A big win for a member in need

A recent union win for a member escaping a violent home situation means she is going into Christmas with security of employment and knowing her union community has got her back. 

The member, who we will not name to protect her safety, had always been open and transparent with her employer about the family violence issues she was dealing with and had even gone as far as to provide photographs and evidence to them. 

Even though her employer had never raised any issues with her technical abilities or commitment to the job, she was subjected to a performance management process after being late for work as a direct result of the issues at home.  

The member contacted the CPSU Member Service Centre and her workplace delegate who supported her through the performance process, however, her manager proposed termination of her employment.  

At this point, the union approach became two-pronged.  

MSC industrial organiser Cameron Smith wrote a formal letter threatening further action against the Department’s decision and highlighting the employer’s policies to support family violence survivors. 

Meanwhile, CPSU delegates and members in the workplace came together to galvanise local support.  

Her workplace delegates circulated a petition and collected donated goods in the workplace, even though local managers threatened to discipline them for doing so.  

CPSU delegates delivered the box of goods donated by her colleagues to the member and her children to help them through the difficult time, and the petition was delivered to the head of HR. 

The Department responded by backing down and agreeing to reinstate the member. They are now in the process of negotiating the adjustments and support she needs to return to the workplace.  

Cameron said, “This member has shown incredible strength on a number of fronts to protect herself, her family, and now her employment.  

“I’m proud that our union’s members, delegates and staff came together to stand with her when she needed it the most. It’s the most satisfying outcome of my professional life.” 

The member is now doing very well – she loves her job and knows that she has the respect and support of her union community.