Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Inaugural Disability Workplace Council meeting summary

Dis Council – Oct 2019 (PDF version)

Dear Delegate,

With the inaugural Disability Workplace Council meeting having been held and there being a great response and introduction with you all, we need to push forward and maintain the momentum.

During the meeting you were asked what your ideas are on being an effective delegate and the difficulties you may come up against. There were a lot of common responses and comments.

Nearly all of you said that being a delegate is about being a conduit of information back into the union, providing up to date information on what’s happening in the workplace and then getting information back out. This is a key, and perhaps the most important, part of being a delegate.

About having discussions with members and non-members about the value of collective and the support it gives. How membership can pay for itself, I’ll get that information out. Having those conversations with people who aren’t members and encouraging them to join.

It’s about attending meetings and helping your workmates who may need some extra support when it comes to dealing with management and the processes. It’s about defending the rights of yourself and your workplace.

It’s about being there during negotiations and Joint Consultative Meetings. Being a part of changes and consultation and helping to improve the working conditions of your colleagues. Helping to have the concerns of your workplace heard.

The difficulties are varied but again many of you have the same concerns. Lack of knowing who members are (we’ll get you all lists), not knowing the rights of a Delegate and what you can and cannot do, some said how to manage conflict between staff and management. We’ve included a link to the training needs analysis so MJ can work with you to provide the training you want and feel you need.

One of the main questions raised, was “what now?”

Now that the disability sector has been broken up into 13 different groups and we’ve had the first Disability Workplace Council meeting, you’ll need to organise employer-specific Workplace Group Meetings to formalise each structure.

What does that mean? We will assist you to work towards meetings within your organisation and areas, to meet with members and get the communication channels open.

It means you will need to discuss who will take on what jobs and roles to get the workplace groups active. You will need to talk to each other, communicate within the organisation’s delegate structures on what will work best for your Workplace Group and how to move forward.

Once the workplace groups are moving, the communications with other members, the meetings, the support from your peers will follow.

This has to start with you, the delegates and within the workplaces.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your Organiser or Industrial Officer.

And please fill out the training needs analysis.

In solidarity,