Engaging Diversity: Conflict Resolution Methodology in Public Transport Employment in Ireland


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Overview of diversity awareness training in public transport provider in Dublin, Ireland. Description of anti-racism training in the workforce.

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Engaging Diversity: Conflict Resolution Methodology in Public Transport Employment in Ireland

  1. 1. Engaging Diversity: Conflict Resolution Methodology in Public Transport Employment in Ireland Dr. Alan Bruce Universal Learning Systems, Dublin UOC: 6th International Congress on Conflictology and Peace Barcelona, 3-4 October 2013
  2. 2. Contexts: Irish employment trajectories  Decline of agriculture  Uneven tradition of industrialization  Labor market weakness - emigration history  Impact of globalization  National policy: sectarianism, equality, war and inclusion  Inward migration  Boom and bust – the crash of 2008  Intercultural Ireland
  3. 3. Migration impact on society and work  Demographic transformation  Impact of new cultures  Legislative and standards based requirements  Social partnership  Focus on innovation, flexibility and adaptability  NCCRI 1998-2008:  Equality proofing  Policy, legislation and research  Resources for minority ethnic groups
  4. 4. Transformed society: a new Ireland  Total population: 4.7 million  Non-Irish population: 11%  Change has occurred in 15 years  Ethnic and religious diversity:  Largest populations: Polish, Chinese, Nigerian  Religions: RC 84%; Other Christian 6%; Islam 1%  Highest birth rate in EU  Highest inward migration
  5. 5. Racism and integration: balance sheet  Adaptation to rapid change  Implications of altered demographics: schooling  Lack of transparent settlement processes: bureaucracy  Personal racism: anecdotal witness  Institutional insensitivity  Robust equality legislation since 2005  Absence of xenophobic, racist political movement  Popular acceptance of diversity – impact of recession uncertain
  6. 6. Challenges for innovative workbased learning on racism Access: recruitment Relevance: avoiding or minimizing conflict Support: guidance, mentoring and advice Benefit: legislative compliance and cost reduction Structure: locating responsibility: HR and policy Value: promoting diversity Personal: confidence, ownership, adaptability Corporate: image, retention, promotion
  7. 7. Veolia (Luas tram system)  RPA Established 2001- two lines open in 2004  Highly successful in terms of passengers – extensions planned  Key staff: drivers (100) and revenue protection (300)  Security increased since 2009: anti-social behavior and violence
  8. 8. Problems and issues  Increased racist incidents towards staff: insult and abuse  Hostility, poor fare compliance, legal basis  Increased stress and absenteeism  Attack and injury – threat and victimization  Issues between staff: avoidance and hostility  Bullying and harassment  Avoidance, insensitivity, poor communications  Prejudice and intolerance
  9. 9. Designing training for conflict resolution  Focus on diversity management  Key principles of engagement: curiosity, shared actions, open communications  Roots of conflict  Dealing with prejudice and stereotype  Understanding difference and fostering curiosity  Shared mission, understanding change  Rights based strategy  Based on real employment context  Case studies
  10. 10. Aims and objectives  Aim: to provide training in diversity management to support personal and professional competence in racism-based conflict resolution in commercial public transport contexts  Objectives:  Define main elements of cultural difference in commercial transport sector  Address issues around bias, stereotype, prejudice and discrimination  Evaluate critical roles of leadership and organizational culture in addressing equal opportunities and conflict management  Use key skills in human rights, conflict transformation and legislation  Develop sustainable work based solutions in conflict resolution and diversity management in operations, customer relations and company business model
  11. 11. Operational roll-out 2013  Preliminary meetings: March 2013  Background research and observation: April 2013  Materials design: May-July 2013  Training delivery: July-October 2013  Evaluation and follow-up  Future sectors and categories
  12. 12. Summary outcomes  Content, structure, methods are relevant  Value for learners in facilitated discussion  Focus on racism and racist attitudes  Defining delivered benefit through work focus  Legislative foundations critical  Importance of best practice and solution-focused approach  Learning in a time of crisis  Anticipating change  Communications critical – cynicism about management  Legacy, sustainability and embedding
  13. 13. Gràcies Dr. Alan Bruce ULS Dublin abruce@ulsystems.com