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Delegates developing their expertise

AT THIS week’s combined CPSU & HACSU Delegate training course ACTU Trainer Jayne Reid led 14 participants through a range of topics and exercises.

Delegates came from a range of workplaces, from health services to Parks and Wildlife. Experience was varied too, with some only a Delegate for two weeks and others a couple of years.

The group shared experiences and talked about the things they hoped to get from the course such as confidence, communication skills, and understanding what they could and couldn’t do in a workplace.

Parks and Wildlife’s Michael Hanson, (on left of photo with HACSU Delegate Ethan Plowman), is a field officer based at Mount Field and he’s been a Delegate for a number of years but it was the first time he’d taken part in training.

Michael has a small number of colleagues in his unique workplace and his job ranges from maintenance to fire fighting. The area he covers includes two National Parks and a dozen small reserves, with the possibility of expanding to include some forest reserves, so decent gear is integral to the job.

He’s been a union member throughout his working life and became a Delegate because he saw a need for the role in such an isolated workplace – the closest field centre is in Glenorchy – and he’s glad of the great support of two very active Members at his worksite.

One of the biggest issues he found was the focus on project-orientated funding, rather than recurrent finance, which could cause difficulties.

Communication is also a problem as Mt Field is so far from other worksites and there’s a very slow internet connection, so Michael and other Members lobbying management for faster internet.

Michael said it was sometimes hard to find time to do all his Delegate tasks but on day one of the training he’d already picked up plenty of tips and taken part in an exercise to map his workplace. “I’m finding a lot of information about Delegates,” he said.

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