What is a union Delegate?

Delegates are key to a strong and vibrant union. They ensure every workplace has a voice and is able to harness the collective strength of Members to achieve outcomes in that workplace.

The CPSU provides Delegates with training, mentoring and support. We work to ensure they have the skills and confidence to support Members, encourage potential members to join and facilitate involvement in wider union campaigns and activities.

Looking for support?

Delegates can contact our Member Assist Team – CPSU Direct – for industrial advice and support in their role. Just click here or call (03) 6234 1708.

“Delegates are the lifeblood of the union. Delegates perform the key role of linking CPSU Members at the workplace with our union office, and in many cases, other union members. As a Delegate you are the voice of the union in your workplace.

Thirza White, General Secretary

Incoming General Secretary Thirza White

What Delegates do for members.


  • Build strength through recruitment and activism in the workplace.
  • Educate colleagues about the link between the number of members in the CPSU and our ability to achieve strong outcomes.
  • Ask new workers to become union members.
  • Identify opportunities to be involved in formal and informal new worker inductions and liaise with the Union Office.

Involving Members

  • Ask others to become a Delegate or Contact and facilitate nomination and voting processes in consultation with the Union Office.
  • Establish a committee or regular meetings attended by multiple Delegates.
  • Ask Members to be involved in key issues and campaigns.
  • Organise an acting Delegate or contact point for the Union Office while on leave.

Skilled Delegates

  • A commitment to participate in Delegate training, forums and events.
  • Liaise with the Union Office to ensure access to training and resources.
  • Participate in one on one and small group sessions with Organisers as a key training and development opportunity.
  • Participate in key campaign meetings and briefings.

Representing and Communicating

  • Be a visible, first point of contact for Members.
  • Ensure information from the Union Office is brought to Members’ atttention.
  • Raise Members’ awareness of rights, current issues, campaigns, and union values.
  • Educate Members on the roles and responsibilities of active unionists.
  • Maintain CPSU visibility and presence through use of materials provided by the Union Office and by establishing a CPSU Noticeboard.
  • Represent member interests to management and report back to them.
  • Conduct workplace meetings as required and facilitate discussions to resolve issues.
  • Maintain confidentiality where requested by Members or the Union Office.

Working with the union

  • Liaise with the CPSU Office on using Delegate Rights provisions in your Agreement or, in the absence of these, establish a local arrangement with management.
  • Communicate with the Union Office on issues, campaign activities, feedback from Members and other matters as required.
  • Assist the Union Office to organise workplace meetings and visits to the workplace.
  • Make your workplace aware of the CPSU Office structure and key contact points.
  • Distribute information, bulletins, journals, yearly planners and Annual Reports as requested by the Union Office.
  • Respond to emails and share information about your workplace including issues and activities for the Union Office to use in cross workplace updates.
  • Participate in community campaigns related to union values.
  • Promote positive union values in your community such as fairness, justice, equity, and collective action.

How we support our Delegates:

Training and Development

  •  Provision of induction packs, organiser-run introductory sessions, ‘how to’ and ‘can and can’t do’ guides. Familiarisation with CPSU staff, structure and processes.
  • Training programs on broad themes and workplace specific topics.
  • Further development opportunities such as conferences, forums, and multi media products.
  • Support for Delegates who choose to specialise in areas such as communication, handling grievances or collective bargaining.
  • Direct participation in key campaigns.

Communication, Facilities and Resources

  • Guidance on circulating information. Targeted emails on specific issues.
  • Provision of information through contact: one to one, phone, email, teleconferencing, workplace noticeboards, internet and committees. Delegates to communicate with Members in a workplace where possible.
  • Networks to facilitate sharing between Delegates within and outside workplaces, and on-line access to FAQ’s and sources of essential information.
  • Delegate News focused on people, issues and campaigns. Updates on CPSU staffing changes.
  • Development and distribution of campaign materials such as stickers, brochures,posters and recruitment packages.

Leadership, Recognition and Events

  • Involve Delegates in issues and campaigns.
  • Develop leadership and give Delegates a say in the future direction of the union.
  • Involve Delegates in issues, like fee rises, that impact directly on Members.
  • Conduct workplace nominations and ballots to identify leaders to become Delegates.
  • Continue and increase cooperation with other unions.
  • Inform and involve Delegates in sector/industry planning where possible.
  • Provide forums and conference opportunities for all of the above to occur.

Our Commitment to Delegates

  • Regular contact by phone, email, visits, meetings and walk-throughs with Delegates.
  • On the job support and education by Organisers including one on ones, workplace walk and talks, briefings, coaching and general guidance.
  • Organisers will notify Delegates prior to entering their workplace and involve them in organising meetings and activities.
  • Provision of clear and accurate industrial advice.
  • Recruit Delegates to share the load in the workplace including establishing and supporting committees.
  • Support Delegates to use their ‘rights’ provisions including meeting with the employer to outline these rights and make them aware of their obligations.
  • Ensure Delegates are involved and briefed when planning campaigns.
  • Facilitate and encourage participation in training.
  • Establish clear contact points for Delegates for individual grievances, Delegate training, specific campaigns and issues.
  • Build relationships with Delegates based on trust and confidence.
  • Work with Delegates to build membership and union awareness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is my Delegate?

If you’re not sure who the Delegate is for your work group, contact us at CPSU@tas.cpsu.com.au or by calling (03) 6234 1708 and we’ll help you identify them!

How do I become a Delegate?

We’re so glad you’re keen! You can nominate to become a Delegate at the bottom of the page.

Is my Delegate the same as my HSR?

No, a union Delegate is a unique role elected by union members to represent their work group.

Health and safety representatives, commonly referred to as HSRs, are workers who are elected to represent the health and safety interests of their work group. The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 allows workers within a business or undertaking to be grouped into work groups so they can elect a member of their group to represent them.

What rights do I have as a Delegate?
CPSU Delegates have rights under the Tasmanian State Service Award or the Fair Work Act – depending under which jurisdiction you work. Delegate Rights – Tasmanian State Service Award Delegate Rights – Fair Work Act

Meet some of our Delegates!

"I wanted to make a difference for my colleagues and I in our workplaces. I felt passionate enough to fight for this change and looked forward to talking with all of my colleagues and making real change."
Department of Education
"Safe and healthy work is necessary to productive workplaces and flourishing communities. Communication, consultation, and collaboration are the three most important aspects of safe working."
WorkSafe Tasmania
"The last six months, the CPSU has done some major things. I think as Library staff, we need to have our voices heard.”
Libraries Tasmania
"I have always believed it is important to be part of a union - I wanted to help consolidate and push forward the needs of our unit."
Biosecurity Tasmania
"In order to see the change, you must be the change. I want to see change in the inequity in all workplaces and the community. I became a Delegate because I’m interested in doing more to change the working conditions of my colleagues, and to give back to the movement that has helped my work life be better. "
Department of Premier & Cabinet
"The rights and conditions of workers need to be protected and looked after."
Department of Justice
"I believe having a strong and collective voice of workers is important to safeguard our position and rights in the workplace. Through representation by Union delegates and organisers we can ensure due process is adhered to and workers are not left worse off. "
Department of Police, Fire & Emergency Management

Get your Delegate Nomination form