Does having the Union in ‘my corner’ cause workplace issues?
Occasionally, members advise us that they are apprehensive to ‘get the union involved’ because they worry that union representation may in some way limit their opportunities or may lead to them being treated differently in the future by their employer.
It is illegal for a person to pressure another person about their choice to join or not join a union. This would be ‘adverse action’ as the right to ‘freedom of association’ is protected in the Fair Work Act.
The overwhelming response from members is that having IEU support in school makes the process smoother. For example, after a recent member/school meeting, the member responded: “that went so much better than the last meeting, they actually listened to me.”
The vast majority of workplaces are not hostile, they will work with us in good faith and they understand our advocacy and representative role.
In a limited number of cases, there may well be valid concerns that the IEU presence in school may not assist members initially. Your IEU Organisers and Industrial Officers are experienced in talking this through with you.
It is important for members to understand that we work with you, under your instruction. We will explain your options and the pros and cons of each approach and you would lead us in that decision making process.
It is not our initial approach to be adversarial, but when your rights are being impinged, rest assured the IEU has your back.