Delegates do an amazing job every day, representing their co-workers and fighting for the rights of everyone in their workplace. They're a huge reason why being a union member is worth every cent. So, what do they get up to? Well, here's casino union delegate Matt Poynter:
"Sometimes, as a delegate, what starts as an ordinary shift can quickly turn into a pretty big day. But even if it’s a challenge, it’s always worthwhile. I had one of those shifts recently – here’s what happened...
"Around the middle of my shift a member requested me by name to represent them during a meeting with management – the issue was a breach of procedure. At first, it looked like the member was going to be written up a second time, but after discussing the issue with management it was decided that a simple reissue of their first written warning was a fair and just outcome.
"This was because we were able to argue that there are discrepancies in the protocols, policy and procedures of the Mahogany room, compared to that of premium and the main gaming floor – years as a delegate has taught me it’s always good to look at the whole job situation, not just the specific issue.
"Despite being a stressful scenario, due to it being my first VIP representation, the member and myself were really pleased with the outcome and I then returned to normal dealing duties.
"I was given an ‘Early Out’ at about 0130 and had clocked off, when a table games dealer (who was also a union member) grabbed me and said they needed a delegate urgently in a different part of the casino. This was another breach of procedure issue, but was more serious than before – the member thought it was potentially their third and final warning.
"During the meeting the member was asked by management if there was any external factors that may be impacting their ability to focus at work to which the member said ‘not really’. When the managers left the room to discuss their options as to what the outcome would be, exploring a tangent, I questioned what the member meant by ‘not really’. The member explained that there were exceptional, and quite significant, external circumstances which were impacting on their ability to focus.
"I urged the member to talk about this with management. Everyone needs to open up now and again about things which are affecting their mental health and well-being, even if that can be really scary, as it’s rarely obvious from the perspective of others. We then discussed, with management, the situation the member was going through. Management took a different approach on the issue and, I believe, it had a significant impact on the outcome.
Again, a fair and just outcome was achieved and assistance was also offered, from management to the member, to help cope with their situation.
"It was a big day, with two high stakes meetings, but I left work knowing I’d done some really great work for my co-workers (despite being off the clock for the second meeting), and, for me, there’s no better feeling than knowing you have helped out a fellow member and colleague.
"So if you’re not a member, I hope this shows just how much you can get out of joining. We are the union and we've got your back. Sign up here today.
"And, if you fancy getting a taste of what it’s like to be a delegate, just have a chat with your union representatives at work, or come and talk to me before/after work or on a break. We always need people to step up, and you won’t be thrown in at the deep end – there’s professional training and support available to all."
- Matt Poynter