Delegate Spotlight: Alex Michaels

  • Published June 15, 2022

What inspired you to become an HSU delegate?

I was inspired to build bridges between the union members and get people to start working together more, since I believe very strongly that collective action is the way that union members are able to achieve positive outcomes.

What are some of the things delegates do day-to-day?

Once you have a good idea of mapping out your workplace, the day-to-day is mostly communication. If a campaign is going, everyone needs to know, everyone needs to be discussing it, and everyone including non-members need to know what the union members are fighting for. When people approach you for help, it’s a good idea to try and involve others who have the same problem, because a group of union members led by an active delegate bringing an issue forward are more likely to not just get it fixed, but to prevent it from happening as often.

What are we campaigning for in private pathology?

We are negotiating our new EBA and union members are campaigning for a pay rise that reflects our contribution to society. It’s unfair that these companies profited so greatly during the pandemic and are trying to lowball the workers who made that possible, and it’s unfair to abandon us when inflation and cost of living are rising. We were underpaid even before the pandemic and we deserve better.

How can workers in private pathology get more involved in the HSU?

If you aren’t a member, then join! If you’re a member, contact your organiser and try to find your local delegates and activists. Once you know some people who are also in the union and know about the active campaigns, discuss things at work! Safety hazards, pay issues, unfair practices, everything – it all needs to be out in the open. Once you are part of the group who are aware of the issues, then you can work out plans of addressing them through the union, alongside your fellow union members. This is how change happens, and the most important thing is to realise that things can actually change for the better!