Rights of volunteers in community & political organisations

Political organisations, public institutions, sporting clubs, churches are in turmoil. The Liberal Party is being challenged by rape culture in its ranks. The boys club of privilege ignored Brittany and Kate. The Labour Party has deserted its working class base. The Greens are divided over its environmental and social justice obligations to its members. Pell has fractured the Catholic Church. The AFL and Rugby League have a toxic corporate culture giving up on local football clubs and taking all the cash for themselves. Many community & political organisations sink or swim based on how they are run and how fair their management processes are. Here are some questions for community and political organisations where grievances have been lodged by members of the community they serve.

  1. What rights does a volunteer or member at a community or political organisation have? Are these rights more or less than a paid employee?
  2. Does a volunteer or member have a right to an informal process when a grievance is lodged?  Under what circumstances does a volunteer have a right to informal conflict management? Under what circumstance does a volunteer or member who is subject to a grievance have a formal process of investigation prior to written grievances being received? See diagram below.
  3. Has a volunteer or member breached confidentiality when they speak out because they do not yet know the basis of a grievance?

    If the community organisation is an independent media outlet:
  4. What is the policy of the organisation on independent critical news content that has not gone through self-censorship processes of, say, The Guardian and the ABC? Or is simply right wing invention as in News Corp.
  5. How does a community or political group deal with someone or group pressuring management/board over content of its programs? 
  6. If an informal process is bypassed, what is the time frame for details of the grievance to be supplied, the period of suspension to be served by a volunteer and how long must the program be pulled?
  7. What guarantee does a volunteer or member have that nominated investigators or equity officers into the complaint will be impartial?
Grievance procedures