Your union, working for you
By State Secretary, Chris Gazenbeek
It is pleasing to report that an increasing number of members are learning more about their rights and entitlements. After all, knowledge is power!
Some interesting facts and figures from 1 September 2016 to 31 August 2017:
- Over 18,300 calls and emails were made to the union’s Information Officers. EBA entitlements, roster enquiries, workers’ compensation, working conditions, public holidays and personal/sick leave were significant issues affecting our members. Of course, this does not include the thousands of questions asked of SDA Shop Stewards, Delegates and Organisers every day of the week.
- Our legally trained Industrial Officers opened and dealt with approximately 335 matters for members. These matters include unfair dismissals, unpaid wages, rostering issues, warnings/counselling, bullying/harassment, leave entitlements and redundancy. These numbers do not include the general telephone and email advice given to thousands of members.
- Both our two websites namely www.sdaq.asn.au and www.sdaq.asn.au/ourratesourrights has had increasing traffic throughout 2017. The websites contain information about the SDA, information about specific EBAs and up to date information on our state and national campaigns. Once again, the www.sdaq.asn.au/ourratesourrights website will be an important source of information during the Woolworths and Coles DCs EBA negotiations in 2018.
- Our lawyers report that they have settled approximately 16 workers’ compensation Common Law claims for SDA members in the past 12 months for a total compensation amount of over $1,100,000. These members are so happy they were/are SDA members because of the support received from the union. In fact, the SDA is the only union in Queensland that pays for legal opinions and representation in these matters.
- Throughout 2017, we have increased our communication to our members by emailing or texting them on a wide variety of issues. We send out site specific, company specific and general emails. This medium of communication has proved very popular with members. Furthermore, members are encouraged to notify the union office if they change their details.
- Our Facebook page @ChrisGazenbeekSDA continues to grow in popularity. We currently have 1000 followers, which is growing rapidly, and allowing us to contact our members through a different platform.
- Also, the SDA’s Accident Insurance Policy continues to assist members in their time of need. The total amount of claims for the financial year ended 30 June 2017 was $282,225.00. Total claims for July and August 2017 have amounted to $13,050.00.
- Throughout 2017, our benefits and discounts were well received by the membership. We sold 1800 tickets to our Family Footy Night and almost 1500 members attended our movie nights. Also, we provided over $172,000 to our members for their education needs. Our annual footy and netball competitions continue to be popular after 25 years and we will launch the competition once again in early 2018.
I encourage all members to learn more about their rights and entitlements in 2018. If you are unsure about your rights or entitlements, speak to your trained SDA Shop Steward or Delegate. Have a chat with your SDA Organiser when they visit your workplace. Ring or email the union office. Learn more about the many services which the SDA offers. Save money by using them. Read the SDA bulletins, emails or texts. Visit our websites. Go to our Facebook page @ChrisGazenbeekSDA. Join the official SDA Members Facebook Group. Follow us on Instagram SDA.Queensland.