This section of StaffNet provides access to health, wellbeing, mediation, counselling, disability and other support services for staff.
The links below provide information of relevance to disabled staff. For more specific guidance, please contact your Human Resources Officer.
The University Harassment Adviser Service aims to provide support to employees who feel they are experiencing bullying or harassment in the workplace.
If you feel you are being bullied or harassed at work then you may find a discussion with a Harassment Adviser to be beneficial. You can contact any of the Harassment Advisers and request to meet with them. The discussion will take place in a location that you are fully comfortable with.
Your Harassment Adviser will listen to your concerns and will be guided by your preferences regarding how you wish to proceed. The Adviser may provide you with alternative sources of support which you had not previously considered. Together you will decide what your next steps could be and your Harassment Adviser will provide information on the routes open to you.
Harassment Advisers are not trained counsellors or mediators and so their remit does not include these activities. They will, however, be able to provide advice on the University providers of these services.
The conversations will, unless in very exceptional circumstances, be kept in the strictest confidence.
For further information about the Service, contact Janine Chalmers, Equality and Diversity Adviser:
University Harassment Advisers
Geraldine Anthony, School of Medicine and Dentistry
I joined Aberdeen University in 1999 and the Centre of Academic Primary Care in 2005. I now feel old as my daughter and son are both University students. In fact the whole household are doing studies of some description. I work as a Research Fellow 4 days a weeks and as a Nurse Consultant in Colposcopy and Cervical Screening at Dr Grays Hospital in Elgin. I am one of the original Harassment Advisers to be appointed and still enjoy doing the job. I like to think I’m a good listener and certainly need good communication skills for my clinical role. My experience is that the sooner an issue is discussed the sooner life gets better for all concerned.
Carol Baverstock, Student Recruitment and Admissions Service David Bremner, Research Assistant, Rowett Research Institute
I joined the Rowett in 1992 and was a member of the Staff Support Group for about 3-4 years before the merger where we did our best to offer support to all those who came to see us. I currently work as a research assistant in the Energy Balance and Obesity Division. I am a very good listener should you need one, and will do my best to help whatever the problem. I attended a BBSRC listening and counselling skills course in 2005. In 2008 I attended BBSRC courses on Harassment and Bullying and also Conduct, Capability, Discipline and Grievance procedures.
Heather Crabb, Executive Assistant & Project Officer, University Secretary's Office
Heather joined the University in 1999 and has supported members of staff and managers in all three Colleges and the Professional Services Directorates as a member of the Human Resources team. Latterly, she was responsible for developing a number of staffing policies and procedures as HR Adviser (Policy and Projects). In July 2014, Heather took up the post of Executive Assistant & Project Officer in the University Secretary’s Office. Heather has been involved with the Harassment Advisers network since it first began so is used to dealing with sensitive and confidential matters. She is happy to support colleagues from all parts of the University who feel they would benefit from speaking to a Harassment Adviser.
Susan Duthie, Senior Research Fellow, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health
I am a married white female and will never see 40 again. I have been at the Rowett Institute since 1992. I was Chairperson of the Rowett Staff Support Group before becoming a Harassment Adviser for Aberdeen University. I have very good listening skills and believe that my 16 years experience at the Institute stand me in good stead for helping to resolve any problems that any University staff might want assistance with.
Sharon Gordon, School of Medicine and Dentistry
I came to the university as an undergraduate in 1988, then did my PhD and have been employed at the university since 1996. I spent 10 years as a postdoc in CLSM and in 2006 took up the role of Skills Development Adviser for Post-doctoral Research Staff, and in that capacity I met with many post-docs to discuss issues around their personal development and career progression. In April 2009 I changed role again and now manage a programme grant in Child Health. I have two kids and have worked part-time for a number of years. My background and understanding of how difficult and complicated post-doctoral research careers can sometimes be is what made me apply for the harassment adviser post but I am very happy for any member of staff to get in touch if they think I can help.
Sue Heard, Emeritus Teaching Fellow in Geography and Environment in the School of Geosciences
I have been employed by the University since 1991, when I graduated from Aberdeen as a mature student. I am the mother of two children who are independent adults.
I am an Advisor of Studies and available to students who have a problem and wish to talk to someone independent within the School. I have completed short courses in counselling and gender and diversity. I consider myself to be an effective listener, who is interested in people and have a strong belief in equality of human beings and the right to work without harassment of any kind.
Fraser Lovie, Policy Adviser in Policy, Planning and Governance
As a Policy Adviser in PPG my role includes examining issues as diverse as Corporate Social Responsibility, Cultural Engagement and Internationalisation. I've been with the University since early 2007, although I previously worked in both Politics and International Relations and Registry after completing an MA and MLitt at the University.
Mandy Murray, Secretary, Estates
I have been the Office Manager in the Estates Section for the last two years and have spent the last 20 years in academic administration several of those in a supervisory position so I am used to mediating between staff and dealing discreetly with difficult situations.
My previous job was at Aberdeen College where I was the accommodation officer, and often had to deal with disputes between landlords and tenants. At the same time I worked as a part-time lecturer at the College and dealt on a daily basis with students and their problems. I was also a Union representative for several years.
Brian Paterson, Technician, School of Natural and Computing Science
Tel: +44 (0) 1224 27 3804
Anne Shipley, Senior School Administrative Officer in the School of Education
I have worked for the University for almost 30 years having worked in various parts of the Institution. I have been a Harassment Adviser since January 2002 and have met with a number of staff from across the University to assist them through their concerns.
Patricia Spence, Manager of the Centre for Academic Development
I have worked at the University in various roles for over 10 years and am now the Manager of the Centre for Academic Development which is part of the Directorate of Student and Academic Services. I have held a line management position in academic-related areas for 8 years and currently manage a team which includes part-time, academic-related and secretarial staff.
As well as my on-the-job experience I have had training in work-based coaching, something which can support a positive approach to tackling different circumstances in the work environment.
Linda Stephen, ICT Learning Support Assistant, School of Education
I started working at Northern College in 1993 and joined the University at merger in 2001. I have a teaching qualification and have completed a course in counselling skills. I am a good listener and use this whilst working along with and supporting all levels of staff and students and in my family life with my grown up children.
Ritu Vij, Department of Politics and International Relations
I teach International Relations at the School of Social Science. I believe I bring a diversity of experience to my role as an Adviser at Aberdeen, having worked in academic institutions in the USA, Japan, and India.
Kirsteen Watt, College of Life Sciences and Medicine
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes. It involves an independent third party, a Mediator, who helps both sides to reach an agreement.
The role of the Mediator is to help parties to reach a solution to their problem and to arrive at an outcome which both parties are happy to accept. Mediators are entirely independent; they avoid taking sides, making judgements or giving guidance. They are responsible for developing effective communication and building consensus between the individuals who are in dispute.
The focus of a Mediation meeting is to reach a settlement which is agreeable to both parties.
Mediation is a voluntary process and will only take place if both parties agree. It is a confidential process and the content of a Mediation meeting is not disclosed to anyone outside the meeting.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
Mediation provides a quicker and simpler way of resolving disputes rather than using formal procedures.
The University's Mediation Team
The University has established a Mediation Team. Members of the Mediation Team are fully trained, and are able to provide a Mediation service for all members of staff, and between all levels of staff, with the aim of providing resolution at the early stages of a dispute.
The team adhere to a set of guiding principles to ensure that all members of the Mediation Team demonstrate respect, independence, impartiality and confidentiality, consistent with the European Code of Conduct for Mediation.
The approach to Mediation which has been adopted by Members of the Mediation Team is Co-Mediation. This involves two Mediators who work together as a team.
The advantages of Co-Mediation are:
- The participants have the advantage of the combined skills of two Mediators whose skills usually enhance and complement each other;
- There is a better check on any bias or shortcomings which might occur if only one Mediator is used;
- A participant has a better chance of establishing a sense of trust with at least one of the two Mediators.
How Does Co-Mediation Work?
There are usually three phases to Co-Mediation:
- Pre Mediation – once the people involved in the dispute agree to participate in the Mediation process, the Co-Mediators will schedule a separate Pre Mediation meeting with each individual. The purpose of this meeting is to find out more about the individuals' perspectives and to answer any questions about the process. A confidentiality agreement is signed by all the parties at this stage.
- Mediation – the people involved in the dispute and the Mediators meet, and the Mediation process is explained in detail. Each person has the opportunity to provide his or her perspective on the dispute. One Mediator will guide the conversation while the other will listen and feedback what has been recorded to check for accuracy. The role of the Mediators is to guide the process to facilitate increased understanding between the people involved in the dispute. Mediation aims to help people achieve a win/win solution to a dispute. This may take some time and the outcome is a Mediation Agreement which is signed by both parties.
- Follow Up – It is good practice for one of the Mediators to follow up with the participants in the Mediation process some time after the Mediation has been completed to see how things are progressing.
Members of the Mediation Team
The following members of the Mediation Team are prepared to take part in Co-Mediation for early dispute resolution:
Mrs Evelyn Argo
Administrative Technical Staff in the Division of Applied Medicine, School of Medicine and Dentistry
Mr Derek Auchie
Senior Lecturer (Scholarship), School of Law
Mrs Sue Barr
University Named Veterinary Surgeon, School of Medical Sciences
Dr Stephen Bowden
Lecturer, Geology and Petroleum Geology
User Services Manager, TAD & Operational DBA
Tel: +44 (0) 1224 273370
Deputy Academic Registrar, Registry
Mr Grant Cordiner
Technical Resources Officer, Engineering
Director of Student Life
Prof Jane Geddes
Chair in History of Art, School of Divinity, History & Philosophy
Laboratory Technician, School of Geosciences
Dr Ana Ivanovic
Personal Chair, School of Engineering
Mrs Marilyn McIntosh
Furnishings, Bookings & Mail Officer, Estates
Dr Jackie Ravet
Senior Lecturer, Education
Ms Anne Shipley
Head of Student Support, Student Advice & Support
Tel: +44 (0) 1224 272023
Mr Duncan Stuart
Head of Infohub
Mrs Gail Smillie
Relationship Manager, Relationship Management, DIT
Prof Kees Van Deemter
Chair In Computer Science, Computing Science
Further Information and Access to Mediation
Members of the team are able to provide more information on mediation and to make arrangements for mediation to take place.
The Multi-faith Chaplaincy offers resources and help for everyone, whatever their situation. Chaplaincy staff work closely with Student Support Services team, and are here for all staff and students on campus - everyone is welcome.
The Chaplaincy Centre is at 25 High Street and is open 09:30 - 16:30, Monday to Friday, throughout the year for visitors.
Chaplaincy staff will happily arrange out of hours meetings for those in need.
The Occupational Health service for the University is provided by GO Health Services which is part of NHS Grampian. All staff are entitled to consult the service for advice on health matters. While you are encouraged to discuss any health problems relating to your work in the first instance with your line manager, you may wish to consult the occupational health service for medical advice and assistance:
- If you are concerned that some aspect of your job is making you ill
- If you feel that you cannot perform at work to the best of your ability because of a health problem
The service is staffed by occupational health physicians and advisers. All consultations are in strict medical confidence. If you choose to consult the service then details of discussions will not be supplied to the University or to any other person without your consent.
GO Health Services is based at Foresterhill Lea on the Foresterhill site. Consultations are by appointment at Foresterhill Lea and also at Taylor Building in the High Street in Old Aberdeen (next to the Old Brewery).
You can either:
- Ask your line manager to get Human Resources to refer you to the Occupation Health Service (this is the preferred route and is called a management referral), or
- Contact the Service yourself +44 (0) 1224 553663 - this is called a self-referral