Employers block union fees

Avoid threats to your union protection and go direct debit

Two aged care employers have attempted to use the federal government’s IR legislation to block the payment of members’ NSWNA fees by payroll deduction.

Members at the Green Hills Churches of Christ Nursing Home and the Frank Whiddon Masonic Homes of NSW were mistakenly informed by their employers that payment of their NSWNA fees by pay-roll deduction is illegal under the new legislation.

Legal advice obtained by the NSWNA confirms that this information is incorrect.

Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda said, ‘There is confusion surrounding whether or not an employer can now legally provide payroll deduction of union dues to their employees as a result of the new IR laws.

‘The new laws do not prevent an employer continuing to provide payroll deductions of union fees. What is prohibited is only the writing of such a commitment to provide payroll deductions into a workplace or enterprise agreement.

‘This means the situation with payroll deductions has not changed. There never has been a written commitment to offering payroll ductions in the Nurses’ Award and the Association does not seek one,’ said Judith.

‘There is no legal barrier preventing members from using this method to pay their fees, although it’s a less secure and more cumbersome method than direct debit.

‘Members should contact the NSWNA if their employer threatens to cancel payment of their NSWNA fees by payroll deduction,’ she said.
Paying your NSWNA fees by Direct Debit is the most direct and safest way to pay your union fees.

‘I strongly urge members to switch to Direct Debit to protect themselves from employers who threaten their union protection by attempting to cancel their payroll deductions under the guise of Howard’s new laws,’ said Judith.

Contact the NSWNA on 1300 367 962 if your employer threatens to cancel payment of your union fees by payroll deduction.