Member Story: Paul Primmer, DHS Newcastle

"The CPSU offers so much more than journey cover insurance, but this one benefit alone is worth the cost of membership"
Paul Primmer
DHS Newcastle

When a car pulled out in front of his motorbike on his way home from work, Paul Primmer, a CPSU delegate at DHS in Newcastle, found out firsthand what a difference the union’s journey cover insurance can make.

When Paul started working at DHS in 1984, one of the first things he did was join the union and he has been actively involved ever since, stepping up to become a workplace delegate 15 years ago.

As a CPSU delegate, Paul actively promoted the CPSU journey cover insurance benefit since the CPSU first established the policy to insure members who had lost coverage when the Coalition removed protection for federal government employees injured while travelling to and from work.

Out of nowhere

On a very hot day in 2012, Paul pulled on his protective gear before getting on his motorbike.

Paul explained, “I’m one of those riders who wear full protective gear all the time. As I was leaving that day, someone commented that it was a hot day to have all the gear on.”

Responding light heartedly that he was protecting himself from the 200,000 m2 of bitumen between the office and home, Paul got on his bike.

Five minutes later, a car suddenly pulled out in front of him. Paul hit the brakes, flipped over the car, and landed 10m away from his bike.

Paul said that as he lay in the middle of a main road in peak hour, he feared being hit by another car and instinctively stood up. That’s when he realised he had a big problem.

Paul’s entire body was bruised and he had suffered serious nerve damage.

After being taken to hospital and patched up, Paul was off work for two months and contemplating a restricted ability to work because of permanent injuries.

Paul said, “I’d run out of sick leave, annual leave and long service leave. My wife was only working a couple of days a week and we had a mortgage to pay. I realised, it’s time to contact the union”.

After contacting his organiser, Paul was sent all the paperwork to apply for the CPSU’s journey cover insurance.

Paul said, “I got it all filled out and sent it back and within a couple of weeks, I was getting a fortnightly payment from the insurance company.”

The CPSU has got your back

 “After a couple of months I was able to go back to work, but because of my injuries I could only work 16 hours a week. The CPSU insurance paid the difference up to 80% of my regular income,” explained Paul.  

Without the union’s coverage, Paul said he wouldn’t have made his mortgage payments and would have been in serious financial trouble.

“You do not know what is going to happen to you in your life at any time. In a heartbeat your life is changed forever. You have to be prepared for anything,” he said.

Paul is very thankful for the assistance and says he is in no doubt that he would have had to sell his house without it.

“The union offers so much more than journey cover insurance, but just this one benefit alone is worth the cost of membership,” said Paul.

Find out more about CPSU journey cover insurance here.

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CPSU membership is tax deductible and comes with a whole range of benefits including advice and support at work, journey cover insurance, discount shopping and financial services.

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