This document forms part of 3MBS policy. 3MBS aims to keep this document up to date, please contact 3MBS to confirm that this is the latest version.

9. 3MBS Volunteers

9.1 Preliminary

This section aims to outline the policies and processes that apply to volunteers and which guide volunteer engagement in 3MBS activities.

3MBS recognises the value of volunteers in the essential work of developing and supporting the station.

3MBS endeavours to engage volunteers in all aspects of the station. No area of work within 3MBS is considered exempt from being undertaken by a volunteer who has the requisite training and/or experience.

9.2 Principles of Volunteering at 3MBS

3MBS adheres to the principles of volunteering as defined by Volunteering Victoria:

  •  Volunteering benefits the community and the volunteer
  •  Volunteering is always a matter of choice
  •  Volunteering is an activity that is unpaid and not undertaken for the receipt of salary or honorarium
  •  Volunteering is a legitimate way in which citizens can participate in the activities of their community 
  •  Volunteers do not replace paid workers nor constitute a threat to the job security of paid workers
  •  Volunteering respects the rights, dignity and culture of others.

9.3 Attracting, Retaining and Rewarding Volunteers

3MBS actively pursues volunteers, and, in particular, members of the community not adequately served by other media, to be part of the station’s operations. Under the Codes of Practice, 3MBS retains evidence of its efforts to seek volunteer participation. 3MBS recognises and attempts to cater for the range of reasons volunteers seek to participate in the station’s operations. In particular, 3MBS actively encourages the skills development of volunteers, and promotes opportunities for volunteers to enjoy the social nature of the organisation. Volunteers receive training to enable participation at the station at a variety of levels. 3MBS is committed to providing a positive, friendly, harmonious and communicative atmosphere for all volunteers and staff. Volunteer services are regularly recognised. This includes major annual awards for long-term service and other contributions of significance. Volunteers are encouraged to become subscribers and members of the Society.

9.4 Rationale for Volunteer Involvement

A volunteer is a person who:

  •  supports the station’s objectives
  •  contributes to the operation of 3MBS on a regular basis without salary in one or more defined roles as directed by the station
  •  signs a volunteer agreement.

Volunteering offers opportunities for people to become involved in various tasks relating to 3MBS operations dependent on requirements and skills offered at the time. It is also a means of enhancing
specific skills and talents.

The appointment of volunteers by the General Manager or an appropriately delegated person is subject to the general right of the Board of Directors in the exercise of its powers and responsibilities. The

Board in relation to the management and operation of the station has the right to revoke the appointment of any person as a volunteer.

9.5 Rights and Responsibilities of Volunteers

9.5.1 Volunteer Rights

A volunteer has the right to:

  • be treated with dignity and respect at all times
  • be considered for a suitable assignment
  • open access to all 3MBS policies, procedures and programs
  • expect clear and open communication from management at all times
  • appropriate induction and training and provision of information about new developments
  • sound guidance and direction in the workplace
  • a place of work complying with statutory requirements
  • public liability insurance cover
  • express a feeling of grievance against a fellow volunteer or with 3MBS management and have
  • the right for that grievance to be addressed quickly and sensitively
  • receive written notice of release
  • have service appropriately assessed and effectively recognised
  • be given a reference at the completion of the term of voluntary service, covering character and competence.

9.5.2 Volunteer Responsibilities

A volunteer is expected to:

  • Abide by the Station’s objectives, policies and principles, as outlined in this document, and in the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice
  • Support 3MBS
  • Have a professional attitude towards voluntary work
  • Be prompt, reliable and productive with regard to commitments and agreements made with 3MBS
  • Respect confidentiality and the rights of others to be treated justly and fairly
  • Respect confidential information gained through service with 3MBS whether this relates to the
  • Financial or other operations of 3MBS, the members of the 3MBS community or any other matter
  • Be a faithful representative of 3MBS objectives when representing the station
  • Be committed to the organisation
  • Undertake training as required or requested
  • Ask for support when needed
  • Give notice before taking leave or leaving the organisation
  • Notify the appropriate person if unable to meet commitments
  • Value and support other team members including volunteers, staff, management and Board members
  • Carry out the work ethically and responsibly
  • Take direction from appropriate paid staff
  • Be involved in Radiothon activities
  • Be prepared to help out during special events
  • Maintain a clean and orderly work environment
  • Keep up to date by reading the notice boards, newsletter and station emails
  • Abide by copyright laws
  • Keep contact records up to date.

9.5.3 Presenter/Programmer/Producer Responsibilities

In addition, a Presenter/Programmer/Producer is expected to:

  • undertake a broadcast training course and periodical assessment
  • understand and abide by the obligations of media and copyright laws
  • participate in the yearly Radiothon campaign encouraging listeners, guests and others to sign up as subscribers
  • provide required program information in the designated time for inclusion in the On Air program guide
  • regularly cross-promote other station programs and identify the station on air according to station guidelines
  • play scheduled sponsorship and program promos and sign the broadcast log
  •  observe the station’s policy and briefs on presenting programs 
  •  observe the station’s policy on giveaways and on-air promotion and do not offer free promotion 
  • to any organisation without approval from responsible staff 
  •  be responsible for broadcasting the highest quality program and ensuring that the program is 
  • broadcast either live or pre-recorded  if unable to produce the designated program, make arrangements to ensure a program goes to air through the Roster Coordinator
  •  provide notice of the taking of any extended leave to the General Manager, Programming Committee and Roster Coordinator
  •  give the General Manager a minimum of one month’s notice of the intention to discontinue broadcasting with the station
  •  participate in the Program Review process
  •  take responsibility for the care and security of the station, its equipment, resources and people in the station.

9.5.4 Volunteer Responsibilities in Broadcasting or Publishing

While engaged in broadcasting or publishing with 3MBS, volunteers must not without approval from
the Board, the General Manager or from a person or committee authorised by the Board for that
purpose:

  •  comment on the operation of 3MBS or the Society
  •  comment on or promote any political, religious, commercial or other activity or opinion
  •  use blasphemous, indecent or defamatory language
  •  otherwise breach the station’s promise of performance, its licence conditions or any government
  • laws or regulations
  •  ensure that no 3MBS property such as CDs leave the station premises without permission.

Any such action described above will be deemed serious misconduct and is subject to the general right of the Board of Directors in the exercise of its powers and responsibilities in the management and operation of the station, to revoke the appointment of any person as a volunteer.

9.5.5 Confidentiality

  • All 3MBS personnel must maintain confidentiality about the staff and volunteers, all data, information and the operations of the station.
  • Phone numbers or email addresses of any member of the 3MBS community must not be given out to the public.
  • Messages from the public may be left for the person concerned or forwarded to a paid member of staff

9.6 Rights and Obligations of 3MBS to Volunteers

9.6.1 3MBS Management

The 3MBS management (including paid staff) will:

  • treat volunteers as co-workers
  • appreciate that volunteers are valued team members
  • give volunteers suitable assignments with consideration for personal preference, temperament, abilities, education, training and employment
  •  acquaint volunteers with the station’s policies, procedures, programs and operations
  •  provide clear directions and information about volunteers’ roles and responsibilities, including providing Volunteer Position Statements where practicable support and supervise the volunteers in their roles
  •  maintain a healthy, safe working environment, committed to the principles of equal opportunity
  •  ensure there are avenues for volunteers to be heard, to encourage volunteers to make suggestions and to give volunteers respect for their honest and constructive opinions
  •  provide opportunities for all volunteers to be involved in the administration of 3MBS
  •  have a process in place to hear genuine grievances from volunteers and to mediate where conflict between volunteers and volunteers and staff occurs
  •  ensure that volunteers have adequate facilities and materials to enable them to perform their duties.

9.6.2 Reimbursements

The General Manager must approve all out of pocket expenses and travel expenses before being incurred. Travel expenses are not paid except in unusual circumstances.

9.6.3 Insurance

Policies held by 3MBS that are relevant to volunteers:

Public Liability Policy: this covers 3MBS against liability to third parties in tort, including negligence. There is no exclusion relating to any person over the age of eighty.

 Personal Accident Policy: this provides a set level of benefits to any volunteer injured whilst participating in the station’s activities. The benefits are applicable whether the company is negligent or otherwise legally liable in respect of the injury. The over eighty bar applies to this policy. The signature of people over eighty will be required as they turn 80, acknowledging that they have read and understood this section of the policy document.  All 3MBS personnel must maintain confidentiality about the staff and volunteers, all data, information and the operations of the station.  Phone numbers or email addresses of any member of the 3MBS community must not be given out to the public.  Messages from the public may be left for the person concerned or forwarded to a paid member of staff.

 Defamation Policy: defamation is the broadcast of material about any natural person or corporate entity which reflects negatively on that person or entity so that it is likely that the personal or trade reputation of that person will be injured or so that other persons are likely to be induced to shun, ridicule, avoid or despise that person. Defamation insurance is arranged on a claims made basis and as such, the policy will respond only to claims made against the insured
reported to the insurers during the policy period.

9.6.4 Volunteer Recruitment – General

3MBS will actively pursue recruitment of volunteers, and where a vacancy exists and where practicable, the vacancy will be first advertised within the existing volunteer community before being advertised within the wider 3MBS community and beyond. A Volunteer Application Form will be provided to anyone enquiring about volunteering at 3MBS. Upon applying to become a volunteer, an applicant will have his or her application acknowledged
immediately by letter or email.

The acknowledgement will advise the applicant that an interview will be arranged at the earliest practical date depending upon vacancies relevant to the applicant’s
aspirations, skills and experience. Relevant staff and volunteers will be invited to participate in the interviewing process and undertake to
communicate feedback to the applicant in a timely fashion.

The principles of Equal Opportunity will apply at all times when communicating with and interviewing potential volunteers.

9.6.5 Volunteer Recruitment – Presenters

Applicants shall be informed in full of processes for applying to become a presenter at 3MBS, including position description, interview and audition processes, criteria of assessment, training expectations and costs involved.
3MBS undertakes to provide feedback to applicants who are not accepted for presenter training by the Training Committee.

9.6.6 Volunteer Training and Induction

It is the practice at 3MBS that:

  •  all volunteers are required to undertake a period of training and periodical retraining  presenters are required to do group training in the technical aspects of their position and the preparation and presentation of their programs
  • as appropriate, new volunteers will be ‘buddied’ with suitable volunteers for training in their different areas 
  •  volunteer workers will have the opportunity to retrain and train in new areas when required  performance of all volunteer presenters will be periodically reviewed to identify training needs and provide feedback 
  •  volunteers will be provided with an induction of the station’s policies and procedures as detailed in Appendix 5.

9.7 Dismissal of Volunteers

Grounds for the dismissal or suspension of volunteers would normally relate to noncompliance with the Volunteer Agreement but any incident of serious misconduct on the part of a 3MBS volunteer is subject to the general right of the Board of Directors to revoke the appointment of any person as a volunteer. The General Manager has the right to suspend a volunteer for serious misconduct without reference to the Board. See Section 15 for full details and application of the Discipline Policy.