Friday, 03 February 2012 21:39
By The Ombuds Advisory Committee
Starting in February, the GreenStar Ombuds program will be available to member-owners and staff who have questions, concerns, conflicts or issues relating to GreenStar. The Ombuds Program offers an independent and impartial resource for all stakeholders of the GreenStar community.
Two GreenStar member-owners, D. ("Dee") Scott and Evie Weinstein, were selected by Council's Ombuds Advisory Committee as GreenStar's first Ombuds. The Advisory Committee includes Co-op staff, members, and Council officers. D. and Evie will be available to answer questions, provide information, make inquiries, and help to develop a range of options for users of this service. Both Evie and D. have backgrounds in social work and share a primary goal of coaching individuals on how concerns brought to their attention may be resolved through the parties' own efforts. The Ombuds service provided will be held in strict confidence, and there will be no identification of individuals using the Ombuds Program.
Friday, 03 February 2012 21:21
By Zuri Sabir
If you "google" the words "opinion on," the fourth search suggestion to appear is "opinion on Occupy Wall Street" — listed only behind the heavy hitters "opinion on abortion," "opinion on death penalty" and "opinion on gay marriage." The associated headlines include "Why Occupy Wall Street will Keep up the Fight," from the Washington Post, "Survey Finds Rising Perception of Class Tension" and "The Occupy Wall Street Movement Is No Tahrir Square" (the Cairo location of peaceful pro-democracy protests in Egypt). There are many opinions on how this ongoing movement has and will fit into the American landscape and, wherever you stand on the issues it summons to criticize, it is hard to ignore that, in a short amount of time, Occupy Wall Street has lodged its way into the general zeitgeist of our times. It is providing a platform for many to express their concerns about America's future.
Sunday, 29 January 2012 15:35
The Ombuds program was created to assist members of the GreenStar community (members, staff, vendors and others) in getting questions, concerns, suggestions, problems or complaints (involving the Co-op) addressed. We are guided by four main ethical principles: confidentiality, neutrality/impartiality, independence and informality.
What does a GreenStar Ombudsperson DO?
- Acts as an impartial and confidential "sounding board" for concerns
- Explains GreenStar policies/procedures
- Helps develop a range of options
- Refers to appropriate channels to address concerns
- Identifies perceived gaps, inconsistencies, problematic trends or policies
What does a GreenStar Ombudsperson NOT do?
- Serve as advocates for anyone in the GS community
- Establish policy
- Spend a disproportionate amount of time with any one person seeking help.
The Ombudsperson holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so. The only exception to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm.
The Ombudsperson, as a designated neutral, remains unaligned and impartial. The Ombudsperson does not engage in any situation that could create a conflict of interest.
The Ombudsperson is independent in structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible within the organization.
The Ombudsperson, as an informal resource, does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to his/her attention.
When should you contact the Ombudsperson?
Many problems can be handled through the normal channels. First consult the person responsible for the specific area, such as a department head or supervisor (by asking for assistance at the front desk). If you are not comfortable doing so, or if you still need information or assistance, contact the ombudsperson.
Contact the Ombuds with your concerns, please call:
Evie Weinstein 607-227-8516, or D. Scott 607-227-6780
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By Alexis Alexander,
The cooperative movement is strong and growing, here in Ithaca and around the world. According to Worldwatch Institute, there are currently one billion cooperative members worldwide. With the world facing much economic hardship and uncertainty, diminishing natural resources, and a global-warmi...