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When I'm at work: Working on a committee - Trainer's guide


Topic 2 - Why do we have workplace committees?

What you will need

You will need:

It is vital that everyone's viewpoints are valued and comments are allowed to be made in an open discussion. You will need to focus on issues relating to the learning objectives of the topic.

Note: Text in boxes replicates the information in the learner's workbook.

You should be familiar with the Disability Services Standards, particularly Standard 3 that concerns decision making and choice.

What learners will need

Learners will need:

Learning objectives

After taking part in this topic, learners should be able to describe:

Delivering the topic

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Why do we have workplace committees?

It is important that learners are aware of the range of reasons why committees are formed.

Prepare a sheet of butcher's paper with the heading Why do we have workplace committees? Encourage learners to tell you why we have workplace committees. List their responses.

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Summarise the information gathered by highlighting the four common reasons for having workplace committees.

Discuss the following with learners.

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:

Ask learners if they can think of something that a group could do better than one person.

Discuss the following with learners.

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 a 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.

Ask learners how important they think it is for their workplace to do what these laws say.

Ask learners how they think that will help their workplace.

Discuss the following with learners.

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:

Ask learners the following questions to consolidate the discussion.

Discuss the following with learners.

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 in the workplace.

This all contributes to making a more productive, happy and safe workplace.

Ask learners:

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Focus questions

Summarise the previous discussion by asking learners the following focus questions and discussing their responses.

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Listen to the pool table story.

The pool table story

The pool table

The social club committee 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 discusses the letter. What can the committee do to solve this problem?

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Before discussing the questions about the pool table with learners, engage learners in a role play of the pool table story, where they play the roles of the social club committee members. Ask them to discuss the letter, find a range of solutions and present their solutions to you. Now ask learners to record what they did to solve the problem in their workbooks. For help with conducting role plays, refer to the Training and Assessing resource.

Questions for discussion

Discuss the questions about the pool table story with learners. Encourage them to record their responses to the questions in their workbooks in the spaces provided.

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Debrief the topic by leading learners through the following activites. They highlight the issues that this topic has raised in relation to working on a committee and reinforce the focus questions.

After you have discussed the workbook activities with learners, ask learners to write their responses in their workbooks in the spaces provided. Responses can be made in any format, for example, in writing or in pictorial form. Learners are free to express themselves in whatever ways they want to.

Explain to learners that the workbooks are their own records of the information that they need in relation to working on a committee. There is no compulsion for learners to provide their own responses if it is not appropriate to do so.

Workbook activities

Distribute copies of the Disability Services Standards and Quality Assurance booklets in Easy English (refer to FaHCSIA's 'Information kit for Disability Employment Services' or access a copy on the Internet at:

Ask learners to find Standard 3, and talk about what Standard 3 means in relation to them having their say at work.

Talk about working on a committee as being a way that learners can have their say at work, and relate this to the workplace giving them choice and contributing to a better quality service.

Talk to learners about how they can have a say even if they are not on a committee.

Ask learners what they think would make their workplace a better place to work in.

Remind learners that workplace committees:

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