Code of Practice on Complaints. | Tipperary Mid West Radio

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Code of Practice on Complaints.
Written by Nora Samworth
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 19:01

Complaints Code of Practice                   (Non-Programming/Non-Advertising/non employment)

for Board, Staff, and Members contributing to the organisation on a voluntary basis.

 

Naturally we hope you'll never have a need to complain about anything in our organisation but if you do here's our code of practice regarding complaints and how to make a complaint.  We always welcome your feedback - positive or negative.  

 

These pages set out our Code of Practice on Complaints (Non-Programming/Non-Advertising) and all the key information that you will need to make a complaint about any aspect of station operation besides programming or advertising.

 

[Please note that complaints around our programming or the advertising we carry are the subject of a separate code of practice].

 

Contents:

1. What can I complain about?

2. Who do I complain to and How?

3. How soon should I make my complaint after the occurence?

4. Where should I send my complaint?

5. What happens after my complaint is received?

6. What are the potential outcomes for my complaint?

7. What if I am unhappy with the response?

8. What if I am still unhappy with the response of the station?

9.  Is there anything else I need to know (incl Record keeping )

 

1. What can I complain about?

 

You may submit a complaint to us if you are of the opinion that Tipperary Midwest Community Radio has breached one or more of the following commitments:

 

Good Governance; that we shall govern in a representative and accountable manner through adherence to our organisation’s rules and our board operational handbook.

 

Accountability in Financial Management; that our financial affairs are operating in line with our financial guidelines.

 

Fairness in Human Relations; that we shall recruit staff in line with our recruitment procedures, and maintain our statutory obligations to staff and voluntary members

 

Respect ; that we shall operate in an atmosphere of rights, responsibilities and respect, in the best interests of the organization, in an environment free from bullying, in a manner consistent with our volunteer member handbook, staff handbook, and board handbook.

 

If you have a complaint that does not fall under the categories set out in (i) to (iv) above, we would invite you to check our code of practice with regard to broadcast programming or advertising complaints. If your complaint concerns alleged defamation, you should refer to the BAI Right of Reply Scheme. Issues with regard to programme personnel, & scheduling should be raised with the chair of the programming committee. 

 

We will not accept complaints which we deem to be of a frivolous or vexatious nature 

 

2.  Who do I Complain to and How?

All Board, Staff, and Members who contribute to the organisation on a voluntary basis, are expected to operate in an atmosphere of trust and respect.

 

Before making a formal complaint, it is the responsibility of the prospective complainant to see if the matter can be resolved on a more informal basis.

 

The means of doing so are to firstly raise the matter with the station manager, or relevant board officer (Secretary, Treasurer, Chairperson). 

In an complex organisation such as a radio station with a voluntary board, and limited staff resources, issues will inevitably arise and we welcome the opportunity to put things right. On the matter being raised, the manager or board officer will attempt to resolve the matter to your satisfaction.

 

To raise the matter informally, You should in the first instance contact us by telephone on (062) 52555 during business hours, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or post a 1 page letter and inform us of your issue and that you are considering making a formal complaint.  The communication should be brief at this stage and is only to raise awareness that there is an issue, rather than the issue itself. The Station Manager or Board Officer will contact you to discuss what concerned you and attempt to resolve the matter to your satisfaction

 

Minor breaches should not be the subject of a formal complaint and should instead be raised with the station manager, or where this is not possible or not appropriate with the chairperson.

 

A formal complaint should be undertaken only when it is felt that no other means of addressing the situation is possible.

 

If we cannot resolve your complaint in an informal way to your satisfaction, and you are satisfied that your complaint is covered by this Code of Practice and is a major breach of the rules, policies, procedures and/or handbooks of Tipperary MidWest Community Radio , you should submit the following details in writing (by letter) to the address below:

1.    your name and address, daytime phone number, email (if applicable)

2.    Role(s) within the station

3.    the category of complaint; (please refer to the categories of complaints in ‘What I can complain about?’ above). 

4.    the date when the occurrence(s)  took place

5.    what specific breach(es) of the rules, policies, procedures and/or handbooks relevant to the categories of complaints, is  the subject of your complaint;

A complaint may not be more than two pages in length including appendices. A complaint should be focused on particular situations/grievances and not more than 3 areas of grievance may be included in the one complaint.

 

 

 3. How soon should I make my complaint after the occurrence?

Our Code of practice requires you to make your complaint not more than 30 days after the date of occurrence.  

(a) if your complaint relates to one occurrence , 30 days after the date of that occurrence;

(b) if your complaint relates to two or more unrelated occurrences; 30 days after the date of the earlier or earliest of those occurrences.

(c) if your complaints relates to two or more related occurrence of which at least two are on different dates; 30 days after the date of the later or latest of those broadcasts. The date of the first occurrence must be a maximum of 90 days prior to the date of complaint.

 

Complaints submitted outside of these time periods cannot be considered. 

 

 

4. Where should I send my complaint?

Mairead Horan

Secretary

Tipperary Midwest Community Radio

St. Michael St.

Tipperary

Co. Tipperary

E-mail:    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it eircom.net

Tel: (062) 52555 

 

 

5. What happens after my complaint is received?

Once we have accepted your complaint we will work to resolve the issue/s as soon as possible. Your complaint will be carefully considered, investigated if necessary, and responded to in writing by our Complaints and Disciplinary Committee (CDC)

1.    We will write to you to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 7 working days.

2.    The CDC will consider the issues raised in your complaint.

3.    The CDC will review the relevant policies/procedures/handbook identified in your complaint.

4.    Where appropriate, The CDC will consult with any party to which your complaint relates, for example, staff member, board officer, to give that party an opportunity to provide observations and comments in relation to the issues raised by you.

5.    We provide a response to your complaint which will, as far as possible, address all of the issues/concerns you have raised.  We will set out the reasons for our decision on your complaint. Where a breach is deemed to have been minor, the response will correspondingly be very brief. This response will be sent to you within 21 days from receipt of your complaint. 

 

 

6. What are the potential outcomes for my complaint?

The CDC may uphold or reject a complaint.  Upholding a complaint means that we believe that our actions did not comply with our commitments covered by this Code of Practice. Rejecting a complaint means we believe that our actions were in compliance with our commitments and the underlying policies, procedures and handbooks.

 

If we uphold your complaint, we will seek to resolve it to your satisfaction in an agreed manner. The manner of resolution will be decided on a case by case basis but may include an acknowledgement of the failure to deliver on our commitments, a timeframe under which we will deliver on our commitments in the future, a reversal of a previous decision,  and/or an apology.

[Please note;  Any disciplinary actions arising from the upholding or rejection of the complaint are not part of the complaints process but instead may form the basis of separate proceedings under the Disciplinary Code of Practice. ]

 

 

7. What if I am unhappy with the response?

If you are unhappy with the response you have received, you can appeal the decision to the Board of Tipperary Mid West Community Radio. This should be received in writing with 14 days of receiving the decision of the CDC by writing to the Secretary at the address above. Should no appeal be received within 14 days, the matter will be deemed closed.

 

The appeal must layout on one page the basis on which you are unhappy with the decision and/or unhappy with the proposed resolution. The appeal cannot introduce new matters which were not included in the original complaint.

 

Upon receipt of your appeal, the secretary will inform you within 7 days, of the date of the next scheduled board meeting at which your appeal will be considered.

 

The next scheduled board meeting will consider

(1)  If the meetings of the CDC at which the complaint was considered was quorate and carried out in accordance with the Board Operational Handbook

(2)  Where the complaint was upheld, whether the measures proposed (if any) are adequate to reasonably expect the prevention of a similar occurrence in the future.

(3)  Whether the basis on which the appeal is made can be addressed in a manner not inconsistent with the decision making of the CDC on the matter.

 

The board will communicate its decision to you with 7 days after the scheduled board meeting.

 

 

 

8. What if I am still unhappy with the response of the station?

 

Should you still be unhappy with the decision, you are free to communicate this to the Broadcasting Regulator; the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Complaints Officer

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

2 – 5 Warrington Place,

Dublin 2

Phone: (01) 644 1200

Fax: (01) 644 1299  

E-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it @bai.ie

 

 

 

9.  Is there anything else I need to know (incl record keeping)?

 

Addressing legitimate grievances are part and parcel of good governance in Community Radio. No organisation is perfect, and taking on board suggestions for improvement and enabling areas of weakness to be identified, will only strengthen our station, enabling us to better serve our community. Constructive suggestions are always welcomed and we would strongly encourage you to engage fully with the many informal ways to address issues as they arise. Though hopefully the bulk of situations will be addressed outside the formal complaint process, formal complaints will still inevitably be made and it’s important to have clear mechanisms around these to protect everyone involved;

 

-       From the date of which this Code of Practice was adopted by the Board of Tipperary Mid-West Community Radio, the making of a complaint directly or copying a complaint to 3rd parties such as the broadcasting regulator, funders, etc and bypassing the above procedures shall result in the indefinite suspension of the persons doing such things, from all activities of the organisation including programme-making, governance, and fundraising. The station reserves the right not to investigate such complaints when this formal code of practice has been thus undermined.

 

-       A complaint cannot be made as a result of a disciplinary action to which you have been subjected to. It is however open to you to pursue the (separate) disciplinary action appeals process.

 

-       Once a complaint has been made, no other complaints may be received by the same complainant (s) until such time as the first complaint has been resolved, rejected, or upheld.

 

-       Should a board member make a formal complaint, they shall step down from the board until such time as the complaint is resolved.

 

-       Should a staff member make a formal complaint, the board reserves the right to ask the staff member to take a leave of absence while their complaint is being resolved.

 

-       Should a member contributing their time to the station on a voluntary basis, make a formal complaint, the board reserves the right to ask the person to take a leave of absence while their complaint is being resolved.

 

-       Should two or more complaints be rejected from the same complainant(s),  the CDC reserves the right not to entertain further complaints from the same complainant(s).

 

The Organisation  will keep a record of all complaints submitted in accordance with this Code of Practice for two years. We may provide these records to the BAI, to relevant funders, and their agents, should the Board of Tipperary MidWest Community Radio decide to do so or if requested by the Regulator or funder.  Our records will include copies of your complaint, and our response/s.

 

[Note this Code of Practice may be updated – prior to making a complaint, please contact the station manager or station secretary for the latest ve

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 July 2014 21:52 )