The Role of Job Representatives in an Organizing Strategy: The Case of the Australian Nursing Federation

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Bartram, Timothy, Stanton, Pauline and Elovaris, Lauren Michelle (2008) The Role of Job Representatives in an Organizing Strategy: The Case of the Australian Nursing Federation. Journal of Industrial Relations, 50 (1). pp. 25-44. ISSN 0022-1856


Based on a survey of Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) members, this article investigates why certain individuals become union representatives (job representatives), and others remain rank-and-file union members. This article argues that job representatives are a key component of an organizing strategy and have played a crucial role in membership growth of the ANF over the last decade. Logistic regression results indicate that union commitment, employer trust, intragroup identification and full-time employment are predictors of representative status. Results of a chi-square test indicate that job representatives have a higher probability of attempting to recruit relative to rank-and-file members. Open-ended questions reveal that nearly 50 percent of rank-and-file members would be willingto become job representatives should they be given more time or reduced working hours, more training or knowledge of responsibilities, or rewards. These findings have implications for ANF organizing strategies and other Australian trade unions in the current climate of industrial relations reform and union density decline.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Historical > FOR Classification > 1801 Law
Keywords ResPubID16833,delegates, organizing, trade unions
Citations in Scopus 5 - View on Scopus
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