Trade Union Official


Trade union officials work to maintain and improve the wages, conditions and employment opportunities of workers in particular occupations or industries. In some unions, trade union officials are elected from the union's membership, but in others they are appointed to paid positions.

Duties & Tasks

Trade union officials may perform the following tasks:

  • represent members in negotiations with management over workplace issues
  • visit places of work where members of the union are employed to check on working conditions and to identify other industrial relations issues
  • handle complaints and disputes on the job
  • check employees' time and wage records (kept by employers) to ensure employees are being paid the correct wages
  • ensure safety rules and regulations are observed in the workplace and advise employers of possible breaches
  • recruit new members and make sure that current members are up to date with payment of their union fees and kept informed of union activities
  • draft applications for award variations and, through research and inspections, collect evidence and prepare submissions in support of claims
  • represent the union at conferences and in negotiations (may include acting as the union's representative or advocate before industrial courts or tribunals)
  • assist with managing the finances of the union.

Personal Requirements

  • interested in trade union activities
  • good negotiation and communication skills
  • able to deal with employers and workers at all levels
  • able to stay calm in difficult situations and handle controversial and emotional issues objectively and analytically.

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