Become a Workplace Delegate
The first thing you’ll need to do is have an election at your workplace. You can download the new delegate form (PDF, 82KB), get it completed and send it back. All elected delegates are able to receive training. For more information see:
Becoming an NZNO Delegate (PDF, 51KB)
NZNO Delegate job description (PDF, 113KB)
What being a delegate means
The role of the delegate is key to NZNO’s success, whether you represent NZNO, Te Runanga, students or a college or section.
Your job involves leading, listening, communicating, problem solving, negotiating, recruiting, advising, mentoring and educating.
It’s a challenging job. To do it well you need support from NZNO staff and other delegates, but it is you who decides what is realistic. Set yourself up to succeed and decide how you want to take on the delegate’s role and responsibilities.
NZNO’s delegate training programme is based on the organising approach. It is designed to give delegates the tools and confidence to organise their workplaces. You are required to attend training as part of your delegate’s role.
Through the NZCTU, NZNO has access to advanced delegate training for those who want to further their involvement in the wider union movement.
The key to being a delegate is building strength in your workplace. You are not alone. Your workmates, NZNO members and delegates in other workplaces are also working towards this aim, together.
Your aim as a delegate
As you represent all your members, it is important to represent the views of the majority and not just your own views. Always aim to involve other members to take responsibility for NZNO at work.
You have the right to represent NZNO. You have been elected as a delegate to protect the rights of all members and ensure that your collective agreement is upheld.
Your employer cannot choose to work with some delegates and not others. Members choose their delegates, not the employer.
You have the right to recruit new members and activists. Signing up new members is a big part of being a union delegate. We know that your workmates are more likely to join NZNO if you ask them.
You have the right to organise your co-workers and they have the right to show support for NZNO. Unless there is a specific dress code clause in your agreement, that support can be shown by wearing badges etc.
You have the right to be consulted if the employer is considering making changes in the workplace affecting members’ jobs or income. Ideally you should be consulted first to enable you time to come to a position on the changes and how they affect members.
You should be able to discuss change with your employer and members as you may come up with better ideas. After all, it is the members who do the job and are therefore more likely to see ways that the work can or can’t be done differently.
You have the right to distribute information. Use whatever means is appropriate to do this. You may wish to talk with people, you may be able to secure a NZNO slot on the agenda of the weekly staff meeting, produce a simple newsletter or use a special NZNO notice board. You could make use of special NZNO folders or communication books.
You have the right to represent members and raise issues with the employer to reach solutions.