April 8, 2019 News

Yes it does pay to be an SDA member. Listed below are two examples where two members sought the guidance and assistance of the union and were delighted with the result.

Callum – Core hours increased from 12 to 25 hours

The facts:

  • Callum was employed as a 12 hour part-time employee at the point of engagement.
  • Callum works for a large employer.
  • There is a specific clause in the Enterprise Agreement which states that core hours can be increased if the part-time employee has volunteered to work additional hours over a 12 month period.
  • The additional hours averaged an extra 13 hours per week over the 12 month period.
  • Callum raised the matter with store management and was offered a new contract with the base increasing from 12 to 15 hours per week.
  • Callum was not happy with the company’s response.
  • As per the grievance procedure, Callum enlisted the aid of his Shop Steward.
  • She provided tremendous support to the member. She checked with her SDA Organiser, clarified the facts and she jointly spoke to the store manager with the member.
  • The company kept to their original offer.
  • The Shop Steward spoke to her Organiser who then spoke to an SDA Industrial Officer.
  • The Industrial Officer became involved in the grievance with the Organiser and the issue was pursued with head office as per the grievance procedure.
  • After two meetings, Callum’s core hours were increased to 25 hours and received 3 x 13 hours backpay for the three weeks it took to resolve the issue.
  • Importantly, the member and his Shop Steward are ‘stoked’ they pursued the matter through the different stages of the grievance procedure.

More importantly, the member has a far better chance of paying his bills and is rapt he joined the union. He is very happy working for the company, loves his job and has a continual smile on his face.

Jennifer received $14,000 in entitlements

The facts:

  • 27 year old Jennifer has been an SDA member for 6 years.
  • Hadn’t needed to contact the union until she had a problem with her WorkCover claim.
  • The company stood her down and considered terminating her after her WorkCover case was closed because she had a permanent impairment and couldn’t do the inherent requirements of the job.
  • Jennifer contacted the union office and was subsequently referred to our WorkCover lawyers for a Review of the WorkCover case being closed.
  • Jennifer was then given a further two weeks to provide any further information to provide a full clearance or she would be terminated.
  • We argued that she could perform light duties and should be returned to work.
  • However, Jennifer was also pregnant and she had a pregnancy-related illness.
  • Jennifer obtained a medical certificate and subsequently applied for special maternity leave.
  • Jennifer’s anniversary date ticked over and she was then able to access additional personal leave.
  • Jennifer then still received the one-off payment after her Enterprise Agreement was approved by the Fair Work Commission because she was still employed.
  • Jennifer was still eligible for the paid maternity leave payment from the company and government.
  • Jennifer received additional superannuation payments as well.
  • Jennifer, instead of being terminated has her job protected due to the right to return to the pre-pregnancy job after maternity leave.
  • Jennifer received all her advice, assistance and legal advice FREE of charge.

Very smart work colleagues

Callum and Jennifer were encouraged to join the union by their work colleagues. Both members are so glad they did! They have now become strong advocates of the SDA and have been more than happy to encourage the non-members in their workplaces to join the SDA. After all, the more members we have, the stronger we all become.