Grievance Advisors: A University of Western Sydney Perspective

By Mr Kevin J Austin.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Electronic $US5.00
Article: Print $US10.00

This paper looks at grievance advisors at the University of Western Sydney.

Keywords: Grievance, grievance advisor, cultural diversity, university, uncertainty, Organisation as Subject,, University of Western Sydney

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 4. Article: Electronic (PDF File; 240.991KB). Article: Print (Spiral Bound).

Mr Kevin J Austin

The University of Western Sydney (UWS) is a major university spread over six campuses in Greater Western Sydney (Aust). The principle focus of this paper is the formation and subsequent utilisation of grievance advisors as a conduit for grievances within a diverse university system. The principles of a grievance advisor are not new; it is widely used in the employment and labour relations arena, with advisors being part of the human resources staff. UWS grievance advisors (academic and administrative staff) have no direct line authority and are seen as a non-threatening means of highlighting grievances. The grievance advisors receive training and support from the Social Justice Unit, and are able to direct individuals (staff and/or students) into the areas where grievances could be resolved. The grievance advisor does not advocate or resolve issues of the grievant; the power to act remains with the grievant. The need for grievance advisors arose out of the reconstitution of the University of Western Sydney in late 2000, prior to the reconstitution UWS was a federation of three separate and distinct member universities, each member had strong cultural and regional roots and were run as autonomous units. Deconstructing this federated system and the reconstitution of a single united university was fraught with social and economic barriers. The reconstituted university has a wealth of cultural diversity, with over 2,000 staff and 35,000 students.

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