Conflict Resolution Policy
This policy applies to conflicts that arise between member collectives of the Omni and to conflicts that arise between individuals who are not formally associated with any member collective. Conflicts existing between individuals within member collectives should be resolved by following that collective's process for conflict resolution.
The resolution of disputes and disagreements within the Omni is encouraged through informal process and the spirit of a collaborative environment. There is a process, however, by which issues that cannot be resolved informally should be resolved.
Please see the Conflict Resolution page for links to organizations specializing in conflict mediation, transformative justice, and group facilitation processes as well as informative guides on working through conflicts in collectively-run communities.
In cases when an appropriate resolution cannot be reached informally, the following steps should be followed:
- The party who seeks resolution finds someone to act as Conflict Steward in the matter, and works with this Conflict Steward to find a Mediator. See Mediators for a list of available mediators/stewards.
- The Conflict Steward and Mediator are impartial and uninvolved third parties who consent to assist, and with whom all conflicting parties consent to work toward a solution. If needed, resources for conducting mediation can be provided.
- The Conflict Steward organizes meetings for conflict resolution and maintains records of all meetings and relevant communications among the conflicting parties.
- The Conflict Steward, Mediator, and the conflicting parties arrange to meet to work out a resolution to which all conflicting parties consent.
If at least one conflicting party does not consent to meet, or if at least one conflicting party is unavailable to meet in a reasonable time, all relevant circumstances considered, or if the Conflict Steward and Mediator agree after at least one meeting that further meetings would not be likely to lead to resolution, the issue is brought before the group in the following way:
- The issue is added to the agenda of the next Omni delegate meeting scheduled at least one week in the future, and documentation is gathered by the Conflict Steward and made available to the group at least one week beforehand, and notice is broadcast to the group, but information that would compromise anyone's privacy or dignity is not made public. In the description of the issue, the form of remedy sought by the conflicting parties is included. Both the Conflict Steward and Mediator must give their approval of the factual content of the documentation before it is posted. Both the Conflict Steward and Mediator must expressly affirm that the form of remedy sought by the conflicting parties is consistent with Omni's values.
- During each meeting's agenda item on Conflict Resolution, all unresolved issues are brought up for discussion followed by a vote.
- First, the Conflict Steward presents all relevant documentation about the issue.
- Then, the remedy being sought by the conflicting parties determines the voting threshold for sustaining a sanction against any party to the conflict. The categories are (in order of decreasing severity):
- Conflict calling for membership suspension or termination - Decision Procedure: 2/3 vote
- Conflict where only material compensation is sought - Decision Procedure: 1/2 vote
- All other conflicts - Decision Procedure: Consensus
- Then, the opportunity to represent perspective is granted to each conflicting party and to the Mediator, and general discussion may be held about the issue if any member wishes. The Conflict Steward co-facilitates with the Facilitator in order to answer questions specific to the conflict and provides information about the history of the conflict by referring to the documentation.
- Then, a brief period of deliberation of definite time is held, during which members are free to consider the issue or discuss it directly with others.
- Then, members may propose alternative remedies to the conflict, along with any appropriate implementation plans.
- Finally, a vote is held on the conflicting parties' proposed remedy, and then alternative remedies are voted upon in the order they were proposed, but only if at least one member indicates that the remedy under consideration is still relevant. After all remedies have been considered in this way, the matter is considered resolved. The Conflict Steward then ensures all relevant parties understand the remedy or remedies that passed and any corresponding implementation plans.
- Any conflicting party unsatisfied with the decision may place an appeal on the agenda in the same way that conflicts are placed on the agenda, except that a majority of the group must vote to accept the appeal during a meeting, and the process begins anew. The appeal must propose an alternative remedy and refer to values that were not served by the original decision.
- If at the end of any step in the process more than an hour has passed during the current meeting in considering the conflict, any member may request that a majority vote be held on whether to table the conflict until the next meeting.