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Grievance Procedures

This document provides guidelines for the resolution of disputes or complaints regarding decisions made by members with an official role in carrying out the functions and tasks associated with running TASA.

Suggestions:

Constructive comments on TASA’s practices and decision-making processes are an integral part of the process for improving TASA’s functions. Comments should be submitted in writing to TASA and should include a detailed explanation of the problem and suggestions for improvement. These suggestions will be considered at the next meeting of the TASA Executive (held quarterly). The outcome of the discussion will be made available to the person(s) proposing the change within 30 days after the TASA Executive meeting.

Grievances:

TASA has a dispute resolution process to assist with managing more serious issues relating to TASA business. TASA will deal with all disputes in a manner that is fair, transparent and confidential. We will initiate a response to a request within four weeks of it being brought to our attention. This response will differ depending on the issue being raised and the context within which it has occurred.

1. Relating to TASA business.

This section deals with dissatisfaction with either a decision made, or actions taken, by members of the TASA Executive, a TASA Executive Officer, or persons delegated an official TASA role by the TASA Executive [for example, members of panels for the granting of awards or scholarships; thematic group convenors; conference organisers]. Grievances relating to publishing in TASA journals or conference proceedings will be dealt with separately (see section 2 below).

Options for resolving disputes relating to general TASA business are:

Option A: Wherever possible, an attempt should be made to informally resolve the issue between the parties concerned without the involvement of the dispute resolution ad-hoc committee of the TASA Executive

Option B: Where an issue requires further consideration, a formal complaint should be made in writing to the President of TASA outlining the issue under dispute and the response sought. The President will form an ad-hoc committee comprised of no less than three members: a minimum of two members of the TASA Executive (this may include ex-officio members) and one TASA member external to the TASA Executive committee. The complainant will be consulted in the appointment of the TASA member external to the TASA Executive. The President will appoint a chairperson of the ad-hoc committee. Members of the dispute resolution ad-hoc committee may not have a conflict of interest with the issue under dispute or the person making the complaint.

The dispute resolution ad-hoc committee will:

  • Consider the materials presented from the complainant and the respondent
  • Determine whether there are grounds for TASA to intervene in the grievance
  • If yes, then suggest avenues and options to address the dispute
  • If no, then have clear reasons why this decision was reached
  • Recommend action to the Executive Committee in respect of the grievance

The Chairperson will:

  • Request relevant information relating to the grievance from the complainant and the respondent
  • Keep records of communications and discussions about the grievance
  • Call meetings of the subcommittee to discuss the grievance
  • Provide a report to the Executive Committee of TASA

The President of TASA will notify the complainant and respondent of the decision. The decision will be in writing and shall be final.

Option C: Where an issue is of a legal nature, it will be referred to an external body for mediation or processing.

2. Dispute relating to TASA Journals or Conference Proceedings

This section deals with dissatisfaction relating to publications under the TASA umbrella, including the Journal of Sociology, Health Sociology Review and the annual conference proceedings.

The TASA Executive delegates authority for the resolution of disputes relating to editorial processes to the Editor and Editorial Advisory Boards (or equivalent body) of its journals and conference proceedings.

The Editor is ultimately responsible for decisions relating to the rejection or acceptance of a manuscript. Any queries about this decision should be resolved between the Editor and the author of the manuscript.

The following procedures refer to the means for addressing disputes relating to the review processes by which Editors make decisions. The options are:

Option A: Wherever possible, an attempt should be made to informally resolve the issue between the parties concerned without a formal complaint being made.

Option B: Where an issue requires further consideration, a formal complaint should be made in writing to the Editor in Chief (or equivalent) outlining the issue under dispute and the response sought.

  • A copy of the letter should be forwarded to the TASA President, or nominee, who will monitor proceedings and report on decisions made by the ad-hoc committee.
  • The grievance will be considered by an ad-hoc committee formed from members of the Editorial Advisory Board (or equivalent body). Members of the dispute resolution ad-hoc committee may not have a conflict of interest with the issue under dispute or the person making the complaint.
  • The ad-hoc committee of the Editorial Advisory Board will be comprised of no less than three members, selected by the Editor in Chief, one of whom shall be appointed to Chair the dispute resolution procedure.

The dispute resolution ad-hoc committee will:

  • Consider the materials presented from the complainant and the respondent
  • Determine whether the grievance is justified
  • If yes, then suggest avenues and options to address the dispute
  • If no, then have clear reasons why this decision was reached
  • Recommend action to the TASA President in respect of the grievance

The Chairperson will:

  • Request information from the complainant and the respondent
  • Keep records of communications and discussions about the grievance
  • Call meetings of the subcommittee to discuss the grievance
  • Provide the President of TASA with
  • a brief report of the grievance and outcome
  • a draft of the letters outlining the outcome for the complainant and respondent

The TASA President will notify the complainant and respondent of the decision. The decision will be in writing and shall be final.

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