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National Educational Association of Disabled Students' (NEADS) Code of Conduct

Effective October 2018

Members of the Organization or an organization Member refer to: Executive Directors, Board Members, the National Coordinator, Volunteers, Consultants, Staff, and Advisors

The purpose of adopting such a formal statement is to provide members of the organization with guidelines for making ethical choices and to ensure that there is accountability for those choices. All organization members have been selected using a fair, transparent and ethical application process. When all members of an organization adopt a code of ethics, they are expressing their commitment to ethical behavior. All members are advocates for National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) and should respect and adhere to all policies, procedures and practices set forth by the organization including but not limited to this policy. This will allow organization members to feel safe and productive in their work and efforts for the organization. All members of the organization should understand and comply with all areas of the code.

Accountability

With NEADS being a national not-for-profit that represents individuals from diverse provinces across Canada, it is important that everyone is committed and invested in the work that is being done. As such, all members of the organization are expected to:

  • Be aware of any terminology or expectations of members;
  • Be on top of projects and tasks by updating their superiors, the board and/or chair;
  • Be on time and present for all teleconference calls and in-person meetings;
  • Contact your appropriate supervisor or team leader as soon as possible if you are not able to be present for a teleconference call or if you are planning on being late;
  • Be accountable for your absences and as such, review the information from any meetings that have been missed;
  • Be responsible for responding to messages directed towards your NEADS email and voicemail box within (3) business days. Items that require a reply or response and or urgent emails require a response within 24 hours. Any lack of response beyond this period require automated replies that detail the expected length and nature of your absence;
  • Adhere to the policies, procedures, and by-laws of the National Educational Association of Disabled Students, and support the decisions and directions of the national Board and its delegated authority.

Terms

All members of the organization will adhere to differing terms of work with the organization. Please refer to your contract or your point of reference upon involvement for clarification on the term of specific involvement.

For the Board: Board members are subject to a three year term with the possibility of extension

(i) When ones term is up one can extend if they choose. The maximum amount of extensions is three terms. re: Protocol of Leaving the board

(ii) One can be on the board as long as you are a post-secondary student. Up to five years post-graduation. Refer to NEADS bylaws for more information.

Behaviour

As an organization, we expect our members to behave professionally and appropriately when interacting with other members of the organization, the community and the public in general. Therefore, any means of communication from members of the organization must be free of harassment, intimidation or discrimination based on disability, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, or any other reasons are prohibited. We strived to create a meaningful collaborative team working cohesively with each other to better the organization and the disability community.

There is a zero tolerance practice with respect to harassment. Any form of harassment that is physically or verbally discriminating in nature, based upon another person’s disability, race, colour, gender, ancestry, place of origin, political beliefs, religion, marital status, sex, age or sexual orientation is NOT TOLERATED. Any discriminatory behavior or harassment that is directed at an individual, that is unwanted or unwelcome, and causes distress to that person, is strictly prohibited and will be grounds for immediate termination as a volunteer, or, in the case of an employee, immediate dismissal for just cause without notice or pay in lieu of notice.

I. Physical Harassment

  • There is no place for sexual harassment, abuse, or any other unwanted or unsolicited physical contact
  • (i) Soliciting board and staff for a sexual act, verbally or through other means of communication; including verbally
  • (ii) Making jokes about gender or sexual requests is not appropriate
  • (iii) This code of conduct will protect board members and staff from receiving a sexual suggested request in exchange for advancement within the organization, such as a promotion, publication. If a member of the organization makes such suggestion to another member of the organization this behaviour will not be tolerated and will result in a punishment. Refer to Breach of Code
  • (iv) Sexual harassment is any conduct, gesture, contact, or comment of a sexual nature that an individual would find to be uncomfortable, unwanted, or unwelcome by any individual. This includes gestures that may be perceived by that individual as placing a condition of sexual nature on an employment or career development.

II. Non-Physical Harassment

  • Includes verbal harassment in-person and non-verbal harassment over phone, email, voicemail or any other means of communication
  • While on teleconferences, please follow respectful and appropriate conversation practices
  • Representing NEADS at meetings, conferences, or events
  • The organization will not tolerate the use of Recreational Drugs and/or Alcohol while on NEADS time.
  • When contacting within the organization please keep time zones in mind.

III. Bullying

(i) There is no place for bullying, harassment or gossiping;

(ii) Any form of harassment, whether it be verbal (in-person, voicemail) or non-verbal (social media, email) is not tolerated under any circumstances.

Attendance

Members of the organization are allowed up to (2) unexcused absences after which point, the absences must be excused. The same applies for being late to meetings of any kind. In order to excuse an absence, members are expected to provide reasoning for their absence. Any absence is to be submitted to a member’s immediate superior and requires:

  • Proof of absence, such as a doctors note, travel ticket, work schedule, etc;
  • (i) if one is on a call, you are required to participate and be present on the call as much as possible.

  • Do not be distracted while on calls, in conferences, and/or in-person, while on NEADS time, the organization has the individuals undivided attention.
  • Failure to provide input or be present on multiple (2 or more meeting) is subject to disciplinary actions - see Breach of the Code
  • (ii) form for leave of absence needs filled out prior to absence

  • Provide a estimated time for return. Leave cannot be indefinite;
  • Member must be available via email to answer questions pertaining to their position at least 1 time per month while on leave
  • Must hand over all projects being worked on, committee reports, etc. before going on leave

Confidentiality and Openness

  • All members have the right to freedom of speech that is free of harassment and discrimination of any degree;
  • If members of the organization have a in-camera session the matters discussed during that session are strictly confidential and sharing information with anyone within the organization or outside the organization is strictly prohibited.
    • Only exception to this rule is if an individual requires the use of a support, and the support is able to listen in on in-camera sessions.
    • A support cannot disclose any information that the organization shares during an in-camera session and is subject to the same regulations under this code and the NEADS by-laws.
  • Respect and maintain the confidentiality of information gained as a volunteer or employee, including, but not limited to, all computer software and files, the National Education Association of Disabled students documents and printouts, and all volunteer, employee membership, and supporter records.

Relationship with Staff and Board Members

- Commitment to the board

(i) members should show their commitment to the board and enthusiasm towards the board. Refer to Attendance

- Members of the organization are to disclose to the Chair of the Board of Directors about any personal relationships amongst each other within a timely manner

(i) This could be a conflict of interest so disclosure is necessary.

- all members of the organization are to treat every person with respect and without discrimination.

- professional conduct between members is require

Conflicts of Interests

We strive to promote trust between members of the organization and stakeholders. As such, it is critical that these relationships are protected. Ensuring that we as members of the organization will not engage in or conceal situations and activities that would create conflicts of interests.

  • Relationships within the organization
  • (i) Entering relationships with other members
  • Working for related organizations or funding contributors.
  • Having paid positions with more than one not-for-profit organization in the same sector
  • If one finds themselves in a conflict of interest, one must abstain from conflicting votes or if serious enough one may be removed from their position in the organization.

Personal Benefit

  • A Board member cannot take paid positions within the organization.
  • Members of the organization are not to use staff members, consultants, contractors for personal use that is not related to NEADS projects.
  • Members of the organization are strictly prohibited from using organizational funding for personal reasons that do not pertain to the organization, including using funding to conduct work for other organizations.
  • Members of the organization are to serve the organization and not their personal agenda.
    (i) Members are not to undermine others for speaking engagements (opportunities to represent the organization)

Chairs & Members of Committees

  • When participating on a committee, the chair or co-chairs and members of that committee must communicate on matters on time and appropriately, with respect
  • The chair or co-chairs, and members of the committee must give reports to the board on teleconferences
  • The chair or co-chairs must create a report for the in-person board meetings each year of short and long-term goals, as well as accomplishments to date.

Protocol for Leaving the Organization

In the event a member of the organization has to leave the board the protocol we require members to follow is as follows. This protocol must be followed with respect to every group/project/board/committee/etc the member is a part of.

  • One is required to fill out a form with reasons why one is resigning from their position in the organization
    (i) if one is requesting a leave of absence, one is to fill out the corresponding form. Refer to: Attendance

  • Resignations are required a minimum of 2 weeks before official resignation date unless it is an emergency. Members are asked to submit any work, material, equipment and NEADS materials within 10 days of resignation.

Acting in the Public Interest

As members of the organization, we present the organization publically.

  • Representing your province as a whole not excluding any organizations, postsecondary institutions and disabilities.
  • Being aware of current news within the disability sector in Canada
  • Bring forward any concerns questions the public or you might have.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions or raise concerns to your national coordinator or executive directors.

Governance

The organization has an active governing body that is responsible for setting the goals direction of the organization and oversee the finances, projects, operations, and policies of the organization. The governing body:

  • Ensures that the organization is fair and inclusive for all members of the organization
  • Ensures that policies and guidelines of the organization are in writing, and are clearly articulated.
  • Ensures that the organization promotes good relationships with members of our organization and other organizations based on mutual respect, fairness and openness;

Travel

As a National organization, we receive invitations to attend or present at events, meetings, and conferences nationwide. Often members of the organization are sent to represent the organization. Where possible we request that the government department or organization hosting the event and asking for the expertise of our representation, cover costs including travel, accommodation, ground transportation and per diems. If the host organization is not in a position to cover costs, then with the approval of the NEADS national office travel and related business expenses are paid for by the organization. Traveling and representing the organization is a privilege that we expect to be taken professionally. The following points are specific to NEADS related travel.

  • (i) When traveling for a NEADS events, the member(s) of the organization are responsible to contact the coordinator and flight center to ensure travel plans are made correctly and in a timely manner
  • (ii) member(s) of the organization are responsible for showing up on time to travel departure and events. If one fails to do so without proper reason, they are fiscally responsible for changes.
  • Refer to conduct - Behaviour
  • Be up front & self advocate for any travel accommodations or dietary needs.
  • Take adequate notes on event for updates and reports to be written after travel

Travel Reports/Submissions

If you are sent to a NEADS event, all travel expenses are paid for by the organization. Members will receive reimbursements for their food, travel and lodging The following points are specific to NEADS related travel reports.

  • The per diem for a NEADS event is reimbursed after organization members submit there receipts to the National Coordinator promptly after NEADS event
  • (i) Per Diem is for NEADS Board, staff, volunteers, and support when traveling for a NEADS related event

    (ii) Per Diem cannot be claimed when you are provided a meal at the event, the cost of per diem is to cover any costs that come out of a representatives own personal account for meals while traveling.

  • Receipts are to be sent within twenty business days of the event
  • Receipts can via email and or by regular mail
  • Members of the organization are to fill out the expense form from the website or provide their own invoice to the National Coordinator with the following information:
    • the person's Name,
    • date,
    • purpose of claim (ex. travel),
    • itemize expenses and the total cost for reimbursement.

Breach of the Code of Conduct

It is imperative that all sections of this code of conduct are followed. Failure to follow the code of conduct will result in disciplinary action as stated below:

I. Warning System

* If a member of the organization is to break the conduct then there will be a warning system in place. The member will receive a maximum of two warnings and a written explanatory document with reasons for the warning.

II. Suspension

* If a member of the organization fails to correct behaviour(s) post warnings the board will have the chance to enforce a suspension with the maximum amount of time being on suspension being 20 days.

III. Removal/Termination From The Organization

* (i) one can be removed from the organization if the member of the organization fails to correct the specific behaviour(s) after warnings and suspensions

* (ii) if the member of the organization has committed an illegal offence then the member will be removed from the organization immediately without the need for the warning and/or suspension.

The appropriate punishment for the member of the organization will be determined by the Board of Directors. Specific punishments are subjective to the situation

present; therefore it is not guaranteed that punishment I, II, and III will be followed in the order presented, or that any combination of the three will occur. A member of the organization will receive one of the above punishments that are determined by the act committed, and by the discretion of the Board of Directors. (Ex. an member is found to have bullied another member of the organization, if the board determines such an act warrants removal from the organization, the I and II steps will be bypassed and the individual will be removed as per III)

It is one's own responsibility to turn in your NEADS property, including business cards, projects, research, paperwork, passwords, documents, expense forms, and any other NEADS work within (5) business days - if the member of the organization fails to submit this information to the organization, the organization will be subjected to withhold payment until above mentioned are received.

I, (Member of the Organization – ______________________), have read, understand and agree to abide by the Code of Conduct of the National Educational Association of Disabled Students and I understand that such adherence is a condition of my work with the organization. I understand that a violation of the Code of Conduct may be grounds for termination as a volunteer or in the case of an employee immediate dismissal for just cause without notice or pay in lieu of notice. Signed this ________________ day of ____________________, 20_____.

______________________________ (Volunteer/Employee - Signature)

______________________________ Position

______________________________ Signature of Chair




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