Procedures for complaining about a staff member’s behaviour

The Department’s Staff Complaints Procedure encourages teachers to raise concerns directly and informally with the other staff member in the first instance, however, this does not need to happen before the matter is pursued further.

If a teacher does not feel confi dent in raising a matter on their own, a facilitated conversation may occur involving the assistance of a member of the school executive whom the teacher believes would be able to assist with the conversation.

A facilitated discussion is not mediation” in the formal sense; instead it is meant to assist the staff members to discuss the concerns with a view to coming to a resolution. Any request for facilitated discussion should occur within five working days.

For informal discussions to be successful, teachers are encouraged to be clear about their concerns and the impact the situation is having on them.

If matters are not resolved through informal discussions or where directly addressing them is not a feasible option, a teacher should put their complaint in writing. This can be done using the Department’s Staff Complaints Form, although this is not compulsory. Otherwise, the person who manages the complaint should document the concerns in writing, so the issues can be clarified.

A teacher who is the subject of a complaint should not be expected to respond immediately to issues raised verbally with them. It is reasonable for the concerns to be provided in writing and that time be provided to respond in written form.

The procedures are designed to ensure that teachers who make complaints and those who are responding to complaints are aff orded procedural fairness.

The process includes clarification of the issues to be addressed, gathering of information, assessment of whether the issue should be referred elsewhere, determining an appropriate resolution, and communicating outcomes with the staff involved.

This process should be completed within 20 days of receiving a complaint, with both parties being advised of the expected timeframes when this is not possible.

Both parties have 10 working days after being advised of the outcome of the complaint if they wish to seek a review of the decision, which is addressed to the supervisor of the complaint manager. The review process should be completed within 20 working days.

The Department has prepared several toolkits to assist complaint managers, which are available to all staff on the Department’s portal. However, members are not expected to be experts on the complaints procedure and are encouraged to seek advice and assistance from Federation Offi cers if needed.

If you have questions pertaining to the complaints procedures, contact the Professional Support team via 1300 654 369 or [email protected].