Office of the Ombudsperson

OFFICE OF THE

University Ombudsman

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Non-Unionized Staff

The University Ombudsman provides confidential and independent advice and support to members of the University community who may have questions about dispute resolution processes or who may be affected in the course of the resolution of complaints. The Ombudsman shall provide advice to members of the University community to help resolve concerns and to assist these individuals in generating and evaluating options and determining an appropriate course of action. The Ombudsman may facilitate the informal resolution of concerns and complaints in support of University policies and in accordance with best practices in organizational conflict management. The Ombudsman may provide advice and support to employees on matters that may not be the subject of a grievance, but are complaints or concerns about problems in the work setting.

In an e-Queen’s news story in December 2013 Queen’s Human Resources department announced that it was exploring opportunities to connect directly with non-unionized staff in the 2-9 employee group. “We want to ensure that our non-unionized employees remain engaged and well represented and that groups or individuals continue to feel included and that they have a voice in matters of relevance to them as employees at Queen’s,” says Al Orth, Associate Vice Principal, Human Resources.

While these opportunities are being explored, the Human Resources policies addressing workplace issues remain in effect including the grievance policy.  At this time, the status of staff advisors is less clear. Under the current grievance policy, staff advisors provide advice and support to non-union staff involved in disputes and, when requested by the complainant/grievor, have the right to be present and represent the complainant/grievor at all stages of the grievance procedure. However, a staff member also may ask for advice and assistance from any Queen's employee who has been employed for at least 12 months and who does not report to the same department head in informal and formal attempts to resolve the complaint or formal grievance.  

On September 8, 2014, the Human Resources Department announced that it has concluded a series of focus groups conducted for the purpose of gathering feedback from employees on a proposed structure for connecting more directly with Queen’s non-unionized staff. The feedback gathered from these employees will be used by Human Resources during the process to improve upon existing practices and to develop new approaches to better addressing the concerns of this group of employees. Those who participated in the focus groups, other interested employees who have confidential and/or managerial responsibilities, and those working on Research, Grant & Contract appointments have been invited to attend a presentation of the results of the focus groups. A town hall session was held on Friday, October 3, 2014.