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Joining a union in the APS?

By 30 November 2012 38

Hi all,

Sometime in the very near future, I will be joining one of the larger Federal Government departments in an EL1 role. I’ve only ever worked in the private sector, so it’s going to be a bit of a culture shock, I’m sure.

A question for those in the know – is joining a union compulsory? Is it advisable? Is it looked upon favourably when being considered for promotion, or looked down upon and a career-staller? My preference is to not join a union if I can avoid it, but I accept that it might be impossible to avoid.

Sorry for the odd questions but I don’t actually know very many public servants.

Ta! Wedge.

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38 Responses to
Joining a union in the APS?
Padoof 9:35 pm
01 Dec 12
#31

Perhaps I’m strange…..but I joined the CPSU for the benefits, most notably that they provide insurance for your trip to and from work. This, I believe, is no longer covered under workers compensation provisions? That’s worth my $26 odd a f/n, and as already mentioned, it’s tax deductible.

jayskette 11:50 pm
01 Dec 12
#32

unions are only ever really good for 16 year olds first entering the big bad working world where they are very vulnerable to pay/condition injustices.

The APS has one of the most ridiculously favourable working conditions/pay combination (dare I say) in the entire world. Also, everyone in the organisation benefit from Enterprise Agreements (unless you have negotiated individual agreements with your boss) – so the answer is no.

Libster 9:58 am
03 Dec 12
#33

Joining your union is always a sensible thing to do. Check out the CPSU promo video here http://www.cpsu.org.au/members/news/29533.html or Call 1300 137 636 or join online here https://web.cpsu.org.au/join

watto23 10:16 am
03 Dec 12
#34

vulpior said :

watto23 said :

Can I suggest if you do join to not join the CPSU, but look at APESMA or ACS instead, which is more approriate to people with IT skills. They offer the same kind of support a union does, without the hounding. Or if the CPSU person hounds you, just say you are an APESMA member :-) I’m still a member basically because my Gold APESMA AMEX is fee free, and a few other discounts, plus tax deductions mean the annual fee works out to be minimal.

I’m an employee of a small business rather than the APS, but I am a member of APESMA and ACS. ACS doesn’t really provide union-like services; it is a professional association/society. APESMA, however, is a non-ALP affiliated union.

My APESMA fees are much higher than my ACS fees, and I get much less out of the APESMA membership, but they did review my contract when I took this job and they would be there for advice and support if I ever needed it.

I’ve been a union member throughout almost all my working life, in the UK and here, but never a party affiliated one. For me it’s a principle and insurance. For others, doing the exact opposite may be as much a principle and a money saver.

Union and professional association fees are generally tax deductible

Thanks for clarifying. I thought ACS was similar, but its not. As I said, I use APESMA for discounts, i have used it for some work related advice and if I worked in an environment with more engineers they’d probably act like a union. But its far better than most unions I’ve seen. Its worth joining if you want to get discounts on the MBA they partner for. Then again public servant get those kind of things paid for.

PantsMan 10:18 am
03 Dec 12
#35

Yes. Join a union.

I’ve heard they are running out of cash for hookers and kitchen renos.

Seriously, the CPSU is just a bunch of 1980s-era public service warriors who are hell-bent on getting more money for bludgers for less work. Why bother, they won’t help you if you really need them.

And the assertion that you must join a union to progress? Anti-discrimination laws should tend to prevent that.

PantsMan 10:20 am
03 Dec 12
#36

milkman said :

Dazzlar said :

“Sorry for the odd questions but I don’t actually know very many public servants.”

Boy, you will soon and you will shake your head in wonder and utter things like “Never in the private sector” and “I can’t believe you can get away with that” or “In my old job he would have been sacked weeks/months/years ago”.

Enjoy the ride and try not to wonder at the amount of dollars wasted on crap!!

+10000000.

+ another 1

Forget the union, get a psychologist NOW!

cmdwedge 10:40 am
03 Dec 12
#37

schmeah said :

You’re joining the APS as an EL1 and you are asking whether joining a union is compulsory? Is this the level of comprehension I, and other job seekers are up against in the APS labour market!?

No, union membership in Australia is not compulsory … and the moon really isn’t made of cheese.

I’ve already responded to this point. Go have a read. It’s really easy!

rosscoact 2:12 pm
03 Dec 12
#38

Padoof said :

Perhaps I’m strange…..but I joined the CPSU for the benefits, most notably that they provide insurance for your trip to and from work. This, I believe, is no longer covered under workers compensation provisions? That’s worth my $26 odd a f/n, and as already mentioned, it’s tax deductible.

That’s correct but perhaps the people here are a bit busy looking for the dark cloud rather than the silver lining

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