Accountability Procedure for UUMN Members

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The Mission of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network is “to nurture, educate, and inspire UU music leaders to create dynamic and transformative music ministries and to model and promote excellence in shared ministry. The members of UUMN covenant to support and motivate one another in joyous and loving community.” With this mission at its heart, our organization’s Code of Professional Practices provides specific behavioral guidance toward the creation and nurturing of that “joyous and loving community.”

The UUMN Good Offices program is in place to assist members with any professional problems or concerns, and should be the first contact in discerning how to handle an issue

First Steps: Direct Dealing
When a UUMN member observes a colleague engaging in behaviors that fall outside of that Code, our covenant calls the observer to support the colleague by approaching them directly, unless there is a concern for safety. Members are advised to consult Good Offices for assistance in preparing for direct dealing and throughout the process. A Good Officer is initially neutral, advising the member and exploring the possibility of an informal resolution. Only after direct dealing has been attempted with unsatisfactory results should UUMN leadership be engaged by the filing of an official grievance.

Grievances: Loving Community in Practice
When direct dealing fails to provide satisfactory resolution, the observer’s next responsibility is to engage the leadership of the UUMN through the Grievance Procedure outlined below. UUMN leaders will assist in caring for all involved individuals fairly and with appropriate confidentiality, and will strive to respond in a manner in keeping with the impact of the behavior(s) and in alignment with the community we aspire to be as the UUMN.
Throughout our dealings with one another, members of UUMN bringing grievances, or against whom grievances may be brought, are assured that collegial confidences will be honored and information shared only as is necessary within UUMN leadership, with the following exceptions:

  • As mandated by law 

  • To prevent a clear and immediate danger to a person or persons 

  • Where disclosure of a confidence may be required for defense in a legal action between colleagues 

  • If and only to the extent that there is a waiver previously obtained in writing concerning persons against whom the finding are adverse. Public notice will be given only when the action is in the form of probation, suspension, or removal from membership.

The Grievance Procedure
In accordance with the UUMN Bylaws, Section 2.5 [The Suspension or Removal of Membership], grievances concerning behavior which is inconsistent with the Code of Professional Practice should be addressed to the UUMN President, who will immediately contact the Good Offices Director(s), who will ensure that the UUMN member against whom the grievance is directed receives appropriate support. The President will then initiate the grievance response procedure in consultation with the Good Offices Director(s) and advise the UUMN Moderator of the grievance. (1)

The President will then provide a copy of the grievance in writing to the person against whom it is directed and approach those involved in a pastoral manner, seeking a fair and sound collegial resolution. If it is determined that additional fact­finding is needed, the President or members of the UUMN Board of Trustees designated by the Moderator may seek additional information by questioning the person or persons involved, seeking documentation, and if necessary, making an on­site visit, always within the limits of confidentiality as indicated above. All information gathered must be documented in writing and will be given to the UUMN President.

If a satisfactory resolution for both parties cannot be made at this point, the Board of Trustees will convene to consider the case. All collected facts will be presented to the Board. Any persons involved may be questioned or may present information to the Board directly or in writing. UUMN members shall have full access and full freedom to respond to all grievances and evidence cited against them.

The UUMN Board shall listen to all information presented from all sides. The Board, by at least a two­thirds majority affirmation, will then determine their response to the grievance in the form of one of the following actions:

  • Determine that the grievance is unfounded; 

  • Advise, caution, admonish, or reprimand the UUMN member; or 

  • Place the UUMN member on probation, suspend, or remove from membership. 

The UUMN member has a right to appeal the decision of the Board of Trustees. If any member believes he or she has been treated adversely by the proceeding, he or she may appeal, within 

thirty days, to the to the UUMN membership by informing the President of this decision in writing. Any appeal must include new information or documentation regarding the case.
When an action consisting of probation, suspension, or removal has been taken, and no appeal has been made within thirty days, notice of the action shall be given immediately thereafter to the congregations or UU communities that the individual serves as a music leader, to the UUMN Membership, and to the Ministries and Faith Development Staff Group of the Unitarian Universalist Association or to the Canadian Unitarian Council.

(1) In cases where a grievance is presented against an elected leader or a conflict of interest is present, the UUMN board shall determine an alternate individual to preside over the grievance process, and the language of this procedure adjusted accordingly.