ABOUT UNIONS TASMANIA

We are the peak body for unions here in Tasmania as well as the local branch of the ACTU. We represent around fifty thousand union members, across the private and public sectors. No matter your occupation or profession, there is a union for you in Tasmania. 

The Tasmanian union movement works every day towards building a better society for everyone. We believe that workers and their families are entitled to live in a decent and civil society that values fairness and equality – where everyone is afforded the opportunity to succeed.

We campaign in workplaces, in the community and in the political and political arena to affect change that raises the living standards of workers and their families. We campaign for rights at work, for decent pay, for positive social change and for workplace health and safety.

My vision for the union movement is that we are united and growing so that workers have the collective power to win on the issues that matter to them. We aim to lift the profile of unions in Tasmania so that we are a movement our members are proud of and a movement that potential members want to join.

Jessica Munday
Secretary

 10 GOOD REASONS TO JOIN A UNION

  1. People who belong to unions have better wages and conditions than non-union members: - Did you know that union members on average earn 15% more than non-union members!
  2. Unionised workplaces have better health and safety conditions and are more likely to elect representatives who are then legally entitled to monitor health and safety at work.
  3. Unions have a long and proud history of defending the rights of working women, part timers and casuals. It is much more difficult for employers to discriminate against women union members who are aware of their rights. Anti-discrimination laws, paid maternity leave and family leave was won by unions who continue to fight for improved conditions for part time and casual workers.
  4. Overtime rates, annual leave, rostered days off, redundancy agreements, long service leave payments - these are all conditions fought for by unions. Employers do not just hand out entitlements.
  5. Unions collectively and individually support education and training for employees and lobby for on-the-job training for members. The benefits flow onto everyone.
  6. The Union movement has successfully lobbied state and federal governments for better laws to protect low paid workers such as outworkers.
  7. People who are active in their unions learn heaps about their working environment and how it can be improved - they can help fellow workers and have fun at the same time.
  8. In tough economic times, employers will try to cut jobs and increase productivity - it is unions who make sure that big companies don't put profit before people.
  9. Unions help to break down barriers in workplaces - they unite workers and create a community so workers don't feel isolated and fearful of employers.
  10. Unions are involved in important social and community issues. The environment, women's movement, Aboriginal reconciliation, rebuilding East Timor and other overseas aid and rights for refugees are just some of the social justice issues unions become involved with.

 

Health and safety in the workplace is another important union activity. Every year, hundreds of workers are injured or killed at work and the figure would be much higher without union intervention and the movement's support of trained health and safety representatives.

Apart from being seen as organisations which seek to maintain and improve working conditions for their members, unions also act as vehicles for social change as a whole. These are just some of the community based campaigns unions have become involved with:

  • Anti-conscription campaign in World War I and during the Vietnam War
  • Opposition to nuclear weapons, and visits by nuclear armed or powered ships.
  • The protection of our national resources, including our rain forests.
  • Land rights for Aboriginal people.
  • Improved rights for women.
  • Supporting self determination for the people of East Timor.
  • Highlighting the inhumane treatment of refugees seeking asylum in Australia.

 

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