Developing a powerful delegates network is a key priority for your Union.
Strong, effective Union workplace representatives are essential to securing the rights of NTEU members and workers more generally.
What is a delegate?
Delegates are officially endorsed and recognised Union workplace representatives. Delegates are recognised by the NTEU as workplace leaders, who have a local representative role in advocating for the interests and views of their peers and colleagues to their employer and within the Union; while also representing the policies, positions and campaigns of the NTEU to their employer, and their peers and colleagues in the workplace.
NTEU delegates are at the core of the Union's democreatic, responsive structure, and are instrumental in ensuring the voices of all NTEU members are heard.
Being a delegate – the basics
As an NTEU delegate, your job involves much, much more than handling grievances.
Grievances are important. They are often the most visible and dramatic aspect of the union’s presence. Sometimes they’ll take up most of your time.
But grievances should never be confused with your chief responsibility as a delegate: to build a united, organised, and involved membership in your workplace.
Without this involvement and solidarity, no union in the world can protect and serve its members.
As a leader in the workplace, you’ll have your hands full. That’s because NTEU delegates are:
Organisers. This is the big one. It doesn’t just mean signing up new members, although it means that too. It means NTEU delegates are responsible for organising all the union members in your area into a united group to deal with any problems. Which is, when you think about it, what unions are all about.
Problem solvers. You’re the person workers turn to with their problems. It might be a work-site hazard. Maybe someone’s been fired, or perhaps layoffs or a restructure are threatened. It might be just a new staff-member with a question. Perhaps you can solve the problem with a friendly word, or maybe you’ll organise a staff meeting or get the branch organiser to file a grievance. Problems don’t go with your territory. They are your territory.
Educators and communicators. The collective agreement. Classifications. WorkCover. How can I do this? Why did they do that? It’s a complicated world, and your members are counting on you to help them make sense of it. Equally important, your branch organisers are counting on you to help them keep in touch with your co-workers.
Workplace leaders. You’re the one who keeps it moving. You’re the one who’s not afraid to speak up. You never let anyone forget there’s a union at your worksite.
NTEU Delegates Kit
The NTEU has prepared a a Delegates Kit. If you are an NTEU delegate, you should contact your Branch Office to get a hardcopy of the kit.
You can also download the NTEU Delegates Kit from our Library.
Edition: Version 1.1
Tags: delegates, delegates kit, fact sheet, vic div p
The NTEU Victorian Division's Delegate Kit. For more information, please visit: http://www.nteu.org.au/vic/delegates or email firstname.lastname@example.org Last updated: 15 December 2010