Why people join the CEPU



We stand up for what’s right

Being part of a Union is about being part of and standing up for our community. Its more than just our rates of pay, it’s saying that working people should be treated decently and with dignity and using our influence to make Tasmania a better place for all workers and their families.

Todd, CEPU member

If you're in the union you're better paid. That's a fact. Workers who aren’t in the Union are paid an average of $130 per week less because without the support, strength and skills available through being part of the CEPU, they cannot negotiate the pay and conditions that CEPU members win.

Workers who aren't in the union find out they're being ripped off, but often don't know how to go about fixing the problem. That's because, as most of us know through experience, workers don't have much power on their own.

We understand that through organising together and supporting each other we can demand good wages and conditions. By working collectively CEPU members are succeeding in getting pay rises that are second to none.

Whatever you might get on your own, we can do better together.

Don't risk your health

You have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment. That means Occupational Health and Safety is a critical issue for CEPU members.

Every year in Australia more people die through work related injuries than road accidents. Jobs without a Union presence are routinely more dangerous and the employers are more likely to ignore or pay lip service to safety requirements in an attempt to save a dollar, this puts you at risk.

The CEPU has been at the forefront of raising Occupational Health and Safety issues to ensure that workplaces are safer. Years of struggle, protest and lobbying by union members means that there are established rules and practices in areas like:

  • Manual Handling

  • Occupational Licencing

  • Handling of Chemicals

  • Ergonomic equipment

  • Appropriate rosters and fatigue management

    The Work Health and Safety Act specifies that it is the responsibility of the employer to provide a safe working environment and safety equipment. If you are unsure about the safety of anything you are required to do, DON'T DO IT. You have the right to refuse until the problem is fixed.

    Speak to the Health and Safety Representative on the job. If there isn't one, speak to your Union Organiser or the Delegate about getting one elected urgently!

    CEPU members have successfully negotiated many improvements to Health and Safety on the job in many workplaces. CEPU Officials provide advice and information on all the issues.

    We are there when you need us and we don't put your life on the line.

    I was under pressure from the company and ended up injuring myself. Two months later I called upon the union, because things got complicated. The union helped me get free legal advice and representation at a hearing. The union's been there with me all the way.

    Tony, CEPU member

    WorkCover Tasmania

    We are entitled to compensation if we suffer a work related injury because the CEPU alongside other unions fought for many years to get decent compensation for workers if they were injured at work.

    However, employers lobby governments to make it harder for workers to get fair access to compensation and easier for insurance companies to get out of paying. That's why you should never go through the system on your own.

    Your union ticket is all you need to ensure that if you have an accident, you are supported through professional legal advice and representation.

    The union has access to a law firm with years of experience and expertise in dealing with cases in this field. We recommend that you don't seek advice elsewhere as the legislation in the Workers' Compensation area is complex and constantly changing.

    We understand that being on compensation is difficult for many workers. We may not be able to fix the pain, but we're here to make sure you're not ripped off in any way.

    At your service

    I was diagnosed with cancer when I was X months pregnant. It was a really scary time and my employer just kept on pestering me with all kinds of strange questions and requests. I was so stressed. I asked the Union to help and my Delegate and Organiser were there straight away. Being a CEPU member made a huge difference when I needed it most.

    Nat, CEPU Member

Every day the industrial staff at the CEPU are making regular workplace visits to resolve disputes, answer queries, offer advice, check on health and safety and a myriad of other tasks which is part of a Union Organiser's job.

Most workplaces have a Delegate who is elected by the CEPU members who work there. If your workplace doesn't have one you should talk to your Organiser about electing one.

The Delegate is the Union contact at your workplace.

The Union provides extensive training for Delegates and they are often able to resolve a problem on the job without requiring the assistance of an Organiser. The other Union representative at the workplace is the elected Health and Safety Representatives. Under the law a Health and Safety Representative can decide whether something is unsafe and they have the right to demand that it be corrected.

Both the Delegate and the Health and Safety Representative call on the Organiser if a problem or a dispute cannot be resolved at the workplace level. The Organiser will then visit the workplace to negotiate with the employer for a satisfactory outcome.

Unions are democratic. If members have a problem it is up to them to decide how to fix it. The Organiser offers support, advice and representation. And we are with you all the way, striving for improvements we can only get by standing together.

Why Unions?

If you've ever had a problem at work, you'll understand why unions exist. If you don't have problems at work, mostly it's because unions exist. It's because others have fought to ensure that you have many of the things we take for granted in our working life today. But those things are not necessarily there forever if we don't keep up the fight.

Every day there is another story in the news about mega rich companies trying to cut workers wages. Sometimes they do, but other times like when CUB tried to do it, the workers were in a Union and fought back. They kept their jobs and didn’t get a pay cut. We must stand up if we want to keep what we have and make sure it keeps improving. The only way to do that is by joining a Union.

Dave, CEPU member

The CEPU is made up of groups of workers who have organised themselves into a union to solve problems that they can't solve on their own. We know that as a group, we have more power than individuals and with that power we can put pressure on employers to respond to the issues that concern us in our working lives.

The CEPU is made up of workers like you, who want to defend and improve their working conditions and play their role in maintaining a good standard of living for themselves, their families and our community as a whole.

We need your participation so that we can be strong and successful in order to have dignity as working people. Everyday, our way of life is threatened by governments and hostile employers who want to keep us down while their profits go up.

They would like to see us out of our unions and be like those exploited, underpaid non-unionised workers who don’t know thier rights and suffer more workplace injuries than us. Some of us know what it's like because we've been there. And we sure as hell don't want to go back.

We're proud to be in the union because we know through the hard times we've had, that whatever we can achieve on our own, we can always do better together. And we do.

If you're not a member, join. If you are a member get involved. And let's do it better together.