The 3rd and 4th Quarterly workshops for Workers’ Rights Advocates (WRA), 28.-29.10.2021
The third and fourth workshops for Workers’ Rights Advocates (WRA) were held on October 28 and 29 at the International Hotel in Zagreb. The theme of the first day was stress, and of the second was cooperation. The workshops were attended by 12 participants – union commissioners and active members of SMH-IS, who should apply these skills in further union work – both with members and with the employer and in internal union structures. The program was led by Paula Zora, psychotherapist and Sunčica Brnardić, SSSH advisor for labor and social law.
The goal of the stress management workshop was to raise awareness and capacity for participants to identify stressful situations, and then the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that accompany them, all with the aim of working on their transformation, for more successful union work and personal satisfaction and development. The workshop consisted of a short introductory lecture and exercises through which participants learned stress coping techniques – relaxation techniques, thought transformation, and creating a self-care plan. Special emphasis was placed on unconstructive ways of dealing with stress, as well as on the problem of burnout, ie burnout as a consequence of long-term exposure to stress, especially characteristic of active and supportive work. The last part of the workshop dealt in more detail with stress in trade union work – participants dealt with sources of stress in working with members, the employer and the trade union committee, and applied what they had learned for safer and easier management of processes and situations in the future. The last exercise also served as an introduction to the next day and the topic of cooperation.
The 4th day of training was dedicated to learning collaboration skills, organizational skills and group work skills. Through exercises, the participant mastered the skills of facilitation, problem solving and constructive group work creation. As a basis, in the first part, the participant was introduced to the questionnaire Work tailored to man as an innovative way of dialogue with the employer as part of trade union work and through that reminded the concept of decent work. We also discussed different leadership styles, and very specific techniques for organizing and conducting meetings, decision-making and evaluation of what had been achieved, with special emphasis on the adoption of strategic thinking and the integration of strategic orientation into work. The last day was marked by the summing up of the entire cycle of workshops and the distribution of diplomas for successfully completed education. Participants expressed their satisfaction with participating in the cycle of workshops, and the importance of such trainings for the perception of everyday union activities in a different context.