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What the Union says the Union does

I remember using this comment many years ago, the HR Lady was unimpressed with something we were fighting, I was of the opinion that this thing wasn’t worth fighting , but at the time our depot was militant and as the youngest most inexperienced union rep in the place, virtually shoved into the position Wide eyed, keen as mustard, wanting to understand the workings of the organisation.

Anyway, I was telling her While I don’t agree with the fight as the representative I am compelled to accept the vote of my members as my own opinion when it comes to negotiation, a place  where ‘I’ becomes “We” in every statement…..

It wasn’t long after that that I became disenchanted with the whole deal, the feeling of hitting my head against a wall or going in circles every week/month  got a little much I pulled out, various others have done the job since then, now the current Rep is backing away again, he was the rep when I took over, he’s not very good at it he cares enough to go to meetings and ask questions but well isn’t that into it at least not any more

So Friday afternoon,  I’m asked Can you go to a union meeting the usual bloke is in Queensland and won’t be back till the afternoon of the meeting

*sigh*

anyway the meeting happened I went along, dutifully taking notes, throwing the odd question in where appropriate, coffee was served as were cakes, I spoke to some ladies from HR division and Industrial relations during the break, they were rather chirpy, I wish I took notes on who was who but well I need to learn short hand for such things because I can’t write that fast

the after meeting, just reps from the depots plans were discussed, argument brought about until we were in agreement of what to take back and how to report it to the members, strangely  I feel myself falling back into the old role, the laws have changed a lot. I’m not up to date exactly but I still understand the basic legal requirements enough to hold a position in a room full of delegates

and so I find myself in that awkward position as a person who knows a lot about what’s going on, who hates public speaking having to stand in front of my colleagues and talk about unpopular decisions….. *GULP* …. I so prefer to get little groups together first and have intimate chats getting to know the feeling  before having a big meeting and getting everyone on the same page, knowing what the questions will be and how to answer them …. the hardest thing is answering an in depth question with “I don’t know” after shaking through a presentation that isn’t yours

Suddenly I remember why I gave it away, and I fear I may be sliding back into it ….. at least it gives me a chance to know what’s going on in the world

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2 thoughts on “What the Union says the Union does

  1. thanks Sharon,
    I’ve done it before, I have no issue with putting the biggest bosses in their place in table meetings but holding presentations, I’m not so good at, Luckily this one wasn’t done on my own the Fitter Rep started it off I threw things at him as he ran out of things to say and provided simplified explanations from my notes where required

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