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Policies


POLICIES

The following policies and procedures guide the operations of U3A Melbourne City Inc. Enquiries relating to these policies should be addressed to secretary@u3amelbcity.org.au

Refund Policy Amended February 2015
Harassment Policy Approved January 2014
Code of Conduct and Complaints Policy
Approved October 2012
Amended May 2016
Privacy Policy Approved May 2014
Foreign Languages Policy Approved 2012
Strategic Business Plan 2014-2017 Approved 2014
Risk Management Policy Amended April 2017

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Code of Conduct and Complaints Policy

 
Every group, business and organisation depends on good relationships. Here are some new measures to make sure ours stay strong and healthy.  Every member needs to read this.
 
Like all U3As, ours is built around interactions between people. All of us have roles here: as students/participants, tutors and group leaders, administrative coordinators and helpers, office staffers, committee and working group members. We also have important relationships with outside people, particularly the staff of the venues where classes are held. It’s the communication and cooperation between all these parties that makes U3A Melbourne City run so well. We need to keep it that way.
 
In line with policy directions from U3A Network Victoria, your committee has developed the following code of conduct to make sure that all of us, in whatever role we are acting, are aware of our responsibilities to each other and to this organisation. Also provided are guidelines for making and dealing with complaints or grievances, should they arise.
 
Code of Conduct
As a self-funded, member-based organisation, U3A Melbourne City expects that all members, tutors and other volunteers will behave in a courteous and civilised manner in all dealings relevant to U3A Melbourne City. As a member of U3A Melbourne City, you therefore agree to abide by this Code of Conduct by:
  1. Participating in U3A Melbourne City activities in a friendly and positive way at all times.
  2. Being honest and ethical in all dealings with U3A Melbourne City, its members and other related organisations.
  3. Showing respect, courtesy and consideration to everyone you deal with in U3A Melbourne City, related organisations and the general public in relation to U3A activities.
  4. Being punctual and reliable in attending U3A classes/events/office rosters or other commitments; and forewarning of unavoidable absences, withdrawals from classes, events, or volunteer commitments.
  5. Observing strict confidentiality regarding organisational and members’ personal information to which you may have access; never disclosing contact details of any U3A Melbourne City member or tutor to anyone without their permission.
  6. Avoiding all forms of discriminatory behaviour in regard to nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, culture, religion, age and mental or physical disability.
  7. Not engaging in behaviour that is inappropriate, disruptive or intimidating, such as would breach the rights of other persons to participate in a class/event or to carry out their designated role.
  8. Preserving the wellbeing and safety of members and the organisation by:
    1. Participating safely in each class or activity, and abiding by any reasonable directive or prerequisite specified by the tutor or event organiser for that participation.
    2. Refraining from activities or comments that promote a personal business/cause or that would place others in a vulnerable situation either financially, physically or psychologically.
    3. Not causing any wilful damage to U3A Melbourne City premises, materials, facilities, equipment, or those of other venues.
  9. Promoting U3A Melbourne City in a positive way, refraining from harming the organisation’s reputation or relationships by inappropriate comment or action.
  10. Abiding by this and all other U3A Melbourne City policies and procedures.
  11. Following the U3A Melbourne City Grievance Policy & Procedure (see next) if dissatisfied, and abiding by decisions thus made.
Complaints and grievance issues
Issues that may arise could involve:
  • Room bookings, room and equipment usage.
  • Issues between a tutor and class member.
  • Office volunteer and operational matters.
  • Course enrolments and event bookings.
  • Matters related to organisation of and participation in events.
  • Any other dissatisfaction a member may have about their dealings with U3A Melbourne City.
Grievance Policy and Procedure
Preamble
This policy statement is underpinned by the preceding U3A Melbourne City Code of Conduct which applies to all members. The Grievance Procedure outlined in this document seeks to provide a mechanism to deal with issues that may arise regarding the activities or operations of the organisation, internally and in relation to other bodies, especially those matters arising from non-observance of the Code of Conduct.
 
Policy Statement
  1. This Grievance Procedure aims to achieve conciliation and the resolution of complaints quickly, with fairness, care and understanding. Confidentiality of all parties will be preserved; only those people with a specific role in this procedure will be involved.
  2. There is an expectation that parties should first seek to directly resolve any concerns or grievances between themselves, and in consultation with the relevant Coordinator. If the issue is then not resolved, the parties may request a formal grievance process.
  3. Any matters of grievance concerning the activities, tutors, volunteers or members (including the Committee of Management) of U3A Melbourne City should be addressed within ten working days.
  4. The formal Grievance Procedure is set out below.
Initial informal approach
 
All U3A Melbourne City tutors, volunteers and members are expected to behave in a courteous and civilised manner in dealing with any issue that arises, and to seek to resolve the problem informally – where appropriate, by contacting the U3A office; or through discreet discussion between the tutor/event leader and participant concerned. Consultation with the relevant Coordinator, Event organiser may also assist in resolving the issue.
 
If either party is not happy with the above informal resolution, or method of dealing with the issue, then the formal procedure below may be followed.
 
Formal Grievance Procedure
  1. A formal written complaint can be made by a member or other party by letter or email, directed to the Secretary, U3A Melbourne City.
  2. A Grievance Officer will be appointed – this may be a member of the Committee of Management or other designated volunteer. In the first instance the Secretary will act as Grievance Officer and delegate responsibility, as appropriate, to other Officers of the Committee of Management of U3A Melbourne City.
  3. A meeting will be organised between the Grievance Officer and the person(s) alleging the grievance to ascertain facts / views.
  4. A meeting will then be organised between the Grievance Officer and the parties named in the grievance.
  5. A meeting between all of the parties named above will follow, in an attempt to find common ground and a resolution.
  6. The Grievance Officer, with reference to other parties, will make a direction as to the validity of the grievance.
  7. If no resolution is reached, the Grievance Officer may involve other members of the Committee as appropriate. 
  8. Where necessary, the Committee may appoint a facilitator to mediate between the parties. The appointment must be acceptable to both parties. Both parties shall bear the full costs, if any, of the mediation. The outcome of the mediation shall be binding.
  9. Individual written grievance reports from the above meetings will be forwarded to the Committee of Management and treated as confidential.
  10. If the grievance is of a criminal nature it will be forwarded immediately to the relevant authorities.
  11. The Grievance Officer and U3A Melbourne City will keep written records of all formal grievance processes.  The record will include the details of all actions taken to resolve or attempt to resolve the grievance or concern and the outcomes of these actions.

[Amended at Committee Meeting 338 held on 25th May, 2016.]


Harassment Policy

 
Harassment of any kind is unlawful and U3A Melbourne City supports the rights of its volunteers and members to be part of an environment (while participating in activities of the organisation) which is free from harassment of any kind. Every volunteer and member has a responsibility to ensure that harassment does not occur.  Anyone found to have harassed another person will be subject to disciplinary action that may include an apology, counseling or loss of membership.
 
What is harassment?
Harassment includes a wide range of deliberate and unintentional behaviours which may intimidate, humiliate or offend and which are unwelcome and uninvited.
 
It includes behaviour which may be written, verbal, non-verbal or physical (including inappropriate electronic communications).
 
Harassment has the effect of offending, humiliating or intimidating the person to whom it is directed.
 
It is acknowledged that social and cultural backgrounds may lead people to perceive the same conduct differently and that appropriate behaviour respects the rights and sensitivities of all members and volunteers.
 
Harassment may occur between one volunteer and another, between volunteers and members, or between volunteers and suppliers or visitors.  It may occur wherever volunteers are interacting with others in the context of their position in the organisation, including events, activities off site and social functions.
 
Sexual harassment is a specific and serious form of harassment. It includes any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature that could be reasonably expected to make someone feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.
 
This may include (but is not restricted to):
• an unwelcome sexual advance
• a request for sexual favours
• unwelcome comments about someone's physical appearance
• leering and ogling
• sexually offensive comments, stories, emails or jokes or commenst on social media sites
• displaying sexually offensive photos, pinups or calendars, reading matter or objects
• sexual propositions or continued requests for dates
• physical contact such as touching or fondling, or unnecessary brushing up against someone
• indecent assault or rape (these are criminal offences).
 
Sexual harassment does not refer to behaviour that is mutually acceptable to the parties involved.
 
Bullying is another form of harassment with repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a volunteer or a group of members that creates a risk to their health and safety.
 
Types of unreasonable behaviour can include:
• abusive, aggressive, insulting or offensive language
• undue criticism
• humiliating remarks
• excluding, isolating or marginalising a person from activities
• spreading misinformation or malicious rumours
• practical jokes
• ganging up or other types of psychological harassment
 
Harassment may occur between one volunteer and another, between volunteers and members, or between volunteers and suppliers or visitors.  It may occur wherever volunteers are interacting with others in the context of their position in the organisation, including events, work off site and social functions.
 
Reports of harassment will be treated promptly, seriously and confidentially. U3A Melbourne City’s grievance policy and procedures outlines the process that will be implemented.
 
v1.0 (original) - Approved by the Committee of Management, January 2014

Refund Policy

 
 
1.       MEMBERSHIP FEES
The annual membership fee is a non-refundable subscription fee for membership of U3A Melbourne City Inc.  There will be no refund of the membership fee.
 
2.       EVENTS
a)       If you cancel before the closing date for bookings for an event, there will be a full refund less a 5% fee.
b)      If you cancel after the closing date for bookings for an event, there will be no refund.
c)       If you cancel after the commencement of or fail to attend an event, there will be no refund.
d)      If we cancel an event, there will be a full refund.
 
3.       FEE-PAYING COURSES
a)       If you cancel more than 5 working days prior to the commencement of the course,  there will be a full refund less a 5% fee.
b)      If you cancel less than 5 working days prior to the commencement of the course, there will be a 50% refund.
c)       If you cancel after the course has commenced, there will be no refund.
d)      If we cancel a course, there will be a full refund.
 
4.       PAYMENT OF REFUNDS
Refunds will be made via EFT on provision of Members' Bank Account details. A fee of 5% of the refund will be retained by U3A Melbourne City to cover handling cost and commissions paid where a Member cancels and a full refund is applicable.
v2.0, Approved by Committee of Management 25 February 2015

 Privacy Policy

U3A Melbourne City Inc recognises the importance of protecting the privacy and the rights of individuals in relation to their personal information. This document describes how we collect and manage your personal information. We respect your rights to privacy under the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth) Act and we comply with all of the Act’s requirements in respect of the collection, management and disclosure of your personal information.

What is your personal information?
When used in this privacy policy, the term “personal information” has the meaning given to it in the Act. In general terms, it is any information that can be used to personally identify you. This may include your name, address, telephone number, email address and profession or occupation. If the information we collect personally identifies you, or you are reasonably identifiable from it, the information will be considered personal information.
 
What personal information do we collect and hold?
We may collect the following types of personal information:
  • name;
  • mailing or street address;
  • email address;
  • telephone number;
  • mobile telephone number;
  • birth year;
  • Previous profession, occupation, skills or interests
  • Emergency contact person details
  • any additional information relating to you that you provide to us directly through our websites or indirectly through use of our websites or online presence, through our volunteers or otherwise;
  • information you provide to us through our office or member surveys.
We may also collect some information that is not personal information because it does not identify you or anyone else. For example, we may collect anonymous answers to surveys, information for other reports and statistical purposes or aggregated information about how users use our website.
 
How do we collect your personal information?
We collect your personal information directly from you unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. When collecting personal information from you, we may collect in ways including:
  • through your access and use of our website;
  • during conversations between you and our volunteers; or
  • when you complete a membership application or book a social event.
  • whether you open your email alerts eg via Mailchimp or when email addresses bounce
 
What happens if we can’t collect your personal information?
If you do not provide us with the personal information described above, some or all of the following may happen:
  • we may not be able to provide the requested services to you, either to the same standard or at all;
  • we may not be able to provide you with information about services that you may want, including information about events, courses or special offers;
  • we may be unable to tailor the content of our websites to your preferences and your experience of our websites may not be as enjoyable or useful.
 
For what purposes do we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information?
We collect personal information about you so that we can perform our business activities and functions and to provide best possible quality of customer service.
 
We collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information for the following purposes:
  • to provide services to you and to send communications requested by you;
  • to answer enquiries and provide information or advice about existing and new services;
  • to potentially provide you with access to protected areas of our website;
  • to assess the performance of the website and to improve the operation of the website;
  • for the administrative, marketing (including direct marketing), planning, service development, quality control and research purposes of U3A Melbourne City
  • to update our records and keep your contact details up to date;
  • to process and respond to any complaint made by you; and
  • to comply with any law, rule, regulation, lawful and binding determination, decision or direction of a regulator, or in co-operation with any governmental authority of any country (or political sub-division of a country).
Your personal information will not be shared, sold, rented or disclosed other than as described in this Privacy Policy.
 
To whom may we disclose your information?
We may disclose your personal information to:
  • our volunteers, related bodies corporate, contractors or service providers for the purposes of operation of our website or our business, fulfilling requests by you, and to otherwise provide services to you including, without limitation, web hosting providers, IT systems administrators, couriers, electronic network administrators, and professional advisors such as accountants, solicitors, business advisors and consultants;
  • any organisation, for any authorised purpose, when we have received your consent.
 
Direct marketing materials
We may send you information about our services that we consider may be of interest to you. These communications may be sent in various forms, including mail and email, in accordance with applicable marketing laws, such as the Spam Act 2003 (Commonwealth). If you indicate a preference for a method of communication, we will endeavour to use that method whenever practical to do so. In addition, at any time you may opt-out of receiving communications from us by contacting us (see the details below) or by using opt-out facilities provided in the communications and we will then ensure that your name is removed from our mailing list. We do not provide your personal information to other organisations for the purposes of direct marketing.
 
How can you access and correct your personal information?
You may request access to any personal information we hold about you at any time by contacting us (see the details below). Where we hold information that you are entitled to access, we will try to provide you with suitable means of accessing it (for example, by mailing or emailing it to you). We may charge you a fee to cover our administrative and other reasonable costs in providing the information to you and, if so, the fees will be $10.00.  We will not charge for simply making the request and will not charge for making any corrections to your personal information. There may be instances where we cannot grant you access to the personal information we hold. For example, we may need to refuse access if granting access would interfere with the privacy of others or if it would result in a breach of confidentiality. If that happens, we will give you written reasons for any refusal. If you believe that personal information we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then you may request us to amend it.
 
We will consider if the information requires amendment. If we do not agree that there are grounds for amendment then we will add a note to the personal information stating that you disagree with it.
 
What is the process for complaining about a breach of privacy?
If you believe that your privacy has been breached, please contact us using the contact information below and provide details of the incident so that we can investigate it.
 
Our procedure for investigating and dealing with privacy breaches is the same as our grievance procedure.
 
Security
We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is protected from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We may hold your information in either electronic or hard copy form. Personal information in hard copy is destroyed when no longer needed.
 
As our website is linked to the internet, and the internet is inherently insecure, we cannot provide any assurance regarding the security of transmission of information you communicate to us online.
 
We also cannot guarantee that the information you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted over the internet. Accordingly, any personal information or other information which you transmit to us online is transmitted at your own risk.
 
Contacting us
If you have any questions about this privacy policy, any concerns or a complaint regarding the treatment of your privacy or a possible breach of your privacy, please use the contact link on our website or contact our Secretary using the details set out below.
We will treat your requests or complaints confidentially. Our representative will contact you within a reasonable time after receipt of your complaint to discuss your concerns and outline options regarding how they may be resolved. We will aim to ensure that your complaint is resolved in a timely and appropriate manner.
 
Please contact our Privacy Officer at:
Secretary
U3A Melbourne City Inc
Post: Level 4, Ross house, 247 Flinders Lane Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 9639 3209
 
Changes to our privacy policy
We may change this privacy policy from time to time. Any updated versions of this privacy policy will be posted on our website.
 
This privacy policy was last updated on 21 May 2014

Foreign Languages Policy

In 2012, on the recommendation of language tutors, the Committee of Management approved a new policy on foreign language study, which aims to

  • integrate the language program into a coherent study pathway, where possible;
  • improve members’ choice of courses and equitable access;
  • improve tutor satisfaction by having classes made up of members with similar language skill levels; and
  • facilitate progression by members to higher levels.
The information below will assist you to understand the process and to select the yearlong or semester Foreign Language course most suited to your interests, language skills and commitment.
 
Policy provisions
  1. Foreign Language courses will be divided into two groups, the first being core language study courses (Group 1) and the second group focusing primarily on conversation and culture (Group 2).
  2. Members can enroll in a maximum of two yearlong/semester language courses.
  3. In addition, members can enroll in only one core language study course per language, e.g. you cannot enroll in French Basics for Beginners and French Grammar for Beginners.
  4. Tutors have the right to set prerequisites for their course and to decide whether an applicant meets these prerequisites.
Process
  1. Most foreign language study courses are targeted at a certain level, and the prerequisite skills or prior study necessary to participate in that course are indicated in the course’s description.
  2. Where prerequisites are stipulated, your enrolment in the course may be provisional and subject to the tutor’s approval. If this is the case, when you enrol you will be waitlisted, pending approval by the tutor.
  3. During enrolments, tutors will check their class lists and
    1. may contact you by phone to determine whether you meet the prerequisites, and/or
    2. organise a two-week trial attendance in the class
  4. If following this process a tutor believes that the course is not suited to you, the tutor will advise you of this and your place will be offered to another member.
  5. During the year, members on a waiting list will fill course vacancies as they occur in strict order of application, subject to meeting specified prerequisites and course admission deadlines.
  6. At the tutor’s discretion, a temporary place may also be offered in a foreign language course when a current student will be absent for a lengthy period of time.

 
U3A Melbourne City is committed to minimising the risk associated with our operations to ensure our members and volunteers are safe and that U3A can continue to provide services for our members.
U3A Melbourne City has a duty of care to provide a safe environment for its members and volunteers as part of an on-going Strategic Plan for the organisation.
 
Purpose
The purpose of this document is to provide a ‘principles based’ approach to risk management and is managed using the U3A Melbourne City Risk Register.
 
Policy
The U3A Melbourne City Risk Management Policy will, as far as reasonably practical, minimise the incidence of risk and mitigate the consequence of any risk which may eventuate.
 
This policy encompasses, but is not limited to physical, financial, reputational and legal risks. Risks managed by the U3A Melbourne City Committee of Management include:
  • Safety of members, tutors, volunteers and visitors attending the U3A Melbourne City office and/or classrooms at our various venues for our activities.
  • IT related risks with the My U3A Membership System such as loss of data or unauthorised use of data.
  • Governance, policy and financial risks associated with the operation of the organisation.
 
The Risk Management Plan
The Risk Management Plan will address the following:
• Objectives of long term risk management
• Annual targets/objectives
• Procedures as to the management of each risk
• Progressive evaluation of the plan.
Management of identified risks
U3A Melbourne City Committee of Management will manage risks by:
  • Identifying the risks associated with U3A Melbourne City activities
  • Maintaining a register of risks
  • Evaluating each identified risk for probability and severity
  • Establishing practices to minimise or mitigate the identified risks
  • Reviewing the risks on a quarterly basis to ensure the Register reflects the current situation.
  • Retire risks which are no longer relevant or have been mitigation.
 
Risk Management Register
The Risk Management Register is maintained by the Vice-President or delegated committee member and is reviewed monthly by the Committee of Management.
 
The Risk Management Register will be managed by:
• Drafting risk management procedures for managing risks
• Documenting identified risks for consideration by the Committee of Management
• Making recommendations to the Committee of Management on emerging risk management issues.
• Scheduling reviews by the Committee of Management
 
Related Policies of U3A Melbourne City:
• Code of Conduct
• Grievance and Complaints Policy
• Privacy Policy
• Discrimination and Harassment Policy
 
The following points need to be included in the Risk Register
 
Procedures
  • Buildings rented by U3A Melbourne City together with furniture, equipment and other chattels will be safeguarded by the Committee of Management by:
  • Controlling access to U3A Melbourne City Office and secure storage within the building
  • Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date register of persons who have access to the office and secure storage
  • Appropriately and adequately securing valuable items against theft or damage in accordance with the requirements of insurance policies
  • Recording all valuable items in the Asset Register of U3A Melbourne City and ensuring that electrical assets are checked and tagged every two years.
  • Equipment checks must be conducted at all venues

v3.2, Approved by Committee of Management, 26th April, 2017