Dispute Resolution Procedure

Dispute Resolution Procedure

1. These procedures are for the resolution of disputes which may arise in the University, other than disputes which are dealt with through normal industrial relations structures operating in the University, and other than appeals by students relating to the results of examinations. Said procedures are hereby established to meet the requirements of the Universities Act, 1997, section 26.

2. An employee or student member of the University may refer an issue for resolution under these procedures but only after every effort has been made to resolve the dispute using other established procedures. Notice of referral shall be served on the Secretary of the University.

3. Within twenty-one days of receipt of referral, the University shall appoint an Assessment Panel, which shall comprise three members and which shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) hereof, be appointed by the President. Should the President be a party to any dispute referred under these procedures, or should the President have been otherwise involved in any determination of a relevant issue prior to its referral under these procedures, the Assessment Panel shall be appointed by an external member of the Governing Body or by another person nominated by the Governing Body.

4. The University member referring an issue to the Assessment Panel shall submit a statement in writing, containing an account of the relevant facts and circumstances of the dispute, adequate to enable the Committee to determine whether the matter is one which falls within the remit of the Dispute Resolution Committee established under section 6(1) below and in accordance with the provisions of section 1 above. The statement should also set out the processes within the University which have been used to endeavour to resolve the dispute.

5. Following due consideration, the Assessment Panel shall determine whether the dispute falls within the remit of the Dispute Resolution Committee. If the Assessment Panel determines that the dispute is within the remit of the Dispute Resolution Committee, the issue shall be referred to that Committee. If the Assessment Panel determines that the dispute is not one which falls within the remit of the dispute resolution procedure or that it should be referred to another forum (e.g. Labour Relations Commission, a relevant Employment Tribunal, an Examinations Appeals Board, a Promotion Appeals Board or other established forum inside or outside the University) it shall so direct.

6. The membership of the Dispute Resolution Committee shall comprise:

a. a chairperson nominated by the Governing Body;

b. a second member nominated by the Governing Body;

c. a member who shall be a nominee of the Chancellor of the National University of Ireland. The members of the Dispute Resolution Committee shall not be members of the University.

7. The members of the Committee shall meet as appropriate for the dispatch of business, adjourn and otherwise regulate their proceedings as they deem fit. Questions arising at Committee meetings shall be decided by majority vote. All hearings before the Committee shall be held in private. No person shall be entitled to attend a hearing before the Committee without leave of the Committee. The quorum for all meetings of the Committee shall be two members.

8. The Committee shall be entitled to seek such external professional advice as it deems necessary from the professional advisors to the University or others.

9. The Committee shall have before it the written submission which will have been considered by the Assessment Panel. The Committee shall, in the first instance, review this statement. It may seek an additional statement or statements from the University members involved and/or may seek a statement or statements from any other party or parties to the dispute or from any other party or parties whom the Committee considers may be concerned. The Committee shall also require the parties to the dispute to appear before it and may seek the assistance of other members of the University by way of oral evidence or otherwise.

10. The Committee shall call all parties to the dispute to appear before it and shall hear an account of the matter from each party to the dispute. A party appearing before the Committee shall be entitled to be accompanied by a friend or colleague or other representative acceptable to the Committee. The Committee shall consider all the evidence, oral and written, presented to it and may, if it sees fit, seek further information, by way of oral or written evidence, as it deems fit. Refusal or failure of any party to attend the proceedings or to comply with any time limits determined by the Committee shall not invalidate the proceedings, which may, at the discretion of the Committee, continue upon evidence that all other procedures stipulated by those Statutes have been properly followed.

11. After due deliberation, the Committee shall determine its recommendations for the resolution of the dispute and shall inform the relevant parties accordingly; the Committee shall also report its determination to the Governing Body.

CONTACT: Ms Nora Geary, Corporate Secretary, Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs, University College Cork. Tel: 021 4903411. E-mail: Nora.Geary@ucc.ie OR Mr. Paul Ryan, Employee Relations Manager, Department of Human Resources and Organisational Development, University College Cork. Tel. 021 4903887. E-mail: paul.ryan@ucc.ie

Human Resources

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