Recently the Kingdom of Lochac has had both a Baroness resign, citing bullying and harassment (B&H) as the reason for stepping down, and an entire group of 40+ members has been lost due to B&H. The Kingdom Seneschal has been receiving numerous complaints about B&H, on a near daily basis, and handling these complaints without clear policy has been difficult. Some complaints have been received from New Zealand.
The B&H policy was developed to work within both Australian and New Zealand legislative frameworks. This involved work by both committees, although the lead writer was based in New Zealand. By 4 April, the policy draft was close to finished, and we began discussing the approval process. The proposed process that we discussed was:
- Release the policy as a working draft
- The principles of the policy will be in effect immediately
- There will be a 90-day period for feedback
- Feedback will be reviewed and appropriate modifications made (or not) based on that feedback
- Final draft approved and release as final policy
- Discussions then begin on the concept of contact people.
This discussion took place from 4-7 April, with opinions expressed by members of both committees and the Kingdom Seneschal.
- we recognised that best practice is to consult before enacting policies
- we discussed if the urgency of the need to introduce a bullying and harassment policy justified foregoing a consultation period before enactment
- there was not unanimity about enacting the policy prior to consultation
- we checked our constitutions to see if we were required to consult before enactment (neither body is required to do so)
- a decision needed to be made (one way or the other) before people starting leaving for Rowany Festival.
The SCA Ltd Board voted to accept the policy and for it to go out as a live pilot on 7 April.
The members of SCANZ voted on two motions on 8 April, so that we had time to write a joint statement with SCA Ltd (or an explanation of why we were not going to adopt the policy at that time). The only new point introduced during the vote was the need for consistent policy within the Kingdom.
Motion 1. That we accept draft 5 as a final document (Three votes in favour).
Motion 2. That we join Australia, who voted last night to put the policy into effect ASAP as a three-month trial period (Two votes in favour, one vote against).