Complaints

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Ananda Marga Members Concern/Complaints Procedure

The procedure has 2 stages.

Stage 1.

An underlying principle in Ananda Marga is that individual and collective development takes place through both cohesive and conflicting (clash and cohesion) dynamics. A conflict can be perceived as potentially useful for the progress of individuals and the collective. Therefore, it is expected that members will initially take responsibility to try to resolve discords or conflict themselves with due care for the well-being of all involved.

  1. Issues that arise should ideally be dealt with directly at the time by the parties involved.
  2. Members are asked to be respectful and to be prepared to listen to the other person’s point of view.
  3. They are also asked to be willing to reflect on their own actions and how these may have contributed to the conflict.

If parties are unable to resolve the matter themselves it can be raised verbally with a Trustee (Regional Board Member) – Board Members may delegate a trusted individual to fulfil this role – the Delegated Person.

  1. The Regional Board will ensure there are two board members or Delegated Persons at all face to face events who will have responsibility to deal with issues/concerns that arise. One of the Board members/Delegated Persons will have the main responsibility in that role for the event. The 2nd person is needed as contingency in the event that the 1st person is related or is a close friend of one of the parties involved.
  2. The Board Member/Delegated Person will, as soon as possible after being informed of the issue, set up a face to face conversation with the parties and act as a mediator.
  3. Both parties will have the opportunity to explain their position, their feelings about what happened and what they expect as an outcome.  The Board Member’s/Delegated Person’s role is to act as Mediator ensuring that both parties have the opportunity to speak and to listen. The aim is to resolve the matter at this point.
  4. If the issue arises at an event such as a retreat/conference this conversation should take place before the end of the event so that wherever possible the matter is resolved at this point.
  5. If the matter is referred to the Board Member/Delegated Person following the event this conversation should be arranged within 7 days. The matter can be referred through a phone call. This is preferred to a written message at this stage. For the meeting, an online platform may be needed if distance and travel prohibit an early face to face meeting.
  6. The same ground rules regarding listening and respecting each other’s views will apply as in a face to face meeting. Again, the aim is to resolve the matter at this stage.
  7. The Board Member/Delegated Person will check with each party involved to ensure they are satisfied with the resolution.
  8. A brief record will be made by the Board Member/Delegated Person of the issue arising and how it was resolved.  The records will be held in the regional case management system. They will be confidential and maintained in such a way that only the Board of Trustees, Delegated Persons and the respective parties will have access to it. It may also be used as a tool to help the Regional Board Members decide on any changes that may be needed to enhance event experiences for participants.

 

 

Stage 2: Tier 1

If the parties involved have not been successful in resolving the issue at Stage 1 it will then progress to Stage 2.

  1. The person who raised the matter puts it in writing and submits it to the Regional Board.
  2. The Chair of the Regional Board acknowledges receipt in writing within 5 working days.
  3. The Chair will also inform the other party of the receipt of the complaint within 5 working days.
  4. Another Board Member/Delegated Person will be allocated by the Board to work with the first Board Member/Delegated Person to investigate the matter further.
  5. Both parties will be informed in writing by the Board/Delegated Persons of the next stage. This will include the Board/Delegated Persons speaking with other people who were present when the incident occurred or key people who may be able to offer insight into the context of the issue that has arisen.
  6. The Board/Delegated Persons will speak with other people/key people, within 14 working days.
  7. The Board/Delegated Persons need to keep a record of interviews/conversations. If key people cannot be interviewed within the 14-day timescale the reason for this will be recorded in the case management system.
  8. The Board/Delegated Persons will set up a meeting with the parties involved within 7 days of completion of the interviews with other people/key people. This will be a total of 21 days from the written complaint submission to the Board (14 days to interview other people and 7 days after that for the meeting with the parties involved).
  9. The timescale for this may need to be extended depending on the number of people to be interviewed. In that event a new timescale will be set and the 2 parties involved will be informed of the extension and the reasons why.  Unless there are extenuating circumstances the new timescale should not be more than 14 days after the original date timescale deadline.
  10. The parties will be given feedback from the additional information gained. They will be given the opportunity to comment/respond and to reflect further on what happened.
  11. The aim at this stage is for both parties to reach a better understanding of each other’s perspectives and to agree a resolution.
  12. The Board Member(s)/Delegated Persons will record the resolution and report it back to the Board . A record of the process will be kept in the regional case management system.
  13. The Chair of the Regional Board will write to both parties giving a summary of the resolution and confirming that the matter is closed.

Stage 2: Tier 2

If the parties are unable to agree a resolution and the complainant continues to feel aggrieved the Regional Board Member(s)/Delegated Persons will write a report on their findings and submit it to the Regional Board within 7 days of the meeting.

  1. The Regional Board will make a decision at their next meeting, an extraordinary meeting may be needed depending on the gravity of the matter, about whether the complaint is upheld or not.
  2. The Chair of the Board will inform both parties in writing of their decision.
  3. If the complaint is upheld, the Regional Board will consider lessons to be learned and decide on appropriate action to address the matter.  If the complaint is not upheld the Regional Board will also consider lessons to be learned and whether any action is needed to help avoid a similar issue arising in the future.
  4. A record will be kept of decisions and actions to be taken.

Submit A Formal Complaint


If you have not been able to resolve your issue using the steps in stage one, you can progress your complaint to stage 2 by filling in the following form.