It is the policy of the NMMA Board to protect the integrity of the membership roster by governing access to the E-mail listing of the membership. The purpose of maintaining an E-mail roster of the membership is to provide information and announcements of interest to the membership.
Therefore, the NMMA Board will authorize the Board Secretary of the Association to review and approve all messages sent to the email roster. Announcements and messages will be submitted to the Secretary for this purpose. The Secretary will also maintain the email roster of the regional chapters.
Mailings to the chapters will be handled in the same way. Regional conveners may request the Secretary to post announcements and information to the regional chapter email roster.
All NMMA members (including Board members, Conveners, and Committee Chairs) will send emails to the Board Secretary to be disseminated appropriately among the membership. The Secretary has the right to disseminate E-mails and/or edit E-mails submitted for dissemination that are in violation of this policy. Once approved, the Secretary will send the E-mail out, with all membership (full or Chapter-specific) in the Bcc field and the member responsible for the E-mail and any other pertinent parties who may need to receive feedback in the To field.
All NMMA Emails will contain the following disclaimer at the end of them: Notice: this communication (including attachments) is covered under the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. Sections 2510-2521. This communication may contain privileged or other confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, or believe that you received this communication in error, please do not print, copy, retransmit, disseminate, or otherwise use the information. Also, please notify sender that you have received this E-mail in error, and delete the copy you received
Dear NMMA Membership,
The NMMA Board is requesting nominations for election for Grievance Committee Members. The Board would like to see members from all regions of New Mexico. Please submit nominations to the NMMA firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Mexico Mediation Association (NMMA) acknowledges the rights of its members to lodge a formal grievance against the Board in accordance with the following grievance policy, provided the member lodging the grievance: (1) is in good standing with NMMA and has not violated the by-laws and/or written or stated policies of NMMA, (2) has not violated common courtesies defined as appropriate mediator-like behavior with the Board or members of NMMA, and (3) has tried in good faith to resolve the grievance through informal means as defined in this document.
The purpose of the NMMA Grievance Policy (NMMAGP) shall be to enable members to seek redress of complaints or grievances (hereafter referred to as “grievances”) resulting in injury to the member adversely affecting their status, rights, or privileges (hereafter referred to as “principal party/complainant”). A grievance arises from any alleged unauthorized or unjustified act or decision by a member of the Board in violation of and/or any inappropriate application of the by-laws and policies of NMMA. Any grievance procedure will extend only to the interpretation or application of current NMMA by-laws and policy, and not to changes in or proposed changes in NMMA by-laws and policy. The burden of proof shall rest with the principal party/complainant.
NMMA will not continue to engage in any grievance procedure with any principal party/complainant who participates in or threatens any stoppage, interruption or interference with NMMA activities, or attempts in any way to create separation and dissention among NMMA membership, or engages in attacks against NMMA as an organization, and/or individuals of the Board and/or membership. Members engaging in this or other inappropriate behavior will be subject to disciplinary action as defined by the NMMA Board to be included in the by-laws, which could ultimately result in a revoking of membership. A person whose membership is revoked for knowingly violating the above conditions may, subsequent to such violation, have their membership reinstated but only upon the following conditions:
(1) such person will be on probation for a period of two years following such reinstatement of membership, during which period he/she will retain membership at the pleasure of the NMMA Board and membership without recourse to grievance procedures;
(2) such person will be considered a completely new member for purposes of any benefits related to length of membership.
(1) Membership of the NMMAGC shall, in accordance with the by-laws, consist of a committee Chair, chosen by the President. The Chair will submit recommendations for the committee to the President, who must approve all committee members.
The NMMAGC shall be comprised of a panel of 4 NMMA Members. The NMMAGC shall not contain more than one Board Member.
The Chair shall be the administrative officer of the committee. The duties of the office shall include (in conjunction with the NMMA Secretary and, when appropriate, regional Conveners) arranging for appropriate times and places of committee meetings and hearings; informing committee members of the times and places of committee meetings and hearings; informing in writing all interested parties of the times and places of committee meetings or hearings which they are requested to attend and supplying them with a statement of alleged grievances; informing all other interested parties that a grievance is pending; securing and distributing to the committee written material appropriate for its consideration; arranging for the recording of committee proceedings; maintaining committee records; and informing in writing all interested parties of the recommendations of the committee.
TERM OF SERVICE, CONTINUATIONS AND REPLACEMENTS
All committee members shall serve two year staggered terms, beginning and ending at the appropriate NMMA annual meeting. To initially establish rotation of staggered terms, all committee members shall draw lots to determine the length of their term. Committee members may serve consecutive terms of service. The members who begin hearing a grievance shall continue as a panel for that grievance until it reaches resolution, unless a member is unable to continue or is no longer available to serve.
Alternates shall be called upon as necessary to fill permanent vacancies, and shall be selected by the Chair and approved by the President. In the event that the position of Chair becomes vacant, the President will choose a new Chair. If, for good cause, a committee member cannot consider a particular grievance, or if the NMMAGC identifies a conflict of interest, an alternate, with full voting rights, shall be appointed to serve in his/her place for the specific grievance. The Chair of the committee shall request a temporary replacement by one of the alternates of the same constituency (Board, and Northern, Southern, or Central non-Board member) as the original member.
The quorum for policy matters and organization meetings of the NMMAGC shall consist of the entire four-person committee. All votes pertaining to the merits of a grievance shall be by secret written ballot.
To protect all parties involved, it is the expectation of the NMMAGC that confidentiality will be maintained by all participants to the maximum extent possible at every level of the grievance process. A breach of confidentiality is a breach of ethics and/or code of conduct.
No member of the committee shall discuss personal and/or pertinent information relating to a specific grievance with any persons who are non-committee members except at the request of the committee, as part of the hearing processes defined in this document, or to gather necessary information in order to make clear and informed decisions. This shall not preclude notification of proper authorities by the NMMAGC in the event that the committee perceives the safety of any person or property to be in jeopardy.
No member of the committee shall discuss personal and/or pertinent information relating to a specific grievance with any of the principals (including the principal party/complainant and any other principals identified by the principal party/complainant) throughout the course of the investigation and following the recommendation of the committee except at the request of the committee, at a hearing, and/or to gather necessary information in order to make clear and informed decisions.
Communication Guidelines: All written documentation and recommendations relating to individual grievances shall be marked and handled “confidential,” and is a matter only for those directly involved in the grievance (interested parties). Confidentiality shall be maintained, unless confidentiality is waived by all parties. All documents, tapes, etc., relative to an individual grievance shall not be maintained and will be destroyed after the Grievance process.
A good faith effort to settle a dispute must be made before filing a formal grievance. Informal discussion between persons directly involved in a grievance is essential in the early stages of the dispute and should be encouraged at all times. Even after filing, efforts to resolve the dispute by informal means should continue. If the principal party/complainant chooses to seek advice from a non-involved party, the NMMAGC recommends the member approach any member or non-member they feel might be useful in assisting them in resolving the grievance, provided the principal party/complainant is acting in good faith using all efforts and means to resolve the grievance and is not contacting members or non-members to create dissention and/or find evidence to support their right to harbor such a grievance. Members should use non-involved parties to:
1. Assist in defining the problem
2. Explore options for resolution
3. Attempt to resolve the conflict
HOW TO FILE
Where informal recourse fails the principal party/complainant may file a formal grievance in writing to the Chair of the NMMAGC, stating the specific allegations and the desired remedy, accompanied by available documentary evidence. Guidelines for information necessary to include in the formal grievance, as well as a cover form to sign, is included at the end of this policy. This written grievance shall include dates of the incident and necessary details regarding the grievance and will be distributed, by the Chair of NMMAGC, to all members of the NMMAGC and interested parties.
WITHDRAWAL AND TERMINATION OF FORMAL PROCESS
A principal party/complainant has the right to withdraw his/her grievance at any stage of the proceedings, in which case the proceedings terminate immediately. Efforts to resolve the disputes by informal means may continue throughout the formal process unless the NMMAGC and/or any of the interested parties requests a stop of the informal process. Written notification by the principal party/complainant to the Chair of the NMMAGC is required to terminate the proceedings. The Chair will then distribute this written notification to all members of the NMMAGC and to the interested parties.
Upon receipt of the written grievance, the Chair of the NMMAGC will review the grievance to determine if:
1. The NMMAGC has jurisdiction (see “Purpose” section); and
2. The member filing the grievance is in good standing, abiding by NMMA by-laws as well as written and stated policies, and has •&conducted themselves in an appropriate manner (see “Purpose” section); and
3. The informal process, steps 1 through 3, has been met. If the above conditions have not been met, the Chair of the NMMAGC shall respond in writing to the complainant stating what condition(s) has not been met.
If the above conditions have been met, the Chair will send written notice of receipt of a grievance within seven (7) calendar days to all parties involved in the informal process. The principal(s) (the person(s) named in the grievance as responsible for the action the principal party/complainant believes was harmful, or, if a policy is being grieved, the President of the Board) will also receive a complete copy of documentation submitted by the other principal (the principal party/complainant), along with a request to provide a written response to the committee within twenty (20) calendar days. The Chair will also send copies of all documentation to all members of the NMMAGC.
CONSIDERATION OF GRIEVANCE
Upon review of documentation from the principals, the committee will establish and distribute to the principals a timeline for resolution of the grievance. If additional information is needed, the committee shall use appropriate means to collect relevant data. This may include, but is not limited to:
- requesting written permission from principals to use any documents that may be pertinent to the grievance,
- seek advice or statements from “experts” in the area and/or other impacted members,
- determining to hold a hearing.
Any members within NMMA contacted by NMMAGC for information relevant to a specific grievance shall cooperate and provide full disclosure of information. Once all information is received, including information obtained through a hearing, the committee will issue a recommendation.
The committee shall transmit its report in each grievance to the President and all interested parties including the party responsible for implementing any recommendation, within twenty-one calendar days of completing its information gathering procedures. The report shall include both a finding of fact and the recommendation of the committee for an appropriate remedy, if found necessary. The party responsible for implementing the recommendation shall take action solely based on the factual findings and recommendations provided by the NMMAGC. Implementation of a recommendation shall not include a reinvestigation of the complaint. The party responsible for implementing the recommendation shall promptly notify the NMMAGC of the course of action taken. Should the action taken not follow the recommendation of the committee, the party responsible for implementing NMMAGC recommendations shall promptly submit a rationale for that action to the committee. If, within a reasonable time, remedial action has not been taken, the NMMAGC may request the President or other appropriate officials to expedite resolution of the situation. Records of the outcome of Grievance proceedings shall be maintained by the Secretary for 5 years. After 5 years, the records shall be destroyed.
REVISIONS TO POLICY AND PROCEDURES
Responsibility for initiating revisions to the NMMAGP rests with the NMMAGC, who will solicit feedback from the NMMA Board and membership concerning the proposed revisions, and who will then recommend revision to the Chair. All revisions must be approved and voted on by the Board.
SIGNATURE FORM TO SUBMIT AS COVER PAGE TO A FORMAL GRIEVANCE
In submitting the attached grievance, I have received and read the NMMAGP, understand as per the “Purpose” section how I am expected to conduct myself during the process of the grievance and understand what I am required to do in the filing of a formal grievance.
I certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the information I have provided is accurate and the circumstances surrounding the problem are as I have described them.
Signature And Date
INFORMATION TO BE SUBMITTED IN A FORMAL GRIEVANCE
Social Security #
Address, City State Zip
Phone Number(s), Fax Number, E-mail address
Best times to call (Chair and committee members will attempt to call during these times if possible, but may need to call at other times).
Nature of the grievance (Summary statement)
All dates relevant to the grievance
Specific statement of allegation(s)
Person(s), to the best of your knowledge, having direct knowledge and involvement concerning the circumstances with contact information (if available to the principal party/complainant; and
Relief or remedy requested. This may be in narrative and should be clear, complete, and as concise as is possible and practical.
A description of informal actions you have taken to resolve the problem, persons contacted and when, and the result or status of the attempts at informal resolution. If the informal process is not completed, explain why: Attach, or otherwise identify, any and all material (documents, forms, names or witnesses, or other information) you wish to be considered in resolving this problem.