Member Representation Policy

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

 

PPTEU 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 PPTEU 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.

PLEASE NOTE: THE UNION IS UNABLE TO PROVIDE ADVICE OR ASSISTANCE TO NON-MEMBERS.

 

UNFINANCIAL MEMBERS

 

Under PPTEU 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 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

 

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 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 Branch Committee of Management 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 PPTEU 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

 

Pre-existing Problems Policy applies to new members of the PPTEU. New members may get some support for pre-existing problems; however, full industrial support is at the discretion of the Branch Secretary or Assistant Branch Secretary and will depend on the nature of the problem.

In accordance with the process prescribed by rule 6 of the Union a new member application may be rejected within 30 days of receipt of the application.

 

MEMBER BEHAVIOUR

 

The PPTEU reserves the right to determine the resources and support allocated to 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 PPTEU

  • - Arranging alternative representation or acting on external advice

  • - Concealing or withholding relevant information from the PPTEU

  • - Making public comments about their matter without the authorisation of the PPTEU

  • - Making defamatory statements about the PPTEU in any public forum including all forms of social media;

  • - Harassing or vilifying PPTEU staff or otherwise acting vexatiously

In the event that the Branch Secretary or Assistant Branch Secretary considers that it may be necessary to withdraw resources and support allocated to 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 reduction of resources allocated, giving the member adequate opportunity to respond.

 

RESIGNATIONS

 

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 that a member be able to resign owing outstanding fees. In accordance with the time frames set out in the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (C’Wth) members owing fees on acceptance of their resignation may be required to repay those outstanding fees upon wishing to rejoin the union.

 

Last Updated: 18 July 2022

For the purposes of this policy the “PPTEU” means/applies to both -

  • Plumbers & Gasfitters Employees’ Union Queensland, Union of Employees

  • Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia - Plumbing Division Queensland Divisional Branch