MEMBER REPRESENTATION POLICY
TWU membership provides many benefits which are funded by union fees paid by members. Collectively, these resources allow us to conduct campaigns to improve wages, conditions and safety for all members.
The TWU also uses our collective resources to provide or secure assistance and representation for members individually in a variety of circumstances including:
- Termination of employment
- Workers’ compensation
- Award/Agreement entitlements
- Contract of employment matters.
Under TWU rules a Member who fails to pay all Dues when due and payable under the Rules, becomes an Unfinancial Member:
“An Unfinancial Member does not become a Financial Member until 10 days after all unpaid Dues are paid.
An Unfinancial Member has no benefits, privileges or rights whatsoever associated with Membership.”
Unfinancial members are not entitled to advice or representation.
PRE-EXISTING PROBLEMS POLICY
The resources of the Union are limited and, as a general principle, the Union cannot divert resources away from existing members to take up pre-existing problems or disputes that a member may have had before joining the union. Resolving individual matters such as unfair dismissals can use up a lot of union resources and the union would be financially unviable if members only joined when they had problems to be resolved.
The Branch Committee of Management (BCOM) is responsible for ensuring that all resources are used as effectively and efficiently as possible. As such, while encouraging all workers to join our union and enjoy the collective benefits membership provides, the BCOM has determined that certain limits may apply to the assistance that can be provided to members who have joined the union with a pre-existing problem.
Members with pre-existing problems will be offered the following assistance in the first instance:
- Initial advice through consultation with a TWU official;
- Referral to an appropriate outside agency for assistance (if one exists).
The Branch Secretary or Assistant Branch Secretary have the discretion to consider providing full or partial assistance to new members with pre-existing problems in limited circumstances (for example, where more than one member may be affected). However, such assistance may require payment of fees in arrears and/or in advance.
New members of the TWU will get some support, full industrial support is at the discretion of the Branch Secretary or Assistant Branch Secretary and will depend on the nature of the problem. The Pre-existing Problems Policy applies to new members.
PLEASE NOTE: THE UNION IS UNABLE TO PROVIDE ADVICE OR ASSISTANCE TO NON-MEMBERS.
The TWU reserves the right to limit or withdraw support for members whose behaviour makes it difficult or impossible for an official to handle their matter. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Ignoring, or acting contrary to, the advice provided by the TWU
- Arranging alternative representation or acting on external advice
- Concealing or withholding relevant information from the TWU
- Making public comments about their matter without the authorisation of the TWU
- Making defamatory statements about the TWU in any public forum including all forms of social media;
- Harassing or vilifying TWU staff or otherwise acting vexatiously
Members must apply in writing to the Branch Secretary as per the union rules. The union rules state that a member must be financial to resign from the union. It is at the discretion of the Branch Secretary and the Branch President that a member be able to resign owing outstanding fees. Members owing fees on acceptance of their resignation may be required to repay those outstanding fees upon wishing to rejoin the union.
In the event that the Branch Secretary or Assistant Branch Secretary considers that it may be necessary to withdraw or limit support for a member, the Branch Secretary or Assistant Branch Secretary will provide the member with a written statement of the matters that are prompting consideration of the withdrawal or limitation of support giving the member adequate opportunity to respond.
Official website of the Queensland Branch of the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia and the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia, Union of Employees (Queensland Branch).