On 20 June 2008, the University Court approved a Strategy to address an early dispute resolution initiative within the University Community for both staff and students.

The Strategy Document was developed and put forward by an Early Dispute Resolution Strategy Group. The Group was established within the University comprising representatives of academics, support staff, campus trade unions, management and students. It includes a number of objectives including finding ways to:

  • resolve disputes at an early stage and reach more satisfactory outcomes
  • disseminate best practice in a modern and diverse workplace
  • minimise the cost involved in disputes
  • set in place mediation skills and training facilities
  • train and develop a credible, professional and high quality mediation facility at the University
  • enhance management skills by using an innovative approach across the range of disciplines and staff categories in the University.

The Group will be working over the next year to raise awareness of its activities and initiatives and the availability of the EDR option for dispute resolution. In the first instance this will be available to staff.

This statement made jointly on behalf of the University and the campus Unions, launched the EDR Initiative on 17 October 2008:

The University, as an institution of higher education, is foremost a community that encourages collegiality, trustworthiness and collaboration from, and to all, of its constituent members.

The launch today of the Early Dispute Resolution Initiative, is designed to enhance and improve all spheres of learning, teaching, research and service. We will work together to develop this initiative over the next few years.

It stresses our individual as well as our institutional responsibilities. It is designed to embody the principles of fairness, equality, diversity and accessibility and to maximise benefit and minimise costs. It is also designed ultimately, to serve the community at large, by providing staff and students with collaborative skills and a sense of personal responsibility for benefit locally, nationally and internationally.

Mrs Fiona O'Donnell (Academic Affairs), Convener, EDR Group

9 December 2008