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Delegate training – Launceston

DELEGATES gathered in Launceston last week for a two day training course. The CPSU caught up with four CPSU Delegates the day after training to find out what they’d taken away from the two days.

Stuart Morrison, Detector Dog Handler Quarantine Officer, DPIPWE

It’s been three years since Stuart took up the Delegate baton for the CPSU. He came to the role after the Delegate at his worksite passed away. Before working in the public service, Stuart was also a Delegate with the Maritime Union of Australia. It’s the second time Stuart’s taken part in training – undertaking a one day Delegate course last year.

“I found the two day course a lot better because you could explore the different areas more. And for each topic, all the Delegates have a story so you get to know them and hear about issues in other workplaces.”

From the training he took away an important piece of advice.

“As a Delegate – don’t do it on your own. Task others in your work area, that way they feel more fulfilled as Members of their union and realise the union isn’t just an office down in Hobart – the people, the Members are the union.”

Pauline Blyth, Library Technician, Launceston LINC

It’s not the first time long-term CPSU Delegate Pauline’s taken part in training.

“Even if you feel if you know what your role as Delegate is, it’s important to go to training, make networks and refresh.You always take away something different from training.”

A Delegate for about 16 years, she took on the role willingly.

“I put my hand up because I do have a leaning towards ensuring people have a fair go. This time I really understood the importance of mapping your workplace – it’s really vital.”

Pauline also found training a great chance to meet other Delegates and share ideas around dealing with issues.

Helen Djonlija, Teacher’s Assistant, Ravenswood Heights Primary

Helen Djonlija started as a CPSU Delegate this year after being a CPSU Member for a number of years.

“Nobody knew what was going on with union matters. Nobody wanted to put their hand up for the role, so I did.”

Although very new to the role, Helen said the training was well worth it, and found it useful to listen to the stories of other Delegates.

“It was a real eye-opener to see how other areas are really struggling.”

After the training, Helen said she’d go back into the school and get Members and staff on board with union activities, and find some Members to help share the load.

Jodie Elmer: Admin Assistant, DPIPWE, Invasive Species Branch

Jodie’s certainly new to Delegate life – having been in the position for only three weeks. She came to the role after unsuccessfully applying for a secondment to a CPSU Organiser position.

“The person they chose had Delegate experience, so it opened my eyes to becoming more active in the union. A little while later CPSU Organiser Kathryn Lee contacted me and asked if I was interested in being a Delegate.”

Jodie said the role fits in with who she is, also involved in the RSPCA.

“I’m about having a fair go and standing up for people who don’t have a voice.”

Although still processing the two days of training, she’s keen to find out where her colleagues sit in relation to the union.

“Also there are a few issues in the workplace so I’ll need to think about how I’m best placed to empower people to assist with issues.”

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