Industrial Assistance Policy
Union members receive industrial advice and assistance on individual industrial matters from experienced industrial staff.
The union understands there are occasions where members will require ongoing advice or assistance. In these instances, we would advise members to complete an Industrial Assistance Form. These administrative forms are necessary to ensure that accurate and relevant advice and assistance can be provided to all members who need it as efficiently as possible.
Completion of the Industrial Assistance Form allows the member to provide all of the relevant details of their workplace issue, as well as relevant documentation, to a member of the union’s industrial staff. Relevant documents may include correspondence from their employer regarding discipline or warnings, policies relating to their issue, or medical certificates.
Providing sufficient information on your issue and supporting documentation allows our industrial staff to provide the member with advice and assistance that is both timely and accurate.
After receipt of your form, you will be contacted by a member of your union’s industrial staff within four working days. If your matter is urgent, or you have a meeting date or deadline approaching, please complete the section on the form marked “Have you got an urgent meeting date/deadline about this issue? If so when?” This will allow for every effort to be made to assign your matter to an industrial officer as quickly as possible.
Your Union’s industrial staff specialise in advising and assisting members in relation to a range on workplace issues which include:
• Workplace Complaints
• Disciplinary processes
• Workplace harassment
• Access to entitlements
• Performance review processes
• Workplace injuries and illness
• Rehabilitation and return to work
• Workplace health and safety
• Other industrial matters
In response to members’ needs to be provided with advice and assistance as efficiently and effectively as possible, industrial officers use phone or email for initial response or contact with members.
Industrial officers provide advice and assistance to members to enable them to resolve their own workplace issues at the local level where possible. Ordinarily, industrial officers would not attend routine work meetings or interim reviews in performance improvement processes. A workplace delegate may assist by attending these meetings with you.
Industrial officers may appear on behalf of members in a range of Tribunals and Commissions where we have jurisdiction (advice only will be provided in promotions appeals).
Appearances by an industrial officer in a Tribunal or Commission requires the prior approval of the Director, Member Support. In making such a determination the Director will consider such factors as the outcomes which may realistically be achieved for the member/s; the industrial interests of affected members; and the resources required to pursue the matter.
Resolution of a matter
Once an industrial officer is assigned to a matter, they will, where possible, see the matter through to its final resolution.
At all times, the industrial officer will provide confidential advice on the prospects of successful resolution. In some limited circumstances, the union office may be unable to provide further assistance on a matter. If this situation arises, the industrial officer will advise the member of alternative options.
Your Union’s industrial staff provide quality industrial advice about workplace related issues. They do not provide legal advice.
As a union member, you can access free or discounted legal advice from preferred providers.
Please be aware that it is your choice as to whether your lawyer or your union’s industrial staff act as your representative with your employer, you cannot have two representatives for the same matter with your employer. This avoids possible conflicts.
Conflicts of interest
Union members, irrespective of which employer they work for, what work they do or where they are across the state, are all entitled to industrial advice and assistance. Occasionally, your union is called upon to assist members who are seeking a resolution to a matter which may be different to the resolution sought by other members involved in the matter.
In this circumstance, separate industrial staff will provide advice and assistance to each member involved, and respect each member’s confidentiality.
Members who are experiencing issues in their workplace which pre-date their union membership, or whose membership had lapsed at the time the issue arose, will only be eligible for advice by phone or email. Where possible advice will be provided as to how members can progress or seek resolution to their matter.
A positive collaborative approach facilitates communication between members and Union staff. Union staff will treat all members with dignity and respect, likewise, union staff expect to be treated with dignity and respect by members. Abusive, hostile or threatening behaviour towards union staff will not be tolerated, nor will sexual harassment of Union staff. Industrial assistance for a member may be withdrawn if it is considered the member’s conduct towards a Union staff person is inappropriate.
Complaints in relation to industrial assistance
Our union takes its commitment to providing quality service to members very seriously and therefore has a mechanism for resolving situations where members may be dissatisfied with the industrial assistance they have received.
When members have issues with the service provided to them in dealing with their union office then they can fill in a Referral Form that will be directed to the Secretary of the union for review.
If the response to your complaint does not resolve your concerns then you can find out further information via the 'Union Ombudsman' page.