Over February and March, ANMF (Vic Branch) held our 2023 regional and metropolitan forums for Job Reps and Health and Safety Reps (HSRs).
These annual forums are important occasions for Job Reps and HSRs, with elected officers – Branch Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick or Assistant Secretaries Paul Gilbert or Madeleine Harradence – attending to provide updates from the Branch and to answer questions.
Organisers, industrial officers and other professional and OHS staff from the Branch also attended to give an overview of their work.
This year was particularly important, as we focus on finalising the public sector log of claims in preparation for negotiations for the next EBA to commence towards the end of the year. Reps attending showed strong interest, and asked many questions about the process and sought tips for drafting motions for the upcoming Delegates Conference.
In total, 132 Job Reps attended 11 seminars across eight regional locations, as well as one in Dandenong and two in the Melbourne CBD. We also had 17 Health and Safety Reps attend, and 26 members who are both a Health and Safety Rep and a Job Rep. Overall, this number was a small increase on total attendance numbers in 2022 – a positive sign following the disruptions of last year.
The general mood in the rooms across the state was upbeat, with Reps greatly appreciating the opportunity to catch up with elected officials, as well as the social and networking opportunities with fellow Reps, after the past few years of COVID interruptions. We were also pleased to welcome a number of new Job Reps who were attending their first ever forum, and were made to feel welcome by their colleagues and Branch staff.
Feedback from the seminars suggests our Reps were particularly interested in information about the rostering project as well as workforce shortages across the board. They also displayed a keen interest in the accommodation member benefit, as well as information provided by Gordon Legal representatives about the range of legal services available to ANMF members.
These Reps will now take this information and more back to their workplaces to share with their colleagues.