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Principles relating to workplace delegates

Please note - this is an archived publication.

Note: This attachment outlines the principles for workplace delegates which agencies are to follow and should be read in conjunction with Part 1.5 of the Supporting Guidance. Information on the provision of facilities by agencies during bargaining is provided at Attachment B.

The role of union workplace delegates and other elected union representatives is to be respected and facilitated.

Agencies and union workplace delegates must deal with each other in good faith.

In discharging their representative roles at the workplace level, the rights of union workplace delegates include but are not limited to:

  • the right to be treated fairly and to perform their role as workplace delegates without any discrimination in their employment;
  • recognition by the agency that endorsed workplace delegates speak on behalf of their members in the workplace;
  • the right to participate in collective bargaining on behalf of those whom they represent, as per the Fair Work Act
  • the right to reasonable paid time to provide information to and seek feedback from employees in the workplace on workplace relations matters at the agency during normal working hours;
  • the right to email employees in their workplace to provide information and seek feedback, subject to individual employees exercising a right to opt out';
  • undertaking their role and having union representation on an agency's workplace relations consultative committee;
  • reasonable access to agency facilities (including telephone, facsimile, photocopying, internet and email facilities, meeting rooms, lunch rooms, tea rooms and other areas where employees meet) for the purpose of carrying out work as a delegate and consulting with members and other interested employees and the union, subject to agency policies and protocols;
  • the right to address new employees about union membership at the time they enter employment;
  • the right to consultation, and access to relevant information about the workplace and the agency; and
  • the right to reasonable paid time to represent the interests of members to the employer and industrial tribunals.

In discharging any roles that may involve undertaking union business, the rights of union workplace delegates include but are not limited to:

  • reasonable paid time during normal working hours to consult with other delegates and union officials in the workplace, and receive advice and assistance from union staff and officials in the workplace;
  • reasonable access to appropriate training in workplace relations matters including training provided by a union;
  • reasonable paid time off to represent union members in the agency at relevant union forums.

In exercising their rights, workplace delegates and unions will consider operational issues, departmental policies and guidelines and the likely affect on the efficient operation of the agency and the provision of services by the Commonwealth.

For the avoidance of doubt, elected union representatives include APS employees elected to represent union members in representative forums, including, for example, CPSU Section Secretaries, Governing Councillors and Section Councillors, and APESMA Government Division Committee members.