Employee Complaints and Disputes

The Education Directorate has a responsibility to ensure that employees maintain high standards of conduct and performance. Inappropriate behaviour is not tolerated and it is imperative for a manager to act when a complaint is brought to their attention. The Directorate has expectations about the behaviour of its workforce. That is why there is a range of supporting guidance materials that identifies the conduct, values and expected behaviour of all ACTPS employees. 

Please take the time to look at the following links:

This provides managers and employees with advice and strategies to address and resolve a range of complaints and disputes arising in the workplace.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution is a range of informal processes to resolve workplace disputes. Using alternative dispute resolution can often defuse a situation before it escalates. Examples of alternative dispute resolution include; informal discussions, facilitated discussions between parties, mediation, conciliation and arbitration.

The purpose of alternative dispute resolution is to minimise disruption in our workplace, foster a respectful environment, and promote better communication channels. Where possible early intervention of conflict between staff is preferred.

In the first instance the goal is for the conflicting parties to attempt to address the issues themselves. If the conflict continues to be unresolved then seek support from another colleague, supervisor/manager, REDCO or a union representative.

Should this not be successful, then support and alternative assistance from the Employee Relations Section could be obtained. The Section assist with identifying possible resolution strategies including coaching and even independent mediation.

Respect, Equity and Diversity Contact Officers

There are about 100 Respect, Equity and Diversity Contact Officers (REDCOs) across worksites throughout the schools within the Directorate. REDCOs are there to listen, provide support and to provide information about the options available if you feel harassed or unfairly treated. REDCOs are a good initial first point of contact. More information is provided on the Respect, Equity and Diversity page. View the Respect, Equity and Diversity Contact Officer (REDCOs) lists.

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a short term, solution focused and strictly confidential counseling service. The EAP is available 24/7 for up to six sessions per calendar year. There are three EAP providers - Converge International, OPTUM and Davidson Trahaire Corpsych. Additional information regarding the service can be found on Index at Employee Assistance Program.

Conflict Management Coaching

Conflict Management Coaching is a confidential and voluntary concept that combines dispute resolution and coaching principles. The process facilitates deeper self reflection and understanding of situations leading to conflict and dispute. To request a session with a trained coach, contact Employee Relations on (02) 62059149 or email to employee.relations@act.gov.au.

Mediation/ Conciliation

Mediation/conciliation is a process in which an independent, trained mediator helps people in dispute to focus on a mutual problem, talk, explore options for resolution and try to reach an agreement. A complainant may seek assistance from the School Network Leader or an appropriate Director, who is an impartial third party, to facilitate a conciliated resolution.  For further information about mediation/conciliation services contact Davidson Trahaire Corpsych external link on 1300 360 364 or Employee Relations on (02)62059149 employee.relations@act.gov.au, or Office for Schools OfficeforSchools@act.gov.au.

Internal Review

In Section I of the relevant ACT Public Sector Enterprise Agreement external link there are procedures for an employee to seek a review of management actions and decisions that affect their employment in the ACT Public Service. For further details, please refer to your relevant Enterprise Agreements webpage.

Appeals

In Section J of the relevant ACT Public Sector Enterprise Agreements external link, appeal mechanisms are available to employees if they are dissatisfied with the outcome of decisions related to:

  • discipline action, except a decision to terminate employment or suspend an employee with pay;
  • underperformance action, except a decision to terminate employment;
  • in relation to an employee's eligibility for benefits, the amount, involuntary redundancy and reduction in classification; and
  • any other decisions subject to appeal under the Public Sector Management Act. Please refer to your relevant Enterprise Agreements webpage.

Contact Us On

Employee Relations on (02) 62059149

Further information can be found on ACTPS resources links below:

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