Support Information for Landcare Staff
Employment Issues and Disputes
One option to try to resolve a Landcare coordinator/facilitator's employment-related issues/dispute, is for the coordinator/facilitator to contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV) to try to arrange a mediation to address their issues of concern. The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria is a branch of the Dept. of Justice (Vic. Govt.).
A coordinator/facilitator who takes this approach will first need to contact the DSCV, who will explain the mediation process and the benefits of participation. The DSCV staff will then contact the other party, who will also need to agree to a mediation before it can proceed, as participation is voluntary. The DSCV staff will also explain to the other party the process of mediation and the benefits of participation.
Note - the DSCV's mediation service is provided without cost to community organisations and individuals.
If a mediation is held, it will, hopefully, result in an agreement between both parties (note - not all mediations result in an agreement). Any agreement that is reached can be made as detailed as required, and can be either written or verbal. The agreement could includes the steps to be taken (including when, who, where, what, how etc) that are required to resolve the issues.
Power imbalances can be taken into account at the mediation session, such as the number of people who attend (from both parties). Support people can also attend the mediation, if required, and with the agreement of both parties.
See links below on DSCV mediations:
Landcare Employment Checklist
A "Landcare Employment Checklist", has been jointly developed by the Farm Tree and Landcare Association and the Victorian Landcare Council to assist Landcare staff and Landcare groups and networks (who engage staff) with their staff management issues. This checklist is available here and is a good resources to pass on to coordinators/facilitators, as well as groups/networks.
DELWP has also produced a Useful Links on the Employment of Landcare Support Staff (2015) fact sheet, which provides links to current online information on a range of employment-related matters relevant to both Landcare organisations and their support staff. A copy of this fact sheet,is available here