Delegate Nomination FAQs

JUNE 2023

What is the role of a delegate in the workplace?

Delegates are members who formally nominate to represent other members in their Workplace Electorate. In taking on this role, they have access to additional industrial entitlements under the Award to support the performance of their delegate duties. These include the right to:

  • Access facilities in their workplace to carry out their delegates’ duties and access paid time off from normal duties to attend to delegates’ duties in their workplace (Clause 36 of the Public Service Award 1992 (WA))
  • Represent and advocate for other members in their workplace in significant matters including disciplinary and performance matters (Clause 36A of the Public Service Award 1992 (WA))
  • Access paid leave to attend to union business, including representing the union at industrial agreement negotiations, proceedings at an industrial tribunal, or meetings with a Minister or other representative of government (Clause 37 of the Public Service Award 1992 (WA))
  • Access up to five days of paid leave per year to attend union training (Clause 38 of the Public Service Award 1992 (WA))

As a leader in the workplace and our union, a union delegate works to protect and improve the working conditions of members. Delegates contribute to our union by representing members in difficult circumstances, recruiting new members, organising around key issues at a local level, and playing a role in successful campaigns to improve working conditions for all members.

Delegates and Deputy Delegates are protected by additional rights and entitlements under their relevant award and agreement. These enable them to advocate for members, attend official union meetings during work hours and participate in union business.

What is the difference between a Delegate and a Deputy Delegate?

Under Rule 17 of the Rules of the Civil Service Association of Western Australia, each workplace electorate may be represented by one Workplace Delegate and one Deputy Workplace Delegate. During an election period, where there are more than two members nominating for a workplace electorate and/or both members nominate to hold the Delegate role, a ballot of members will be conducted to elect representatives.

Outside an election period, the CPSU/CSA may ‘reconfigure’ the electorate to create more vacancies, thereby allowing more delegates to nominate to represent members in that workplace.

If there are two members nominating in your workplace electorate, consider who will be the primary Delegate and who will be the Deputy Delegate.

According to Rule 17(a)(3), a Deputy Delegate shall perform any and all of the duties and exercise the powers of the Delegate during the Delegate’s absence, un-availability or when the position of Delegate is vacant. However, in practice, most Delegates and Deputy Delegates participate equally in the duties of the role and share the workload.

What is a Workplace Electorate?

Delegates are elected to represent a group of members on delegate committees and other union forums. The group each Delegate represents is called a Workplace Electorate. Each Workplace Electorate is represented by a Delegate and Deputy Delegate. An electorate usually contains one or two worksites. Every member belongs to an electorate and has the right to vote for the people who represent them or stand for election themselves.

Workplace Electorates are made up of worksites. This is similar to an Electoral District being comprised of different suburbs in State elections. Worksites are more likely to match a physical place of work, but may also be a group of workers in a specific occupational division or team. Delegates represent a Workplace Electorate and may, therefore, represent members across a number of worksites and operational divisions within a Department or Agency.

Delegates are required to produce two endorsements from financial members within their Workplace Electorate to support their nomination.

How do I collect endorsements for my nomination?

Your nomination as a Delegate or Deputy Delegate must be supported by two endorsements from financial members within your Workplace Electorate. You may collect these endorsements by having the members sign a physical form (download here) or by collecting their endorsement in an email and forwarding this along with your nomination.

When you complete the nomination form you will be asked to provide the names of two endorsees, and upload evidence for each. In the case of an email endorsement we recommend saving the email chain that includes your request for endorsement (saves as a .eml format which can be opened in Microsoft Outlook or similar) or taking screenshots of the endorsement email (.png, .jpg. pdf).

How do I know who is in my Workplace Electorate?

Your Workplace Electorate is made up of worksites. Worksites are physical locations where members work or ‘work groups’ determined by a specific occupation or commonality e.g. a payroll team within a human resources electorate. Those you work closely with, either physically or in a shared team/division, are most likely in the same workplace electorate and worksite as you.

If there seems to be quite a few Delegates and Deputy Delegates within your workplace, it is likely that the workplace has been split up into multiple Workplaces Electorates to accommodate a greater number of delegates. Members will be distributed between the Electorates equally, matching the natural structure of the workplace as closely as possible. Larger departments and agencies often have Workplace Electorates for each floor or district office location. In these circumstances, there may be fewer members allocated to each Workplace Electorate than are physically present at the location, and therefore fewer members from whom you can seek and endorsement. Start with the members you work most closely with in your team or physical location.

Under the Privacy Act 1998 and the Australian Privacy Principles we are only able to provide current Delegates or Deputy Delegates with information about the members in their workplace electorate for the purpose of representation and carrying out union business in the workplace.

If your endorsees are not in the same workplace electorate as you, upon review of your nomination, union staff will contact you to help you obtain additional endorsements.

What if I don’t have two other members at my workplace?

Your workplace electorate may be bigger than your physical workplace (see above). If you have fewer than two other members in your physical workplace, submit your nomination with those members who are available. If your workplace electorate is larger and there are more members from whom endorsements may be collected a staff member will contact you to arrange securing the necessary endorsements from the broader membership group in your electorate.

If you are an existing delegate, we can provide you with a list of emails to reach out to members and gain additional endorsements yourself, or alternatively (for both existing and new delegates) we can email the members in your electorate seeking endorsements for you.

I have two endorsements, but my nomination has been sent back, why?

There are a number of reasons why your nomination may have been returned:

  • The details you provided may not match the details in our system e.g. you have moved jobs, locations or workplaces and this may not be up to date on the union system. This may mean you’re incorrectly allocated to a Workplace Electorate and so the endorsements you’ve acquired do not match what is in the system.
    • Firstly, a staff member will help you update your workplace details. We will then check if your endorsees are now correctly aligned within the electorate. If not:
      • If you are an existing delegate, we can provide you with a list of emails to reach out to other members and gain additional endorsements yourself, or alternatively (for both existing and new delegates) we can email the members in your electorate seeking endorsements for you.
  • One or both of the members who endorsed you may have missed some membership payments and fallen into unfinanciality. If this is the case a staff member will contact you to help you navigate seeking another endorsement and to assist the member/s who is unfinancial to settle their membership account.
  • The complex structure of government, union structural governance requirements, and the movement of members around the public sector, sometimes results in members who are physically located near you being allocated to another Workplace Electorate. In this instance:
    • If you are an existing delegate, we can provide you with a list of emails to reach out to other members and gain additional endorsements yourself, or alternatively (for both existing and new delegates) we can email the members in your electorate seeking endorsements for you.
    • If the member who endorsed you believes their workplace details are incorrect in our system they can contact the union to update their details. This update may move them into the correct/your workplace electorate and validate the endorsement. They can check which electorate they’re assigned to when they contact the union to update their details.