of the incidents/s;

  • If not comfortable to confront the alleged harasser or if unwelcome behaviour continues, report to their chosen volunteer well-being coordinator (listed above); or

  • If this is inappropriate, speak to one of the further Greens contacts (listed above).

 

Complaints Process

When a complaint is received, the chosen volunteer well-being coordinator will:

  • Obtain and record a full, step-by-step account of the incident/s;

  • Ensure that the complainant understands the campaign’s process for handling the complaint;

  • Ascertain the complainant’s preferred outcome, e.g. an apology, the behaviour to cease, the alleged harasser to cease involvement in the campaign;

  • Agree on the next step: informal resolution or formal investigation (processes outlined below); and

  • Keep a confidential record of all details of this discussion and subsequent steps in the process.

Any suspected breaches of the law must be reported immediately to the police and / or relevant authorities, as well as to the AGV State Director.

 

Informal Resolution

Where a complainant has chosen informal resolution, following an informal process the volunteer well-being contact will:

  • Inform the alleged harasser of the complaint and provide an opportunity to respond;

  • Ensure both parties understand their rights and responsibilities under the campaign’s policy;
  • If possible, mediate an outcome that is satisfactory for the complainant;

  • Ensure that confidentiality is maintained; and

  • Follow up with the complainant to ensure the behaviour has not reoccurred.

 

Formal Investigation

If a formal investigation is requested by the complainant, or if an informal resolution fails, the volunteer well-being coordinator will escalate the matter to a more senior Greens contact.

That person will:

  • Afford natural justice to all involved;

  • Interview all directly concerned, individually;

  • Interview witnesses, individually;

  • Keep records of all interviews and investigation;

  • Ensure confidentiality of all parties involved;

  • Make a determination as to whether there is sufficient evidence that a reasonable person could conclude, on the balance of probabilities (i.e. it’s more likely than not), that an incident/incidents of harassment (as defined above) has occurred;

  • In such a case, determine appropriate action, which may include a change of duties for the harasser, change to working arrangements or, where the incidents were frequent and/or severe, dismissal;

  • Where it cannot be determined by the required test that an incident/incidents of harassment has occurred, may still take action to ensure the proper functioning of the workplace, but these actions should not prejudice any party;

  • Continue to closely monitor the situation and provide retraining where required; and

  • Check to ensure the action meets the needs of the complainant and organisation.

    Outcomes as they affect the complainant will be discussed with the complainant to ensure that needs are met, where appropriate.