By Mélanie Michaud, Ottawa CCMS –
The ideal time to manage a conflict/complaint is early, locally, and informally. Effective conflict and complaint management contributes to a healthy workplace, operational effectiveness, and successful recruitment and retention. The whole Defence Team is entitled to, and shares the responsibility to support, a workplace free of interpersonal conflict. Conflict and complaint management is a leadership responsibility, and the provision of timely, accurate information and assistance in accessing recourse structures is part of that.
On April 23, the Ottawa Conflict and Complaint Management Services (CCMS) opened to provide both the mechanisms and a structure to assist CAF members and the chain of command to address conflict and manage complaints. The Ottawa CCMS is one of 16 centers being opened across Canada in 2018 under the Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management (ICCM) program. The Ottawa CCMS is part of Eastern Region CCMS, which include Montreal, Bagotville and Valcartier. These centres have qualified CCMS Agents and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Practitioners providing end-to-end conflict and complaint management support.
CCMS Agents are specially trained providing information and guidance in Harassment Prevention and Resolution, Human Rights Complaints, Grievances, Workplace Violence Complaints, and ADR. CCMS Agents act as an unbiased third party who assist members to understand the nature of their issue and select the appropriate recourse structure to address it from the outset. Agents will also be in direct support of local leadership, providing guidance on conflict and complaint management matters.
What can you expect from the CCMS? A professionally trained member of the conflict and complaint management service team will:
- listen to and discuss your concerns in a safe and respectful environment;
- assist in determining the best available option for resolving the conflict/complaint;
- assist in opening respectful communication with all parties associated with the conflict;
- work with all the parties involved to connect them with an ADR practitioner, who will assist parties to discuss what is important to them in a safe and confidential environment;
- be flexible; meeting the various needs of all parties or groups;
- provide service in person, by video-conference, or by telephone; and
- enable members by encouraging self-help and providing resources.
The Ottawa CCMS currently has a staff of two CCMS Agents and four ADR Practitioners. The location also serves as the headquarters for the Eastern Region, led by Acting Regional Manager, Melanie Michaud, herself a qualified ADR Practitioner. The office is open during normal NCR business hours and maintains a 24-hour phone line where messages can be left. In the near future, CCMS information and some services will also be accessible via an ICCM internet website. The Eastern Region CCMS provides services and support to NCR and the province of Quebec. The Ottawa CCMS has two offices; one located in downtown Ottawa at Capital Square (613) 943-4511, and one in the West end at NDHQ (Carling) (613) 901-9346.
Photo: Conflict and Complaint Management Service Centres began opening across Canada on April 23 as the Integrated Conflict and Complaint Management Program continues to progress toward Full Operational Capability. The NCR is served by two locations; one at NDHQ (Carling) and another at 222 Queen Street, downtown. Here, the Halifax CCMS Centre is officially opened by DGICCM Alain Gauthier, and Atlantic Regional Manager Cora Tolliver, assisted by Base Commander Captain (N) Paul Forget (left) and Commander 5 Canadian Division, Brigadier-General Derek Macaulay (right). © 2018 DND-MDN Canada.
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