When I'm at work: Working on a committee - Learner's workbook
- Topic 1 - What is a committee?
- Topic 2 - Why do we have workplace committees?
- Topic 3 - How are workplace committees chosen?
- Topic 4 - What roles are there on workplace committees?
- Topic 5 - What does it mean to represent other people?
- Topic 6 - What happens during committee meetings?
- Topic 7 - Who can you talk to about getting the skills to be a committee member?
- Key resources
Topic 2 - Why do we have workplace committees?
What you will need
You will need:
- this workbook
- something to write with
- to be ready to be involved in an activity.
Watch the slides carefully. They will tell you what this topic is about. The slides are about the information in the boxes. Your trainer will talk with you about this information.
Why do we have workplace committees?
There are four common reasons for having committees.
1. Sharing the workload
Working as a group shares the workload or leads to better ideas. When there is a large task to be done, having a group working on things is better than leaving it to one person.
Some examples of workplace committees include:
- a social committee to organise social activities
- a training committee to help the training manager with deciding which training is best for the workplace
- an events committee to work on quality in the workplace.
2. It's the law
The Australian Government has rules about what makes a good service. These rules are called the Disability Services Standards. They help to make sure that your workplace gives you quality service. Quality service includes having your say at work. Working on a committee is one way that you can have your say at work.
Some committees are formed because a law or rule says that the workplace has to have these committees. For example, OH&S legislation requires the workplace to have a safety committee. An industrial award may require a workplace committee to talk about changes to working conditions.
3. Encouraging workers to have a say
Hearing the views of workers is a way that management will know what needs to change or improve in the workplace.
Disability Services Standard 3 is all about having your say. Your workplace has to give you choice and has to listen to you about:
- the kind of work you want to do
- how your workplace can do things better.
4. Ideas for the workplace and the workers
Workers know what is happening in their work areas and have ideas about how to make things better. A committee gives workers an opportunity to talk with other workers and their supervisors about issues and ideas in the workplace.
This all contributes to making a more productive, happy, and safe workplace.
Now watch and listen to the pool table story.
The social club received a letter at its monthly meeting from Joe, Ross and Alf.
The letter said, 'We are really cross and don't want to pay any more money to the social club because we haven't been able to play pool at lunchtime for four weeks. It seems to be always the same blokes who get the table and hog it with their mates. This isn't fair because we helped pay for this table as much as they did and we don't get a chance to play pool.'
The social club committee discuss the letter. What can the committee do to solve the problem?
Pretend that you and your group are the social club committee. Discuss the letter, and talk about how you would solve this problem. Tell your trainer about what you decided. Your trainer will help you with this activity.
1. How have you helped to solve the pool table problem?
2. Who have you helped?
3. How will you get back to the people who wrote the letter to let them know what you have done about their complaint?
4. Why do you think it is important to have a committee like this one?
Your trainer will give you a copy of the Disability Services Standards. Find Standard 3. What is Standard 3 all about?
How can having your say at work make the workplace better for everyone?
What do you think would make your workplace better?