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Delegate training: July 2014

LAST week a group of  Delegates gathered in the CPSU Hobart training room for a two day course.
The ACTU-run course was about upskilling Delegates for their role in the workplace. Participants came from a range of areas across the State Service and we chatted to most of them to find out a little more about how they became a Delegate and the key lessons they’d taken away from training.

 

Natalie French, Facilities Officer, Department of State Growth

Natalie_FrenchDelegate for three years in August

Why did you become a Delegate?

My father was involved with unions while I was growing up, so I was exposed to it from a very young age at home. He made me very proud in the number of fights he won during that time. I was approached a number of times by an Organiser to become a Delegate but I didn’t have much confidence. After taking part in the Anna Stewart Memorial Program, it reignited my interest in unions and I’ve moved forward since then.

What was the main lesson you took away from training?

I’ve got a really good plan for a recruitment conversation now, after struggling in that area. We have a lot of people in my workplace who aren’t Members, so it’s been a hard conversation to have. Also learning the rights of a Delegate, I didn’t realise we had so many rights. Listening to the experiences of other Delegates and what they’ve been doing on their Workplace Organising Committees has been really good.

 

Peter Brake, Library Technician, Launceston LINC

IMG_0736Delegate for a couple of months.

Why did you become a Delegate?

The previous Delegate retired, so there are now two of us working as Delegates part time.

What was the main lesson you took away from training?

I found the course brilliant. Before, I found myself wondering what my role was. It’s cleared up a lot questions I had and gave me a real focus about what I can do in a proactive way in the workplace. I also took away how to talk to people about the union and how to ask people who aren’t currently Members to join.

 

Bernard Plumpton, Forestry Tasmania

IMG_0737Delegate for about a month

Why did you become a Delegate?

A few months ago Members tried to encourage me to become a Delegate and I was sitting on the fence at the time. With our enterprise agreement coming up, it was time to have a crack at things and to do something positive.

What was the main lesson you took away from training?

The workplace mapping exercise was really helpful, just getting an understanding of where we have support in our Membership and where, as Delegate, I should concentrate our effort.

 

Craig Hughes, Superintendent, Tasmanian Prison Service

IMG_0738Delegate for about two years.

I was also involved in the union back in the late 80s, early 90s. I was state secretary for six years.

Why did you become a Delegate?

We had a workplace agreement in 2006, and our rank got left out of it. There are only 10 superintendents, and all but one are in unions, I took on the role so no one missed out this time.

What was the main lesson you took away from training?

It gave me a chance to catch up with what’s happed over the last decade or so. When I was doing my old role back then it was union driven, rather than Member driven. The focus is now on Members solving issues. Now the responsibility is on Members to drive the union, which is a huge difference. It was an excellent couple of days.

 

Wendy Wolf, Disability Assessment Advisory Team South East Team Manager, Disability Services South

Wendy WolfDelegate for a month this time around.

Previously I was a Delegate for about five or six years.

Why did you become a Delegate?

We only have one Delegate in our workplace. I felt it would be a good idea to have a couple of people to share the load.

What was the main lesson you took away from training?

We learned some tools that we can use for our role, which were really helpful. The training was really about being active in the role. My fellow Delegates were lovely too.

 

SBMs Brenda Tanya Robyn Jude

School Business Managers after training finished on Friday (from left): Brenda McLarin, Tanya Smart, Robyn Langworthy and Jude O’Doherty.

Jude O’Doherty, School Business Manager, Dodges Ferry Primary School

New CPSU Delegate

Why did you become a Delegate?

SAAF was the main reason why I became a Delegate – you need to be a Delegate to be on SAAF. We also haven’t had a Delegate at our school for years.

What was the main lesson you took away from training?

I think the ability to empower people to solve problems, which I can use as a Delegate and in my work as well. After training, I’m feeling confident about getting back to the workplace and being active.

 

Tanya Smart, Queechy High School, Business Manager

Delegate for about 12 months

Why did you become a Delegate?

I’m involved with the SAAF group and I’m also on the CPSU council, which led me to become a Delegate.

What was the main lesson you took away from training?

It gives me I the tools as a Delegate in my workplace so I can assist other employees.

 

Brenda McLarin, School Business Manager, Lindisfarne North Primary School

 Delegate for about 12 months.

Why did you become a Delegate?

I’m on the SAAF committee as well, and I wanted to get more involved with the union in my workplace.

What was the main lesson you took away from training?

I took away plenty of tools to help me with what to do in the Delegate role. It was interesting to hear how different the departments are.

 

Robyn Langworthy, School Business Manager, Lenah Valley Primary School

New CPSU Delegate

Why did you become a Delegate?

I became a Delegate because of my involvement on the SAAF committee.

What was the main lesson you took away from training?

It’s a very different way of doing things as a Delegate. As School Business Mangers, we normally solve things before they become problems, which is not what we do as Delegates. It helped me understand what it is to be a Delegate and what we can and can’t do.

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