Union members get better wages, better leave entitlements and better working conditions. This is because union members are able to join together to negotiate their pay and conditions, rather than face management alone. The more workers in a union, the more power members have to win a better deal.
In the push for better wages and conditions, union members don’t have to go it alone. One of the most essential roles of a union is to build power of members around ‘enterprise bargaining’ - the negotiation of pay and conditions with the employer.
Enterprise bargaining is governed by a set of rules that allow for an agreement to be voted on by the workforce, and for them to take “protected industrial action” in support of their claims under a very limited set of circumstances.
Unions are campaigning to fix enterprise bargaining rules: they are overly complicated and favour employers.
Regardless, the best bargaining outcomes for workers are achieved when they join together and draw on the advice, resources and campaigning power of everyone in the whole union.
At every level of decision making, unions are there fighting for their members. As well as representing workers in agreement negotiations, unions work to improve pay and conditions by:
- Supporting members to resolve industrial disputes
- Negotiating with government and regulatory bodies to make changes to unfair policies and laws
- Conducting research and providing advice to key industry bodies
- Working with other unions and community groups to fight for improved work and living standards for all workers
- Campaigning in the wider community to bring awareness to worker issues
Are you getting a fair deal at work? Join the fight for better wages and conditions. Join your union today.
Funding for this factsheet was provided by:
- the Victorian Government as part of the uTech project; and
- the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Please note that the information given here is general information only and is not legal advice. For further assistance, it is recommended you speak to your union.