Mediation and grievance

Mediation

VCU offers mediation for faculty, staff, postdoctoral trainees and students who have a conflict. Whether a problem developed recently or over a longer period of time, mediation offers an opportunity to discuss issues with your supervisor, a co-worker, subordinate, peer or professor in a confidential atmosphere.

In mediation, each participant will have a chance to speak, and the mediators will help clarify issues that individuals may wish to address. There is no time limit to the mediation process. Mediation will take as long as is needed to resolve the conflict and may include more than one session. However, while mediation is taking place, if a classified staff member wishes to file a grievance, the 30-day period for doing so can be extended only with the agreement of the person against whom the grievance will be filed.

Who are the mediators?

The mediators are faculty and staff from all areas of the university who have received training in conflict resolution techniques and the mediation processes. They have no prior knowledge of the dispute and enter the process as neutral third parties. If you and the other party agree to participate, a representative from VCU Human Resources will assign two mediators to help open the line of communication in a nonthreatening and supportive environment.

Who will know about the mediation?

Mediation is a confidential process. All participants must agree to respect the private nature of the discussion before the session begins. If a resolution is reached, VCU Human Resources will review the agreement to ensure that it is consistent with VCU policies and procedures.

Grievance

If attempts to informally resolve the situation fail, VCU employees or students may choose to participate in a formal grievance process. All individuals will be subject to VCU policies and procedures.

Since the scope of the ombudsperson's office is limited to informal dispute resolution, VCU's ombudsperson does not participate in grievance processes. The ombudsperson does not keep records for VCU, and this office is not available for testimony or other activity related to any formal process, including grievances, arbitration, hearings or litigation.

The grievance policies for faculty and staff:

More information

Faculty and staff seeking more information may contact Human Resources at 828-1510 or emprel@vcu.edu.

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