As the day-to-day face of the union in the workplace, delegates have a crucial role to play in the PSA.
Members look to delegates as workplace leaders on issues that matter to them.
Without delegates, the PSA would not be able to function.
- To be available to assist members and hear their views
- Actively protect and advance the interests of members
- Be active in the workplace and promote the work of the PSA
It is essential that delegates are not seen as having an axe to grind with management or a fellow member.
Delegates must be calm, considered, respectful and professional in all their dealings. Credibility with both colleagues and management is an enormously powerful tool and is essential to being able to function effectively on behalf of the PSA.
In essence, delegates are responsible for protecting, and wherever possible, advancing, the interests and rights of members at the local level and for the effective functioning of the departmental committee, branch or workplace group.
United we bargain, divided we beg. The more members the PSA has, the greater its bargaining position. The greater our bargaining power, the greater our ability to protect and improve conditions.
This is where delegates come in – to organise their fellow workers and make sure they are active, united and strong.
Our strength depends on union officials being across the wishes and needs of members and members, in turn, understanding and participating in the collective decision-making processes.
Delegates are responsible for ensuring that communication flow.
Duties and responsibilities include:
- representing the interests and pursuing the needs of members in the work area
- actively recruiting – making sure that all eligible co-workers are members of the PSA
- workplace organising by encouraging members to be actively involved in the union
- building the skills and confidence of members to assist in that activity
- holding meetings of members to inform and involve them
- making sure that management complies with relevant policies, agreements, acts and awards
- helping to resolve individual grievances of members in the workplace wherever possible
- negotiating with management about matters of concern to members
- developing policies and priority workplace issues within the agency
- maintaining records of membership for the workplace and letting the PSA organiser and the PSA Membership Section know of any changes
- ensuring union bulletins and other information are distributed and displayed at all times
- keeping in touch with union officials, especially PSA organisers
- attending PSA union training.
Delegates can be treated as having the same legal standing as an official of the union.
For that reason, it is important that delegates carry out their duties in a manner that in no way reflects adversely or may damage the union. If ever in doubt, PSA organisers can be contacted.