Every worker deserves a safe and respectful working environment.
No matter your workplace issue, there is support available for you. The best thing you can do for your rights and safety at work is join your union.
A union is a collective of workers, who work together towards shared goals.
We are the "organised" working class; together we take action to address problems of social and economic injustice.
On a day-to-day basis, that means workers at a particular business might be organising to negotiate a fairer wage, better working hours and conditions, or to address a safety issue at work. Workers in union demand respect for our work and we exercise power as workers within each of our industries.
Together we also campaign for broader social issues like:
- quality education, accessible to everyone
- healthcare for everyone, regardless of your bank balance
- green spaces like parks and gardens, and the preservation of heritage and environment
- a social safety net to eliminate poverty
- a say for everyone at all levels of government - removing the barriers to working-class participation in decision-making
- the elimination of sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and all other hatreds and structural injustice
Being union is about participating in the creation of a better world.
As individuals, union members also benefit from the legal and industrial support of our collective. Experienced union officials and legal teams support members to address workplace issues such as bullying, wage theft, unfair dismissal, safety concerns, discrimination, redundancy, and many others.
Having the support of your union, and being a support for your coworkers, means you'll enjoy a safer, more rewarding work life no matter what your chosen career. Join your union here.
Awards & Enterprise Bargaining
In every industry, the "Award" sets out the minimum legal workplace conditions and pay.
Use this pay calculator tool to find out if you are being paid at least the minimum you are entitled to.
But these minimum standards are just a starting point for negotiations between workers and businesses - they're not the conditions you should settle for! By joining in union with your coworkers, you can choose to engage in "Enterprise Bargaining". If your coworkers have already organised in union, you may already be employed under an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. These agreements, negotiated by workers in union, will set out minimum pay and conditions for your specific workplace, and typically improve significantly on the conditions in the Industry Award.
In other words, it pays to be union.
About the NES
The National Employment Standards (NES) are 11 minimum employment entitlements that have to be provided to all employees in Australia.
The 11 minimum entitlements of the NES are:
- Maximum weekly hours
- Requests for flexible working arrangements
- Offers and requests to convert from casual to permanent employment
- Parental leave and related entitlements
- Annual leave
- Personal/carer's leave, compassionate leave and unpaid family and domestic violence leave
- Community service leave
- Long service leave
- Public holidays
- Notice of termination and redundancy pay
- Fair Work Information Statement and Casual Employment Information Statement
Employers have to give every new employee a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement (the FWIS) when they start their new job. Employers also have to give every new casual employee a copy of the Casual Employment Information Statement (the CEIS) at the same time.
Safety at Work
Organised workplaces are safer workplaces.
Workers should have a powerful voice regarding our occupational health and safety and any changes that affect our work. To that end, every worker should work in union to elect a Health and Safety Representative (HSR).
Elected and trained HSRs have significant powers under the Victorian OHS Act. Find out more at OHS Rep, our dedicated website for Occupational Health and Safety advice, support, and training.