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Pauline Blyth: farewell to a fantastic CPSU Delegate and Councilor.
PAULINE Blyth retires at the end of this financial year after taking long service leave at the end of January.
You could say Pauline is something of a stalwart at the Launceston LINC.
January marked 25 years at this workplace, with 24 of these years spent as proud union Member, 16 as a workplace Delegate and six as a CPSU Councilor.
Pauline worked as the Operations Coordinator for Customer Service at the LINC.
“I’ve been in the same building the whole 25 years. I started on a 12 hour contract for 12 months and I’ve been here ever since.
“It’s been great to serve in the same place for so long and have continuous employment. A lot of the other employees here have been here long term as well, with some of them working here for 30 years.”
Pauline’s seen many changes over the years. “I was here when the hierarchy was changed into a flatter structure, which has since been built back up again. Of course there’s been the shift from the State Library to LINC Tasmania.
“We had the recognition of Library Technician’s qualifications after 25 years in the late 1990s, which was big at that time.”
Pauline’s job has changed over the years as well.
“Since I started there’s now more training for staff, more multi skilling and a change how hands-on we are with the public in some areas.
Technology has played a massive part in these changes. “We’ve got an Online Access Centre here, which I’ve been responsible for as well, keeping that going and keeping our strong base of volunteers informed.”
There’s plenty that Pauline enjoys about her job.
“My colleagues are a very special bunch and they really make work a pleasure. I also enjoy working with the public and being able to help them. For example helping someone find an important link when they’re investigating their ancestry is a great feeling. It gives you a real buzz when that happens. Quite recently helped someone uncover information they’d been seeking out for 10 years, so it was fantastic to help there.”
For Pauline, it just seemed like the right time to retire.
“I’m of retirement age and it just feels right to go and do some other things with my life now.
“I’d like to be able to have time to pick up the craft work I used to do that I don’t have time for anymore. I knit and sew, I also love to read. Theatre is another real interest of mine, I used to do amateur theatre with the CWA group at one stage, and I love going to shows.
“I volunteer at the Campbell Town Online Access Centres on Saturdays. I’ll possibly do another day a week when I retire because I like to be involved in the community and it’s something I really enjoy doing. Also, just to have time for me!”
A proud parent, grandparent and now great grandparent she’s also looking forward to spending more time with her family.
After she received permanency, Pauline was quick to sign up as a Member.
“I also had a lot of friends who were in the union movement. Looking back it was a good decision to join. When I younger, I’d always been a union member, so it just felt right.”
From then, Pauline said becoming a Delegate was just a natural progression– and a role she’s enjoyed.
“I understood how important having a Delegate in the workplace was. I’ve enjoyed support Members who are facing difficulties. Another standout moment was working on the Your Rights at Work campaign. I spent about five weeks up putting 180 signs up as well as handing out flyers, balloons – all that sort of thing. I talked to members of the public about why it was important to have decent rights at work. It was an interesting experience and something really different to get involved in.
After serving as a Delegate for about a decade, CPSU Assistant General Secretary Mat Johnston rang and asked Pauline to represent the Department of Education on the CPSU Council.
“It’s been really enjoyable and gave me a great insight into how the union runs. I think it’s something I’d really encourage other Delegates to have a go at. It’s a real eye opener; it gives you so much extra information that makes it so much easier to be a Delegate.”
When she retires Pauline said she’d miss her workplace. “We have some wonderful clients here, some who’ve I known for the whole 25 years I’ve worked here, so it’ll be like losing old friends.
“I’ve promised the staff I’ll come in and visit them regularly and have a coffee with them at morning tea time so I don’t lose complete contact with them.”
Pauline finishes up in the last week of January and has one or two more CPSU council meetings to go.
“When I retire, I won’t quit the union, I’ll become a Retired Member.” Retired Members receive a regular newsletter from their union.
The CPSU is proud to have such a dedicated Member, Delegate and Councilor. Pauline is community minded and generous with her time. The CPSU wishes Pauline all the best for this next exciting stage of life.