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About the CWU

Learn more about the CEPU below, where you can find out who we represent and what we can do for you as well as other information about our union.

What is a union?

Unions do a lot for workers.  People who join together to form unions help each other to protect and improve working conditions and wages.  Many of the basic rights which Australian workers enjoy today were won through the work of unions and their members.

Who does the CWU represent?

Members of the CWU come from all over the communications industry, both the public and private sector, postal and telecommunications industries.  We cover all categories of Australia Post employees as well as other categories of Australia Post workers such as mail contractors.  They are employed in large firms and small businesses, working in areas such as:

  • technical fields;
  • Operators services;
  • Information technology;
  • Sales, marketing and customer service;
  • Administration; and
  • Postal services.

What can the CWU do about my wages?

The CWU has been very successful raising wages for members.

Over the 1990s the CWU has gained real and significant wage improvements for our Australia Post members.  These increases have been well in excess of the inflation rate for the same period.

Between 1992 and 2001, wages rose by 38%, against an inflation rate of 21%.  This represents a 17% real wage gain for our members, a rate of wage gain almost double the rate of inflation.

In many respects CWU members through their union have been the pace-setters in wage outcomes in Australia in recent years.

If you add up the total membership fees over the 1990s against the wage improvement, the average return on the investment (without including over time and other conditions improvements) is about 6 times.  What other organisation will return a 600+% return on an investment?

The CWU has been on of Australia's most successful unions in winning wage increases.

What about my conditions?

Conditions today are far better than yesteryear.

Here's just a few conditions the CWU have won in recent years for some members in the communications industry:

  • First class redundancy agreements;
  • Universal employer funded superannuation;
  • Annual leave;
  • Sick leave;
  • Parental, family and bereavement leave;
  • Improved training and skills;
  • Redundancy pay;
  • Workers' compensation;
  • New health and safety provisions;
  • Uniform and protective clothing negotiated by the CWU and Workplace Officials. Union representatives covering uniforms for all designations;
  • Rostered days off; and
  • New equal opportunity laws and protection from workplace harassment and intimidation.

What about other issues?

In addition to representing members' industrial rights in negotiations with Australia Post and before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, the CEPU often defends its members interests in a range of important forums.

Workers rights such as superannuation, taxation, job security and industrial representation can all be affected and threatened by government legislation.  In addition, as a major public sector corporation, Australia Post and CWU members are often affected by government-initiated reviews and policy initiatives.

The CWU has a strong record of representing our members in all forums, whether industrial, political policy.  For example some of these representations include:

  • Federal Parliament, such as the Senate inquiry into the government's postal deregulation legislation;
  • Government reviews such as the recent National Competition Council Review;
  • Policy development processes of all major political parties; and
  • Superannuation bodies.

The CWU has also been involved in the following negotiations:

  • Compensation Act (negotiated by the CWU);
  • Superannuation (TelstraSuper) - Graham Lorrain, CWU SA/NT Branch President, on the Board.

CWU members can be confident that the CWU will defend its members' interests wherever they are threatened.


What about me?

The CWU doesn't just represent the workforce as a whole.  We represent individuals when they need it.

If you have been hurt at work, have to attend disciplinary or grievance proceedings, or if you believe you have been discriminated against, we'll be right there beside you, giving you the best representation possible.


What other services does the CWU provide?

In addition to industrial representation, the CWU also offers its members a range of additional services and benefits.  These include:

  • Discount legal services through our legal partners Tindall Gask Bentley;
  • Advice on your work entitlements and industrial laws;
  • Representation and advice on the negotiation of awards, certified agreements, individual grievances and contracts;
  • Acting on your behalf as bargaining agents if you are faced with individual contracts (Australian Workplace Agreements);
  • Free financial advice from Goldsborough Financial Services
  • Low-rate Home Loans through Super Members Home Loans (by Members Equity);
  • Up-to-date information on what's happening in the communications industry;
  • Health and safety advice; and
  • Many other services - contact your branch or click here for more information.

Who runs the union?

The Members do.  The CWU is a representative organisation, with members electing CWU officials to represent them.  In this way, the members themselves decide who runs the union and who will speak on their behalf.

You can get involved in the union at various levels.  Whether as a job representative or delegate, executive committee member, committee of management member, conference delegate, Branch official or national official, the CWU encourages its members to take part in the running of their union.

All financial members are eligible to seek elected office within the union and have the right to elect those representatives.

If you want to get involved in the union, you should contact your local Branch contact outlined elsewhere on this site.

Will my boss know I'm a member?

Your union membership is confidential.  All contact between you and Union representatives will be strictly between you and them.

And remember, the law says you cannot be sacked or discriminated against for being a Union member.

How much does it cost me?

The cost is a small percentage of your yearly wage.  It depends on whether you are full time or part time, and will never be more than a few dollars a week.

Union fees are fully tax deductible, and can be paid by any of the following methods:

  • Payroll deductions;
  • Direct debit from your nominated Bank or Credit Union account;
  • Regular credit card debit - either yearly, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly; or
  • Account payment.

You can find the membership fees here.

How do I join?

You can join the CWU by filling out a membership  application form and returning it to the union.  These are available at your local Branch office.  Contact your local Branch to obtain this form, details contained elsewhere on this website.


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