Code of Conduct

1     About the Code

1.1 The Members Code of Conduct is an organisational document that is binding on all members of the Green Party of England and Wales.

1.2 The purpose of this document is to provide a clear set of principles to guide members and non-member volunteers in how they are expected to conduct themselves in their day to day work and activities for the Green Party and how they should behave towards one another. In the rest of this document where ‘members’ are mentioned, non-member volunteers are also included.

1.3 Even if it were desirable to do so, it would not be possible to write an exhaustive list of rules governing members’ conduct. Members should be trusted in the discharge of their responsibilities, which implies allowing room for initiative and judgement. However, it is important to set out guidance as to where the exercise of initiative and judgement could potentially bring them into conflict with others.

1.4 There may be occasions when a member wants to know how a particular aspect of conduct might be regarded, when measured against the Party Code of Conduct. This is sometimes an issue when members wish to complain about the behaviour of another member or deal with a complaint. Members should seek advice from the resources on the Green Party members’ website and from any officers of their local or regional party who are designated to deal with complaints, discipline or dispute resolution, or from their local/regional constitution and supporting documents. A serious breach of this code could lead to disciplinary action.

1.5 This code of conduct is overseen by Green Party Regional Council (GPRC) and can be amended by GPRC in consultation with Disputes Resolution Committee, Disciplinary Committee and relevant staff.

2     Scope

2.1 This Code of Conduct applies to all members of the party, irrespective of any voluntary or professional position they may hold. It governs their behaviour with regard to respect for other members and the effect this may have on the effective functioning of the Green Party. It may apply to behaviour towards people outside the party if it is thought to impact on the reputation or effective functioning of the Party. The Party has in addition, a set of policies specifically for paid staff and how to deal with matters arising within employment situations. This Code of Conduct stands alongside and complements other organisational Party documentation, such as the Safe Spaces policy and the Anti-Bullying, Harrassment and Discrimination (& Whistleblowing) policy.

3     Representing the Party

In order to preserve the reputation of the party, members must:

3.1 Ensure that their communications about our policies do not conflict with Green Party Policy before they have contact with the press or other media. If there is dissent from the general policy, members should state the Green Party Policy as well as their personal view.

3.2 Check with the relevant budget holder before committing Party resources other than those for which they have responsibility.

3.3 The use of Party headed notepaper and the Party logo whether on paper or in e-communications should only be for legitimate Green Party communications agreed by the appropriate body.

3.4 All written communication sent ‘on behalf of the Green Party’ must not be for personal gain or in conflict with GPEW core values. This applies to e-communications as well as paper- based material.

3.5 Maintain civilised standards of conduct towards others such as political opponents when acting in a Party capacity.

3.6 Uphold the ethical principles of the GPEW and not bring it into disrepute.

3.7 Remember that as elected Green Party representatives their actions in their private lives can affect the reputation of the party both positively and negatively. In practice, this could mean being careful as to whether they do choose to engage in discussion or debate about sensitive issues within their private lives with members of the public or indeed other members. 

3.8 Members who take office internally at any level of the Green Party must do what is needed to meet the legal obligations of the Party and to that end keep adequate records of their decisions and communications. They should also take care not to add to formal Green Party communications their personal opinions and criticisms of others.

3.9 Members should disclose anything in their personal history that could potentially bring the Party into disrepute before they stand for election to any office within the Party or for selection as a candidate to represent the Green Party externally in any capacity. This includes opinions that are incompatible with Green Party ethics or philosophy. Disclosures should be in confidence and via appropriate procedures:

3.10 The Designated Officer to contact in this instance with members’ own disclosures or concerns about others’ conduct is the Chair or Vice-Chair

4     Additional Responsibilities

Members must also:

4.1 In all their interactions with colleagues, assume the best of them.

4.2 Seek support when they need it, and offer it when appropriate.

4.3 Communicate with others with due consideration to time, place and manner. Acknowledge communications from others swiftly and give an expected time-scale for a full reply.

4.4 Work collaboratively with all members of the Party.

4.5 Thank or praise colleagues when appropriate for the time and effort spent on behalf of you or the Party.

4.6 Respect the constraints of confidentiality when it is agreed by all parties to the matter under consideration.

4.7 Respect the decisions made by the National Party, any local or Regional Party or any other Party body or group through democratic process.

4.8 Ensure that all members are encouraged to contribute to discussion and decision-making at meetings and that everyone is listened to properly, without being interrupted unnecessarily. Decisions should be made by consensus wherever possible. Complaints should be dealt with through a proper complaint procedure and not discussed as part of an ordinary meeting agenda.

4.9 Be inviting and inclusive to ensure all members feel confident to join and get involved. Strive to accommodate the differing needs of members and devise ways to welcome diversity.

4.10 Work co-operatively and help members develop skills to fully participate in democratic processes and Party activities.

4.11 Communicate sensitively and courteously at all times with other members, whether face-to-face, by phone, by email, letter or in social media.

4.12 Be aware when contacting other members that they may have jobs, family or other constraints on their time and be patient in expecting a response.

4.13 Refrain from criticising other Party members publicly, including any situations where non-members may be present. If criticism is felt to be necessary, it should be done sensitively and constructively by those given that responsibility. Criticism should be of actions and behaviour or statements etc., not of the person. Avoid labels, name calling and stigmatising a person.

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