Disputes

This policy aims to cover disputes between members as tenants of the Co-operative, i.e. where they live in the same shared house, or are neighbours.

There may in some cases be allegations of a breach of tenancy as part of the dispute. These shall be investigated separately under the Member Complaints Policy.

This policy does not apply where members disagree in their capacity as officers, management committee or sub-committee members. Such disputes should be resolved through the Co-operative�s democratic structures.

Stage 1

Where members have a dispute, either party shall ask the Welfare Co-ordinator to convene a meeting to attempt to resolve the matter. The Welfare Co-ordinator shall either: arrange a meeting of the members in dispute, with two members of the Welfare Group, or
In cases where both parties live in the same house and it seems appropriate, arrange a house meeting open to all members in the house, again with two members of the Welfare Group. This shall be done within five working days of the request.

The conclusions of the meeting shall be circulated to all those involved, and shall be kept on all members� files and the house file in the Co-operative�s office.

Stage 2

If this does not solve the problem, the Welfare Co-ordinator will recommend that all parties concerned engage in external mediation to attempt to resolve the dispute, using for example The Cambridge & District Mediation Service. Mediation is an impartial (mediators do not take sides), independent (the service does not answer to any other organisation) confidential service. Mediation is only appropriate if all members involved in the dispute agree to be involved in the procedure.

Stage 3

If it seems appropriate, relevant courses for members concerned could be suggested, such as an anger management. The Co-operative could consider paying for such courses if necessary.

In the event that there is still a dispute the Welfare Coordinator might suggest to both members that an internal move within the Co-op is considered.