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From fire extinguisher to connecting link

It was an ambition to make a difference for her colleagues that motivated Tine Rytter to run for union representative. The idea came up during a period where the workplace was characterised by changes and replacements. Tine wanted to be an extra resource and support for the department in that process.

21. Sep 2021
2 min

“At the time, I probably thought that union representatives were primarily the kind of people who come onto the field when things are hot. I think many people have that perception, but really it is about ensuring coherence and community in the workplace on a daily and continuous basis.”

Therefore, Tine’s focus changed quite quickly from the idea of being a fire extinguisher to being a connecting link and a messenger who helps ensure job satisfaction in daily life. It also means that she works with her management and not against it.

“The goal is to create coherence, unity and community all around, and not for it to be us against the management.”

Therefore, it is also a prerequisite that the management wants to cooperate and that you as a union representative are not viewed as a necessary evil.

The importance of making each other better

“I am seen as a sparring partner who can motivate colleagues and contribute to their development. This requires me to have the confidentiality of my managers and vice versa, because when my manager involves me, it also makes it much easier for me to get my colleagues on board. This way, we can play off each other well.”

Targeted communication is another important part of the role as a union representative, Tine emphasises, because the task is often to convey a message.

“It is important that others understand the message the same way you understand it. You learn that in training, and I have become much more aware of that.”

With the training and experience as a union representative, Tine has become a better judge of character and has also gained a greater business understanding, because she has become better acquainted with the company and the organisation.

“These are things I can draw on in my daily work, so we need to get rid of the perception that being a union representative has to do with the slightly negative idea of conflict and barricades. Because in reality it is about development, job satisfaction and community.”

About Tine Rytter

Tine Rytter is a Senior Private Adviser at Nykredit in Odense. She is 42 years old, has been a union representative for three years, and is currently the area representative in the Region of Southern Denmark.

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