Union protection in UK

Working here or in the UK, you can have the Union behind you.

NSW Nurses’ Association members can now enjoy continuity of union membership when working in the United Kingdom from UNISON – the largest trade union in the UK with the largest trade union membership in the National Health System.

A landmark agreement between the NSWNA and UNISON will allow members to transfer between the respective organisations when members move between the countries to take up nursing employment.

NSWNA and UNISON share common goals in representing nurses within their respective health systems to ensure that nurses are properly recognised and rewarded for their contribution to the health and well-being of our respective communities.

This agreement ensures that nurses have the best possible situation of continuous industrial and professional protection and representation when undertaking work in the UK or in NSW.

If I get a job as a nurse in the UK, what do I do?

If you are going to the UK to work as a nurse you need to be able to demonstrate that you have been a financial member of the NSWNA for 13 weeks or more – your membership card showing the date you joined will assist. UNISON UK will check your financial status with the NSWNA.

On joining UNISON, you will have immediate coverage and access to a huge range of benefits, including:

  • Industrial representation and legal advice;
  • Online employment and workplace advice;
  • A special hotline, UNISONdirect, for help and advice on workplace issues;
  • Education and training advice and courses;
  • Special deals on everything from computers, tax returns, holidays, mortgages, car breakdown ser-vices, insurance and credit cards;
  • UNISON holiday centre for members and families at the Devon seaside;
  • Health and safety guidance and support.

If you are thinking of travelling to the UK, transfer of membership should, wherever possible, be organised and facilitated prior to leaving Australia.

If I have arrived from the UK and are working as a nurse in NSW, what do I do?

If you have arrived from the UK to work as a nurse in NSW you need join the NSWNA prior to commencing work or as soon as possible. You can join the NSW Nurses’ Association online at www.nswnurses.asn.au/join. On joining the NSWNA, you will have immediate coverage and access to a huge range of benefits, including:

  • Industrial representation and legal advice;
  • Over-the-phone advice on employ-ment and workplace issues;
  • Access to Union Shopper – a shop-ping service that provides members with discounts and savings on a wide range of products and services;
  • The Lamp – the official monthly publication of the NSWNA produced 11 times a year;
  • Information about scholarships;
  • Access to the latest NSWNA courses, seminars and conferences for members;
  • Up-to-date online information and access to the members-only section of the website.

Go to our website www.nswnurses.asn.au for our online international welcome pack with more handy information, useful links and services for nurses arriving from overseas.

’Support is there if i need it’

Having protection of the union motivated Jodie Witcomb, RN at The Children’s Hospital at Randwick, to join the NSWNA when she came from the UK to work in Australia.

Jodie said being a member of the NSWNA is important because there are many changes you have to get used to in a new work environment and although she is familiar with everything now ‘initially it was very different’.

She was always a union member in the UK. ‘It’s important, it’s the first thing you do when you qualify. I joined the NSWNA because support is there if I need it. Coming overseas and changing jobs – you may just need the union more than ever.’