Professional Right Procedure for UUMN Members
Adopted by the UUMN Board of Trustees April 10, 2008
Members of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN) carefully and conscientiously guard the professional rights and standards of behavior defined in the Code of Professional Practice. To this end, members are encouraged to broaden and clarify their understanding of such rights and standards of behavior by discussing them at conferences and making inquiries and suggestions to the UUMN Board.
In accordance with the UUMN Bylaws, Section 2.5 [The Suspension or Removal of Membership], complaints or grievances concerning behavior which is inconsistent with the Code of Professional Practice should be addressed to the UUMN President. Such complaints or grievances will be responded to promptly by the President in consultation with the Good Offices Director and, as necessary, other members of the UUMN Board of Trustees.
When a complaint or grievance is brought to the attention of the UUMN President, the President, Good Officer, or designated Board members will intentionally seek out all the facts of the situation. All discussion and any actions determined will be guided by four fundamental principles:
- Caring for all persons involved
- Concern for the severity of the issues.
Consistent with these principles, members of UUMN bringing complaints and grievances, or against whom complaints and grievances may be brought, are assured that collegial confidences will not be disclosed by anyone, except in the following circumstances:
- 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 waver 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 (see section F below).
Members whose behavior seems inconsistent with the rights and standards of the Code of Professional Practice should first be cautioned by their colleagues through friendly remonstrance and/or referral to a Good Offices Person in accordance with UUMN Good Offices procedures. If this action fails, formal grievances or complaints may be made to the UUMN in writing in accordance with the following procedures:
A grievance or complaint against a UUMN member shall be made in writing to the President of the UUMN. The President will immediately contact the Good Offices Director to offer support to the UUMN member. At the same time, the President will provide a copy of the complaint in writing to the person against whom it is directed.
- In all cases, the first action in response to a complaint shall be to approach those involved in a pastoral manner, seeking a fair and sound collegial resolution. If it is determined that additional fact-finding is needed, the President or other designated members of the UUMN Board of Trustees may seek additional information by questioning the person or persons involved, seeking documentation, and if necessary, making an on-site 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 complaints and evidence cited against them. They always have the right and option of advisement by counsel at their own expense, but at no time can they be represented by counsel in these proceedings.
- The UUMN Board shall listen to all information presented from all sides. The Board will then determine their response to the complaint or grievance in the form of one of the following actions:
1. Determine that the complaint or grievance is unfounded;
2. Advise caution, admonish, or reprimand the UUMN member;
3. Place the UUMN member on probation, suspend or remove from membership.
This action must be taken by a two-thirds majority of the Board of Trustees. 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 member’s congregation or other employer, to the UUMN Membership and to the Ministry and Professional Leadership Staff Group of the Unitarian Universalist Association or the Canadian Unitarian Council.