Why Join your Union?

Being a union member protects you at work

·     Being a union member gives you a say
·     Strength in numbers
·     Making workplaces better
·     The union is here to help you
·     Being a union member saves you money
·     The union drives significant improvements in workers’ conditions

Being a union member protects you at work

If you had an expensive car, would you insure it? Do you insure your house or other possessions?  Do you ever think of taking out medical insurance?

Union membership is similar to insurance. It’s a way of making your job as safe as possible. It means you always have someone to call if you can’t get the info you need out of your Human Resources Department (if you have one).

Someone to ask if you’re in a spot of bother, there’s talk of redundancies, or you’re worried you’re not being paid properly.  And because the union knows what happens across many workplaces, we can tell you what’s a reasonable standard for workplaces like yours.

We’re experts in working conditions – and we can help you with yours.

Being a union member gives you a say

Industrial awards and enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) are negotiated by the union on your behalf.  This work is paid for by members, and members get a say in what is negotiated for your workplace.  So if you’re a member, you get a say.

Under Australian law, you have a right to be a union member, and you must not be discriminated against for being a member. So, given that membership protects you and gives you a say, why not be part of it?

There’s strength in numbers

There is clear evidence across many industries that the more union members there are, the better the pay and conditions.  Amongst teachers for example, the highest level of union membership (about 90 per cent) is found in Queensland.  It’s no coincidence that Queensland teachers have the highest rates of pay of any teachers in Australia.

The union is here to help you

As a member, you can call your union at any time to get advice on employment issues. You might want to know how to lodge a grievance, if your pay rate is correct or which award you’re covered by.

Or you might want to know what sick leave or compassionate leave entitlements you have, or whether you’re entitled to overtime.
Sometimes you might need help with something more serious, like redundancy or retrenchment, a grievance, workers compensation or unfair dismissal.

The union’s staff are experts in these areas. We can talk by phone, communicate by email, or meet in person if it is necessary.   If an issue gets really serious, the union may also agree to represent you in a formal industrial hearing.

What other services does the CWU provide?

In addition to industrial representation, the CEPU also offers its members a range of additional services and benefits.  These include:
·    Discount legal services;
·    Advice on your work entitlements and industrial laws;
·    Representation and advice on the negotiation of awards, certified agreements, individual grievances and contracts;
·    Acting on your behalf as bargaining agents if you are faced with individual contracts (Australian Workplace Agreements);
·    Free financial advice from Financial Specialists
·    Free “will” service through our Law Firm
·    Low-rate Home Loans through Credit Union Australia
·    Funeral Benefits Scheme through Sureplan
·    Up-to-date information on what’s happening in the communications industry;
·    Health and safety advice

The union drives significant improvements in workers’ conditions

Throughout history, all major positive changes to employment conditions have been as a result of union action.  These include:

·    The right of workers to form a union which elects its own independent representatives
·    Awards to ensure that employers observe minimum wages and working conditions
·    Minimum wage
·    Equal pay
·    Long service leave
·    Pay loading for evenings, nights and weekends
·    Paid public holidays
·    Periodic wage increases
·    Maternity/adoption/parental leave
·    Annual leave and leave loading
·    Protective clothing and equipment provided by the employer
·    Occupational health and safety laws
·    Compensation for injury
·    Occupational superannuation
·    The right to be given notice and to be consulted about changes at work (new technology, planned retrenchments, new working arrangements)
·    Personal carer’s leave.

How Do I Join

You can join by filling out a membership application form and returning it to the union.  These are available on this website or at your local Branch Office.