Role of the Workplace Delegate.
The Workplace Delegate plays a vital role in any union. The strength and effectiveness of our union to a large extent depends on your work as a workplace delegate.
To most members at the workplace you are the first point of contact with the union.
Duties of the workplace delegate.
- Distribute and/or place on the notice board relevant union material;
- Handle member’s basic problems. Your delegate’s manual and files will assist you;
- Make representations on behalf of members as necessary;
- Ensure that working conditions are adequate;
- Approach and join up any new employees. Keep some membership forms in your file;
- Encourage all members to sign a form for direct debit of fees from their bank or credit union;
- Give regular reports to members;
- Report any breaches of rules, awards or agreements to the Union Office.
- If you are not the Health and Safety Representative or Deputy at your workplace make sure that you maintain contact. Health and safety is union business.
Some basic elements for an effective workplace delegate.
- Have confidence in your ability to offer leadership
- Remember that you are part of a team. Talk to, and listen to other members on the job. Don’t be “pushy”;
- Give regular reports to members on the job. Seek their support on union matters;
- Make sure you are conscientious and competent in your job. A good Workplace Delegate should be seen to be a good worker by both members and management.
- Don’t be afraid or overawed by those in authority. When dealing with management have a firm but friendly approach.
- You need to gain the respect of management and your workmates.
- Understand the structure of the union;
- Keep up with current union issues and be able to explain them to members;
- Know who to contact when you need advice or help;
- Maintain files for information to which you can refer when answering member’s questions, handling problems, preparing to make representations to management, etc.
- Your leadership and knowledge is helped by effective organisation;
- Be prepared when reporting to members on the job. Make sure that you understand the issues you wish to report on.
- Try to report to members on a regular basis;
- Make use of a union notice board and make sure that you keep it up to date;
- Maintain your files and records for reference.
Encourage all members to develop their knowledge and skills. Being part of a good union team will make your work easier and the union stronger.