Annual Wage Review Update - 16 May 2022



The majority of retail, fast food and warehouse workers say their financial situation has deteriorated over the past five years,...

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Morrison Federal Government Fails to Support a Pay Rise


Inflation Hits 5.1%


  • Consumer Price Index up 5.1%
  • SDA argues for 5% pay rise
  • Morrison Federal Government asks for NOTHING

Most SDA members rely directly or indirectly on the Annual Wage...

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Congratulations to our Delegate of the Month for April 2022 - Di Ainsworth.

April also saw Di Celebrate 15yrs of service to our SDA members as a Union Delegate for Target Charlestown.
Di has seen many Managers & team members come & go over...

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Delegate of the Month - Debbie Allen


Congratulations and thank you to our Delegate of the month for the month of March 2022


Let's get to know Debbie a little better:


Q: Why did you become a Delegate?

A: I did so to ensure both mine and my fellow workmates rights...

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A Federal Election is set to be announced soon and it’s crucial you’re ready to have your say.


Enrol to vote or check your enrolment status now.


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so much has been asked of retail, fast-food and warehouse...

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Delegate of the Month February 2022



A massive congratulations, and thank you to our Delegate of the Month for February 2022, Judy.

Judy coached and encouraged members to come forward in a united front to talk about what was happening in their store to make the store a better place ...

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Annual Wage Review 2022



Almost two years have passed since the initial outbreak of coronavirus in Australia and still our essential retail, warehouse and fast food workers continue to face new and frightening challenges at work without any respite or recognition in...

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Delegate of the Month - January Brooke Ayliffe


Brooke has been a member of The Reject Shop Team for 11 years now and has been an SDA member that entire time!

She became a Union Delegate in 2014 and has been helping to promote and build a strong, fair and unionised workplace since her...

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Delegate of the Month - December 2021 Alison


Congratulations to our Delegate of the Month for December Alison!

Alison is highly dedicated to her members and enjoys helping them in the workplace with whatever they need.

She also loves to grow the Union and make sure that everyone is protected ...

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Media Release - Keep them on Newcastle!


Media Release | 15 December 2021


Keep them on to keep them safe: Wearing masks will protect retail workers during the Christmas rush


The Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees Association in Newcastle is urging customers to continue...

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'Cause Magazine - December 2021 Edition


Welcome to the mid-year edition of your 'Cause Your Voice Matters eMagazine.

Please follow the link below to keep up to date with all things SDA!


'Cause Magazine - December 2021 edition

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Free TAFE and More Uni Places for a Future Made in Australia



A media release from the Australian Labor Party announces their 'Future Made in Australia Plan' ahead of the election:


An Albanese Labor Government will deliver secure, well-paid jobs, by investing in the skills Australia needs to drive...

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Underpayments - Fair Work Ombudsman takes Coles to court for $115m



Quotes from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary the SDA the union for retail, fast food warehouse and online retail workers

This is yet another reminder that underpayments remain rife in the retail and service sectors, denying thousands of workers...

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Delegate of the Month - November 2021 Tineke Dobson


Congratulations to our Delegate of the Month for November Tineke. Tineke has done a fantastic job recruiting for the Union in these difficult times, helping her Organiser Deb during the lockdown period and keeping the Union strong.

Tineke has been...

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Public Holidays 2021


With the end of the year fast approaching, it's important you know which days this year are deemed PUBLIC HOLIDAYS.

We have created brochures to show where the public holidays fall this year, and also your rights around these days:


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House prices a nightmare – no longer the Australian dream for low paid workers


House prices a nightmare – no longer the Australian dream for low paid workers

Low and middle-income earners risk permanent exclusion from the housing market as a result of the warp speed increases in home prices induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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2022 Public Holidays and your entitlements


Leading up to a public holiday the SDA is inundated with calls from members seeking clarity regarding their public holiday entitlements and conditions.

The best resource relating to your public holiday entitlements is the Award or Agreement which...

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Delegates of the Month October - Janine Woods and Helen Smith


Congratulations to our Delegates of the Month for October Janine and Helen.

They have dedicated themselves to their store Woolworths Erina and together make a great team! Janine and Helen are always available to help their team mates with any...

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Stand down & the October Long Weekend


Your Rights this October Labour Day Public Holiday – Monday 4 October 2021
For employees currently on stand down without pay

Coming up to this October Labour Day long weekend, it is important that you are aware of your rights regarding your stand...

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Delegate of the Month September - Janelle Cooper


We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our Delegate of the Month Janelle!

Janelle is a reliable Delegate and is always working hard to look after her members. 

She offers great support to her Organisers Sue and Belinda and is...

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SDA Mask & Hot Weather 10 Point Plan



If the current health advice in your state or territory recommends wearing a mask when you cannot physically distance, the SDA encourages you to wear one at work.

Your employer has a duty to provide you with a healthy and safe work environment...

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Casual Conversion



Casual Employees

Workplace laws changed from 27 March 2021, regarding casual employment.

What does this mean for you if you’re a casual employee?

YOU have the right to become a permanent (full-time or part-time) employee in some circumstances. ...

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Delegate of the Month August - Claudia Nock



Claudia is a wonderful ambassador for the SDA in her store. She is constantly doing what she can to help promote and represent the SDA and the Union movement.

With over 14 years as a member and 6 years as a delegate, Claudia is strong in every...

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Annual General Meetings 2021


Recently, the Annual General Meetings were held for the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association Newcastle & Northern Branch, and also for the Shop Assistants and Warehouse Employees' Federation of Australia Newcastle & Northern...

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Delegate of the Month July - Belinda Mason


July Delegate of the Month – Belinda Mason 

We would like to congratulate our July Delegate of the Month Belinda! 

Belinda is a Delegate at Woolworths Raymond Terrace and we caught up with her for a chat about her experiences as a Delegate and...

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SDA Newcastle Branch Update



On the advice of the current Public Health Order for NSW, the SDA Newcastle has moved current operations to a work from home arrangement.


We are following all directives of limiting any public interactions, unless reasonably practicable to...

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Retail workers welcome wage support – calls for priority vaccination for retail workers


 Retail workers welcome wage support – calls for priority vaccination for retail workers

Media release 13 July 2021 Quotes from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary the SDA, the union for retail, fast food, warehouse and online retail workers:


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JobKeeper 2.0 a Must - Priority Vaccination for Retail Workers Essential


Media Release 13 July 2021

JobKeeper 2.0 a Must - priority vaccination for retail workers essential

Quotes from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary the SDA the union for retail, fast food, warehouse and online retail workers

As New South Wales faces ...

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'Cause - Your Voice Matters July 2021


Welcome to the mid-year edition of your "'Cause Your Voice Matters" eMagazine. Please follow the link below to keep up to date with all things SDA!

July eMagazine



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Delegate of the Month - June 2021 - Jannette


Please join us in congratulating our June Delegate of the Month Jannette White. Jannette is being recognised and celebrated for her many years as a proud Union Delegate. Jannette's first appointment as a Delegate was back in September 2007 at...

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Quotes from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary the SDA the union for retail, fast food, warehouse and online retail workers

The SDA welcomes the Fair Work Commission's decision to...

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Meet our May Delegates of the Month - Michelle & Charmaine



For the month of May, we have a very special 'Delegate Duo' of the month.

We congratulate Michelle and Charmaine from Myer Erina Fair!




Q & A's


Why did you become a Delegate?

At the time there wasn’t a Store Delegate and the...

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Say No to a Wage Freeze


Last year the Fair Work Commission made the unfair decision to delay the wage increase for essential retail and fast food workers.

This must not happen again. Sign our petition now.

The SDA and the Australian Council of Trade Unions are on your...

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Meet our April Delegate of the Month - Scott


Scott Palmer is a permanent part-time Service Cashier at Woolworths Supermarket Tuggerah, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics and Australian History and is dreaming of a future career in political administration and campaigning.
Scott has...

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Meet our March Delegate of the Month - Rebecca



Meet our ‘Delegate of the Month’, Rebecca. Rebecca has been a member of the SDA for 17 years and has represented her co-workers as a Delegate for over 8 years.

We sat down for a chat with Rebecca and asked her some questions about her role as...

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3.5% Wage Increase Submission Sent to FWC


Every year the trade union movement argues for a fair pay rise for Australians in the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review.

The SDA supports the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) submission this year calling for a 3.5% or $25.38 per...

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It's Wild Out There



It’s wild out there today!

So don’t let it get wild in your workplace too.

Find out your rights when you can’t get to work because of a storm or find out what happens if your workplace is affected by storm damage.



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Member Win - casual conversion!


Member Win – Casual Conversion

Sandie has worked as a casual at a leading retailer for approximately 18 months.

As a hard-working single mum, being casual left her vulnerable in the quieter retail trading months and made it difficult for her to...

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International Womens Day 2021




Today is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women and their achievements.

Did you know that the SDA Newcastle & Northern Branch is comprised of over 13,564 women and men joining together to form their Union?

Of this, 9,256...

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Delegate of the month: Sarah


Meet Sarah from Woolworths Charlestown - she's our Delegate of the Month for February!


Sarah has been a Delegate for 2.5 years and an SDA member for 13.5 years!

We asked Sarah about her role as a Delegate. Here’s what she had to say....


Why ...

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Retail workers pay the price for COVID pandemic sacrifice



Quotes from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary the SDA the union for retail, fast food and online retail workers.


For seven months, hundreds of thousands low paid frontline workers have endured a Morrison government endorsed pay cut while some...

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Member win!



Jaki is over the moon about her new contract!

Jaki worked as a Duty Manager doing 30hrs/week in the evenings.

Looking for a better work/life balance, Jaki expressed an interest in stepping down to a Team Member role, but was advised by...

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Introducing Liam...



I would like to take this opportunity to say hello and introduce myself.

My name is Liam Burrows.

I’m very excited to be the newest member of the SDA team, working as an Organizer.

I have been amazed by the warm welcome from members in my...

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2021 Public Holidays and Your Entitlements


Leading up to a public holiday the SDA is inundated with calls from members seeking clarity regarding their public holiday entitlements and conditions.

The best resource relating to your public holiday entitlements is the Award or Agreement which...

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Increased Hours Win For Tara


Tara now has $300 additional income secured in her weekly pay!

Tara was on the minimum part-time 9hrs/week contract, but regularly did additional hours, which meant her yearly average was more than double her base hours.

With assistance from her...

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Casual Conversion Win for Georgia


SDA member, Georgia, successfully converted from casual to a permanent part-time contract!

With the guidance of Jodie, her Delegate, Georgia ultilised the casual conversion clause in her Enterprise Agreement, securing stability in her hours and...

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Casual Conversion Win for Katrina


Another successful casual conversion for SDA members!

Last week we shared the success of SDA member Georgia, who converted her employment status from casual to permanent part time, with the assistance of her Delegate, Jodie.

Fellow teammate, Katrina,...

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Union Pride


SDA Newcastle and Northern Branch is excited to join the Union Pride 2021 Committee which is an alliance of Trade Unionists from across our movement to proudly and passionately give voice to LGBTIQ union members and their allies. Our branch has...

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It's About Decent Jobs


by David Bliss. 

In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected US President on the back of one of an infamous political quote, “It’s the economy, stupid”.  It was the bedrock of his Presidential campaign during a recession and weaponised to unseat George H. W. ...

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Ways To Improve Our Superannuation System


Australia’s world class superannuation system is set to undergo some changes with the Government announcing a range of measures in October Budget. There is a plan to improve the information you see about superannuation when you log in to do your tax ...

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Meet Julie from Coles San Remo - she's our Delegate of the Month for January!


Julie has been a Delegate for almost 10 years and an SDA member for 20 years!

We asked Julie about her time as a Delegate and here's what she had to say...



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Meet Kylie from Woolworths Gosford - she's our Delegate of the Month for December!


Kylie became a Delegate a few months ago, after being an SDA member for six years. 

We asked Kylie about her new role as a Delegate and here's what she had to ...

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SDA Junior Rates WIN!



The SDA recently made final submissions that Junior rates should not apply to workers on classifications 2-8 in the General Retail Industry Award as part of the 4 yearly review.

The Fair Work Commission handed down their decision yesterday morning ...

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Retirement Income Review - Another Attack on Women


JOINT MEDIA RELEASE | 20 November 2020


Here we go again.

The Australian Services Union (ASU), Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) and the SDA, the union for retail, fast food and warehouse workers, represent over half a million...

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Mind Your Head: Mental health Campaign



Just like physical health and safety hazards, there are workplace mental health hazards, like high workloads, isolated work and poor role clarity.

Mental health hazards can have a major impact on individuals, but they also affect everyone in the...

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SDA receives International Recognition!

The SDA’s efforts to improve working conditions at Amazon has received international recognition!
The UNI Global Union Breaking Through Award, presented to the SDA on November 12th, recognises unions who have built union strength...
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Support local



We all know how important it is to shop local, to support our local workers and protect our local jobs.

It's time for our State Government to do the same.

NSW Labor need 20,000 online signatures on this petition. Here's why.

SDA Newcastle are...

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Delegate of the Month: Caitlin



Meet Caitlin from Coles Muswellbrook - she's our Delegate of the Month for November!


Caitlin is a busy mum with three small children.

She has been an active member of the SDA since 2015 and stepped up to become a Delegate in 2019.

We asked...

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Your future, your super: Act now


The SDA would like to invite all members under the age of 35 to participate in a research study aimed at understanding more about superannuation and how it impacts you and your future.
The SDA is committed to ensuring all workers retire with...

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SDA Members Win Rubbish Row



SDA members at a national retail chain came together when they faced an issue getting rid of store waste.


Centre management at the retail park instigated a sitewide change which resulted in staff at the Kotara store having their weekly bale...

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Woolworths Pay Rise



As a result of the SDA’s campaign for an immediate pay rise for essential supermarket workers, Woolworths members will now receive a 1.75% pay rise. Without the SDA campaign, wage increases would not have applied before 1 February 2021.



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Underpayment of wages has become a huge issue across many industries, including retail.

The classic case of this in Australia was 7-Eleven – but it is just one example of so many where some employers systematically underpaid workers, taking...

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Casual conversion win!


SDA member Paxton proves that perseverance can pay off, as he starts his permanent part-time contract of 10 hours per week.

Paxton started working at a major retain chain in late 2015 as a casual employee. For the last two years he has been...

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Tell Us Your Story



We're asking our members to share their experiences of working during the pandemic.

These stories speak to the enormous efforts they have put in, day in and day out, through an incredibly difficult time.

We have each experienced this pandemic...

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SDA During COVID-19


Across Australia the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 (or coronavirus) is impacting everyone in our community.

The SDA has been busy working on a range of different initiatives to protect retail, fast food, and warehouse workers’ health, safety...

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COVID-19 and Superannuation


Across Australia, the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 (or coronavirus) is impacting everyone in our community. It is a distressing time, especially for retail staff who are ensuring Australians have food on the table and essential items. It is...

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SDA's Ten Point Health and Safety plan for Shopping Centres



1. Make alcohol-based hand sanitiser available at key locations including building entrances, customer service desks and food courts.

2. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of regularly used objects and hard surfaces including hand rails of...

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A great win for Michelle!


Michelle works for a national liquor chain; with many local stores. She was directed to work at an alternative store to her usual place of work.

Michelle was happy to do this, however when she asked about travel allowance she was refused. The other ...

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Ebony Wins Base Contract Increase


SDA member Ebony had worked for a national supermarket chain as a part-time worker for four years. She was happy to lend a hand in store whenever needed, which resulted in her working across many departments. As Ebony was regularly working above her ...

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SDA's 10 point Health and Safety plan



It is great to see that many retailers have now adopted a number of measures from the SDA's 10 point Health and Safety plan to protect their retail workers.

It is time for those retailers who have not adopted this plan in its entirety to do so...

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UNION NEWS: Wage subsidy announced for workers affected by COVID-19


In great news for workers, the Federal Government has listened to our calls and announced a wage subsidy scheme for businesses and workers affected by COVID-19.

This means all full-time, part-time and casual workers (casuals need to have been...

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Know and exercise your health and safety rights at work


COVID-19 is a workplace health and safety risk which employers have a duty of care to eliminate, mitigate and/or manage.

Duty of Care

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) (the ‘Act’) employers or PCBUs (Persons Conducting a Business or...

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Know and exercise your paid and unpaid leave entitlements


The COVID-19 virus is seriously impacting the community in a variety of ways.

You may be required to self-isolate and be absent from work due several reasons:

  1. Mandatory Government ordered quarantine resulting from overseas travel.
  2. ...
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Keeping yourself healthy and safe



Your employer may have new policies and procedures in place for the health and safety of employees during this period.

You should also keep updated with advice from the Federal Government Department of Health here.


There are some important...

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COVID-19 is not an excuse for abuse



These tough times are resulting in some appalling behaviour towards retail and fast food workers, but you shouldn’t have to put up with customer abuse or violence.


The past few weeks, and even months, have been tough for all Aussies, as we...

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Know Your Rights - Social Media


THINK before you post, like, share, send, tweet, re-tweet, snap-chat or instagram! 

Recently, the SDA's attention has been turned towards social media policies in the workplace in particular where there has been an increase in disciplinary action...

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Know Your Rights – Rosters


It’s important that you know what your rights are when it comes to rosters and roster changes.

The SDA often receives calls from members who are considering a proposed roster change put forward by their company.

Members often ask the SDA what can...

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Know Your Rights – Breaks


Breaks are not optional extras. They must be taken and cannot be withdrawn by your employer.

It’s very important to take your breaks when they fall due because they are designed to give you a rest.

A break makes you more efficient and better able...

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The new Hungry Jack's Agreement - Know your rights


The Union has been informed that some Hungry Jack’s members are being asked to switch from permanent part-time to casual employment, using the new Hungry Jack’s Agreement as the excuse. Your employer cannot do this. Below we have provided some...

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Media Release: McDonald's Enterprise Agreement Withdrawal Disappointing


Statement from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary of the SDA – the union for retail, fast
food and warehouse workers:

“The SDA is extremely disappointed that McDonald’s has today withdrawn the proposed
enterprise agreement from the registration process ...

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Wage theft hurts workers and economy


Until quite recently the expression ‘wage theft’ was not part of our lexicon.  Theft was a term almost exclusively reserved for (blue collar) criminals, for pick pockets, banks robbers, fraudsters and con artists. You know, the ‘real crims’!  But it ...

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Member and Delegate fight for fair roster


Jade (left) has been working as an online shopper on a casual basis for a couple of years and was desperately wanting a contract to be able to better support her children. As a single mum, getting the kids to and from school and sporting commitments ...

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Stuck in casual work?


If you are stuck in casual employment and want out, you are not alone, right now Australia has record high insecure work. There is good news though, because there is one easy and effective way to get permanent work using something called ‘casual...

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Contribution increase


Increases are necessary for the Union to continue the time consuming and expensive work of fighting for a better deal for our members. Considering this need, a small contribution increase will take effect on and from 1 July 2019.

Our contribution...

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Employers failing to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace


Two in three (65%) SDA members aged 15 years or older have experienced sexual harassment at some point in their lifetime.

Sexual harassment is an enormous issue in the industries where SDA members work - retail, fast food and warehousing....

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Woolworths fails to consult with members and SDA on changes


The SDA has lodged a dispute with Woolworths in the Fair Work Commission for failing to consult with the SDA on behalf of members on the proposed changes from the new operating model, the impact of those changes and ways to minimise any impacts.

... Read More

Unions win 3% increase in wage decision


The SDA and all unions, working through the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) have secured a 3% increase to the Australian minimum wage and to all modern award rates. The new rates will take effect from Monday 1 July 2019.

This increase...

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Seeing the ability


Diverse workplaces are the best workplaces.

This is definitely the case when it comes to our young member, Joseph from Belmont.

Joseph began working at his fast food store in 2015 as a casual. He is an enthusiastic and reliable worker, however he...

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Your rights at discussion records


Discussion records are meetings with your supervisor or manager regarding an employee and a workplace issue. This might include behaviour and conduct at work or a specific event which has occurred at work and you may have been involved in some way.

... Read More

Change the Government to Change the Rules


Australians are not getting a fair go. The rules are broken.

On 18 May, 2019 we need to change the government to change the rules.

Under the current government:

  • Penalty rates are being cut in awards;
  • it is harder to get fair pay rises through...
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Big W stores to close over three-year period


The news that Woolworths will be closing a number of Big W stores over a three year period is disappointing for employees, their families and the communities they serve. Although no specific sites have been identified at this stage the work of...

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UNION WIN - Noni B suspends cuts to hours


Noni B workers have stood together and protected their hours of work.

Following a historic campaign by Noni B workers to stand together and oppose cuts to their permanent part-time hours, we are excited to share some good news.

Lawyers acting for...

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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace


In 2018 the Australian Human Rights Commission released shocking statistics about the prevalence of sexual harassment in workplaces across the country.

The SDA, the union for workers in retail, fast food and warehousing is working with the Human...

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International Women's Day


'Better the balance and better the world' is the 2019 theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) being celebrated 8 March 2019. Pictured from left to right: Lyn Wiebe, Barbara Nebart, Sally McDonald.

The SDA is committed to gender equality in all...

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Delegate of the Month - MaryJane O'Dell



Meet MaryJane O’Dell from Big W Raymond Terrace - our February Delegate of the month

MaryJane is a dedicated delegate who takes pride in her role, especially when she helps the members in her store.

This dedication is evident in the work she is ...

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Young worker wrongly demoted


As a young worker, Liam* (19) was excited to accept a promotion from his fast food employer. He’d worked hard to secure his new position of assistant manager and was enjoying the extra responsibility and pay that came with the role.

However, after...

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Transfer blunder leaves Frank with no job security


When Frank applied for a store transfer, he never thought he’d have to fight just to protect his entitlements or that he’d need the support of his union.

Frank is a long-term employee of a major supermarket and has been an SDA member for over 8...

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Can my contract hours be changed?


The short answer is no. Management can not change your contracted hours without your approval.


Although it is illegal, it still happens, as Kelsie* found out:

For over 5 years Kelsie has been working at a major fast food restaurant on a...

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Terminated for giving friends free food


James was working for a large fast food chain in Newcastle. It was his first job which he worked on the weekends and evenings while still going to school. James worked with a few mates from school who would regularly give away free food to their...

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Where’s My Australia Day


This year many retail and fast food employees will be working on Australia Day (Saturday) for no extra compensation or penalty rates.

For many of our members, this leaves them feeling like second class citizens as it seems only those working Monday ...

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Media Release: Woolworths workers get boost in pay and conditions


Woolworths workers across the country will receive improved pay and conditions after the Fair Work Commission today approved their new enterprise agreement.

The Fair Work Commission approval comes after Woolworths workers voted overwhelmingly (93%) ...

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Australia Day Public Holiday Entitlements in NSW 2020


Australia Day Public Holiday – Monday, 27 January, 2020

Monday 27 January is the Australia Day public holiday in NSW. Sunday 26 January is not a public holiday in NSW. This is because the Public Holidays Act 2010 provides that where Australia Day...

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Workplace win for Liquorland members


Members at Liquorland, Salamander Bay were having difficulties getting their concerns heard regarding some serious OHS issues. So they banded together and approached the SDA for help.

Pictured from left to right: Ryan, Terriann and Sean.


Issues ...

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Woolies workers win back Christmas!


Last week we told you about Woolworth’s shocking application to have its employees work on Christmas Day.

We’ve got an update – the application was REJECTED!

This is fantastic news. It means that rather than stocking shelves, Woolworths workers will...

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Don’t let Reward programs put your Continuity of Service in jeopardy


Rewards programs have been with us for years in fast food chains and supermarkets.

Think toys with a kids meal, rewards cards and those freesamples or gifts you receive after spending a certain amount in store.

Back in the 80s they were...

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No One Deserves A Serve Campaign


In December 2017, the SDA launched the No One Deserves A Serve campaign to create awareness about retail and fast food workers facing constant abusive and violent behaviour from customers at work. This is a serious workplace health and safety issue...

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SDA Submission: The effectiveness of the current temporary skilled visa system


The SDA recently made a submission to the Senate Inquiry regarding the enforcement of skilled visa arrangements. In particular, the SDA believes the current methods of enforcing proper wages and conditions for overseas workers is grossly inadequate.

... Read More

Media Release: Kmart workers overwhelmingly vote ‘yes’ to new agreement


A new enterprise bargaining agreement that protects take home pay and locks in hard won SDA conditions has received an overwhelming 91.7% yes vote from 32,000 Kmart workers.

72% (23,000) of Kmart workers participated in the vote and 21,000 voted...

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Delegates of the Month - December


Meet Scott and Neeka from Woolworths Gosford - our December Delegates of the month! 

Scott and Neeka worked hard as a team throughout the recent proposed Woolworths agreement which was rolled out across stores in September & October. Together,...

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Helping Kirsty get back on track with SDA Accident Insurance



Kirsty works at Woolworths as an online shopper. She recently had to take several weeks off work when she fell getting her son out of the car and fractured her wrist while protecting her son still in her arms.

Kirsty remembered hearing about...

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Myth of the Casual Wage


Casuals around Australia and across a wide variety of industries and occupations are being ripped off, in some cases being paid even less than permanent staff.

A paper released today by the peak body for working people has blown apart the myth...

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Senate passes My Health Record privacy amendments



The laws and privacy provisions surrounding My Health Records (MHR) will be significantly improved after the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill passed through the Senate this week.


The amendments made to the MHR include...

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Delegate of the Month - Meet Claudia!



Claudia (pictured middle) has worked alongside her team members as a store Delegate representing their working interests for over 3 years. She has been an active member of the Union since 2006.

We asked Claudia about her role as a Delegate....

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A Casual Win for Michelle


SDA member Michelle is a single mum and had been employed as a long term casual employee with a national supermarket chain.

Like many single mums, Michelle needed a regular income to provide for her family. Unfortunately, at the time, management...

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Making Super Fair For Women


The SDA’s ongoing work to ensure women receive equal access to dignity and security in retirement.

By Barbara Nebart, Branch Secretary


Australia’s superannuation system fails women

Women currently retire with on average 47% less superannuation ...

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Great news for Woolies workers - new Agreement overwhelmingly voted up!


Following a ballot of Woolworths Supermarket employees, an overwhelming majority have voted yes in favour of the proposed Agreement.

62% of eligible Woolworths Supermarkets employees voted in the ballot and of those an overwhelming 93% voted yes!


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Delegate of the Month - Donna


Donna is an SDA Delegate at Coles. She has represented her team mates as a Union Delegate for 13 years.

Donna was recently recognized in the Australian Parliament for her contribution to securing the new Coles Agreement.

Here’s what she has to say ...

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Bullying in the workplace – What is it?



Have you ever felt like you have been picked on by a colleague?

Perhaps you’ve been repeatedly criticised, isolated, overworked, teased or insulted by a fellow worker or manager?


Bullying at work occurs when:

a person or a group of people...

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A win for Chloe as temporary 'in charge'


SDA member Chloe works for a large supermarket chain. Chloe was appointed by her employer to take on extra responsibility at work as temporarily ‘in charge’ for 3 weeks.

When Chloe asked about compensation for the role, she was advised by her...

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Working in fast food - What you need to know


If you’re one of the 300,000 Australians working in Australia’s fast food industry, there are many things you should know about your employment.

This is especially the case if you’re a young worker or new to the workforce.

Most employees in the...

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From night to day shift: Win for Anthony


With the backing of his Union, Anthony was able to successfully switch to working day shifts.

Anthony works full time as a Baker at a supermarket. Until recently, he was working the very early morning shift.

Anthony is a father of two and his wife ...

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Underpayment win for night fill team


Recently, the SDA was able to recover underpaid wages for a group of night fill workers at a major supermarket who had been not paid correctly. 

The night fill workers - whose rostered shifts were predominantly four hours from 8pm to 12am – were...

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Give us a (loo) break!


Toilet breaks are not a luxury, but a basic need. It is a legal requirement of employers to provide toilet breaks.

Problems can occur however, when employers believe that toilet breaks should happen in a workers’ own time. Work and rosters can be...

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First aid in the workplace


Incidents can happen without warning in any workplace. Employers and employees should be prepared for emergencies.


What is first aid?

According to the First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice, first aid is “the immediate treatment or care...

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Availability issue fixed for Melissa


Melissa recently blocked attempts by her employer to reduce her hours. With the backing of her Union, Melissa successfully negotiated a new roster which suited her needs and didn’t lose any hours.

Melissa works part time at a leading retail store.

... Read More

Delegate of the month - Mark


July 2018

Mark is a Delegate at Coles Cessnock. He has been a member for almost five years and a Delegate for four years.

Mark was recently one of a select group of Delegates from the SDA Newcastle & Northern Branch who were publicly...

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SDA Member Sandy covered by Accident Insurance


SDA member Sandy recently slipped in her bathroom and dislocated her finger.

Luckily for Sandy, all financial SDA members are covered by our accident insurance policy.

Slips, trips and falls can often result in broken bones or a dislocation which...

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From casual to permanent: Win for Patricia


Patricia recently secured a permanent part-time job with the support of her Union, the SDA.

Patricia had been working at a supermarket on a casual basis for 18 months. She had worked regular hours, and she wanted job security and permanent hours.

... Read More

Safety win for Christelle


Together with her Union, SDA member Christelle recently secured improved safety in her workplace.

Christelle works for a liquor store. Management recently changed the roster so that only one staff member was rostered on to close the store of an...

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Beating Bullying


Unfortunately bullying and harassment is still common in the workplace. This could be because incidences often go unreported or are not resolved, as each person has a different perception of what ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying’ is.

What is workplace...

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Long Service Leave: The facts


What is Long Service Leave and who is entitled to it?

Long Service Leave (LSL) is leave granted to any employee whether they are full time, part-time or casual for 10 years of continuous service to an employer.

If you have more than 10 years but...

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Delegate of the month - Nicole


June 2018

Nicole is one of three fantastic Delegates at Woolworths Mount Hutton. She has been a union member for almost three years and a Delegate for almost two years.

During her service as a Delegate she has dealt with numerous member issues and ...

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Your rights around resigning


Time to resign?

Perhaps you’ve found another job, are ready to retire, have won the lottery or you just can’t do it anymore. Whatever the reason, you have rights when it comes to resigning. However you also have obligations.

You should give your...

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Media Release: Parking breakthrough at Stockland Green Hills


Workers at Stockland Green Hills will once again be able to access free, safe parking at the centre, with the SDA, the Union for workers in retail, fast food and warehousing, and Stockland reaching an in-principle agreement.

The SDA has secured a...

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What workers need to know about plastic bag bans


A ban on free single use plastic bags will be introduced in some states and select stores across Australia starting from June 2018. 

Customers will be required to either bring their own bags or purchase a reusable bag.

The SDA, the union for...

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Looking good for work shouldn’t cost you your job


Dressing and presenting yourself appropriately for work is not a choice, it’s a legal obligation. But what must an employee do to meet appropriate dress and presentation standards for work?

Minimum standards under the law are quite specific....

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Roster win for Kon


It was the collective voice and support of his union that helped SDA member Kon stand up and fight against a roster change at work recently.

Kon has worked for a supermarket chain for some 17 years.

For the last decade, he has also worked as a...

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Since last week, the workers’ fight to restore free and safe staff parking at Stockland Green Hills has gathered momentum.

Over 1,000 workers, tenants, customers, local residents and surrounding businesses have already signed the petition.


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Why I became a Delegate


Joanne White works at McDonalds Heatherbrae. She has been a member of the SDA for four years and recently became a Union Delegate.

Here’s what she had to say about the role of Delegate, and why she became one.


Why did you become a Delegate?

... Read More

Customer abuse is not okay


We live in a fast-paced world. People are increasingly time poor and stressed… and at times just plain rude.

But there’s no excuse for the increasing amount of physical and verbal abuse that customers are directing at retail and fast food staff.

... Read More

Members Stand Up for Safety at Westfield Kotara


SDA Union members and Officials recently worked together to improve several safety issues arising from construction works at Westfield Kotara.

Members had identified excessive noise and dust issues during trading hours.

Affected members worked...

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Delegate of the Month - Katherine


April 2018

Katherine Hill is our Delegate at Kmart Bateau Bay. She has been a member of the SDA for more than seven years.

We asked Katherine about her role as a Delegate.


Why did you become a Delegate?

I was bullied within the workplace by a ...

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Changing jobs – What you need to know


You’ve got a new job! Congratulations!

There’s just a couple of things you need to do before you can start…

Tell your current employer you are leaving!

It can, on occasion, be quite satisfying to hand in your notice. Other times it can be quite...

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Mental health in the workplace


About one in five Australians will experience a mental illness, and most of us will experience a mental health problem at some time in our lives, according to the Australian Government Department of Health.


Mental (psychological) health, just...

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Grievance Procedure


What do you do if you have a grievance or a problem at your workplace? For example, your employer insists on a change of your roster, leaving you with no one to care for your young children, or, you haven’t been paid for all the hours that you...

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Redundancy: the basics


If you are offered a redundancy at work, the first thing you should do is check with the SDA to ensure you are being offered a genuine redundancy.

A redundancy occurs when an employer does not require an employee’s job to be done by anyone or the...

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Working with Disabilities


Almost one in five Australians reported living with a disability (18.3% or 4.3 million people) (ABS, October 2016). There may be persons with disabilities working in your workplace or you may yourself have a disability.

The Union is here to assist...

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Travel claim win for Alison


Recently one of our members contacted us about a travel expense claim her employer was refusing to pay.

Alison, an employee of a petrol station chain, had submitted a travel claim for several shifts she had worked at another site over Christmas.

... Read More

Workplace training outside of work hours


Most employees will be required to undertake workplace training to ensure they have the right skills and knowledge to perform their job.

This can include on or off-the-job training, online of face-to-face learning or individual or team-based...

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Check your payslip


You should receive regular payslips from your employer. Be sure to keep them!

Payslips may not seem important but they contain valuable information. Your payslip will tell you if you’ve been underpaid. It’s much easier to calculate how much back...

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Roster changes


A roster is a timetable that shows the days and times employees are required to work.

It is important that you know your rights when it comes to rosters and roster changes.

The SDA often receives calls from members who are considering a proposed...

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In Charge Allowance


At times during your career you may be asked to temporarily undertake a higher position than your usual role, be it for a couple of hours during your shift, or to cover for an employee on leave.

This is covered under most SDA agreement’s or the...

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Delegate of the Month - Belinda


March 2018

Belinda is our Delegate at Woolworths Toronto. She has been a Union member for more than 10 years and a Delegate for four years.

We asked her some questions about her role as a Delegate.


Why did you become a Delegate?

Our Union...

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Scheduled Election


The results of the election for the following offices conducted in accordance with the provisions of the

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 and the rules of the organisation are:




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Maternity leave win for Emma


Emma, an employee of a major supermarket and an SDA member, commenced her maternity leave a few weeks before her baby was due.

Emma was first taking her annual leave before expecting to receive weekly payments under a company policy providing paid...

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Rights regarding doctor’s appointments


Bosses are increasingly using force or coercion so that they can attend doctor’s appointments with sick or injured employees.

In some cases, employers are going so far as to try to have employee’s medical certificates altered to get employees back...

Read More

Media Statement: Retailers 0% pay increase completely out of touch


The SDA has condemned a submission by the National Retailers Association (NRA) to the Fair Work Commission’s 4-yearly review of modern awards which calls for a 0% pay increase as completely out of touch with the realities of retail workers and the...

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Working with forklifts


Forklifts can increase safety in workplaces as they reduce the need for manual handling y employees, and a s a result, can minimise the risk of manual handling issues.

However, like any machine, forklifts can be dangerous if not operated properly....

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Back pay win for night fill team


Recently, the SDA was contacted by members at a supermarket.

The ‘paid meal break’ clause in the store had been overlooked by the employer.

The SDA investigated and discovered that Bill (pictured) and two other members were losing their...

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Delegate of the month - Brenda


February 2018

Brenda is our Delegate at Coles Fletcher. She has been an SDA member for three years and a Delegate since April 2015.

Brenda has been with Coles for more than four years. She currently works in the dairy department but has also...

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I’m casual, can my hours be cut?


As a casual employee, your hours can be cut. However, your employer must notify you prior to your shift that you are not required to work.

A common complaint we hear from our members is that they have arrived at work to find their shift has been...

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Media Release: Dominos workers vote ‘yes’ to new agreement


Workers have overwhelmingly approved a new Dominos-SDA enterprise bargaining agreement which locks in full penalty rates, improved conditions and provides access to higher guaranteed hours for part time workers.

SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer...

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Take your breaks


As an employee is it vital that you take proper rest breaks and meal breaks as per your Enterprise Agreement or Award.

A rest break is a paid break which allows an employee to rest for a short period of time during their work hours. It can also be...

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Pre-existing medical related issue resolved for Linda


SDA member Linda was considering resigning after she had been stood down from her retail role pending a request for medical information relating to pre-existing personal condition.

The part-time employee of a national department store was feeling...

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Working in a cold environment


Many workplaces and work tasks expose employees to different types of cold environments. These can include cool-rooms, freezers and chilled areas such as meat preparation areas, or open areas of the workplace such as receiving areas and green life...

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Media Release: SDA secures overtime rates for casual workers in fast food, retail pharmacy and hair and beauty


The SDA has been successful in its bid to secure overtime rates for casual workers in the retail, fast food, pharmacy and hair and beauty industries, in a case before the Fair Work Commission.


The win for casual workers came as part of the SDA’s ...

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Working in the heat



With the arrival of summer, employees are reminded of the health and safety risks of working in extreme heat.

The human body sheds excess heat by sweating. Heat illness occurs when the body cannot sufficiently cool itself. Heat illness includes...

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Identifying hazards in your workplace


Every workplace has hazards.

Simply put, a hazard is anything (including work practices or procedures) that has the potential to harm the health and safety of a person.

Some hazards are more likely to be present in some workplaces than others.

It ...

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Young Workers Have Rights Too


At least a third of Australia’s high school students aged 15 years and above work in paid employment, the majority within the retail and fast food industries.

While working conditions are much better than they once were, the SDA continues to see...

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Struggling with work while pregnant?


When Emalee, a worker at a large supermarket chain, began finding some of her duties difficult to perform due to her being pregnant, she assumed she would have to leave work.


She was unable to bend to fill shelves, was having trouble reaching up ...

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Media Release: SDA launches major national campaign to stop abuse of retail and fast food workers this Christmas


The SDA, the union for workers in retail, fast food and warehousing has launched a major national campaign ‘No One Deserves a Serve’ to stop the abuse and violence towards retail and fast food workers by customers this Christmas.

The massive...

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News Flash: High Court rules on Aldi Agreement


The SDA has been working hard to ensure that ALDI workers get a say about their pay and conditions set out in agreements.

The SDA successfully challenged the ALDI Regency Park Agreement in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and the Federal Court...

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Freezer allowance backpay for Sherin


SDA member Sherin, an employee of a national supermarket chain, covered a relief role in the freezer for a colleague and months later, wondered if she had been entitled to a freezer allowance.

She contacted SDA to see if she was eligible to receive ...

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Media Statement - SDA praises Senate action to protect penalty rates for 700,000 workers


The SDA, the union for workers in retail, fast food and warehousing has praised the Senate’s decision to prioritise debate of the Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill 2017 which involves protecting penalty rates...

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Media Statement - Specialty Fashion Group


SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer expressed deep disappointment at the news that up to 1,000 retail workers across the Specialty Fashion Group may lose their jobs as the company decided to close over 300 stores to 2020.


“This is absolutely...

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Roster issue fixed for Simone


When Simone, an employee of a national discount department store, was rostered on for an early morning shift she wasn’t able to work, she went to her Union delegate.

Simone had been rostered to start at 6am, however as the permanent part time...

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New agreement voted up by Priceline workers


A new Priceline Agreement has been voted up by a majority of employees and approved by the Fair Work Commission, securing improved pay and conditions for workers.

Following negotiations between the Company, all Priceline employees were given the...

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Casual workers’ rights


As a casual worker you are employed on a shift-to-shift basis, and generally have no certainty of ongoing work.

The casual work arrangement should go both ways however. If shifts are only available casually, you are not obliged to always be...

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SDA recovers shift for members


Recently one of our delegates contacted us about a roster change made by their store manager which would affect two members.

The members had volunteered to work on an upcoming public holiday, so the store manager changed the roster. The manager...

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Getting paid for workplace training


Recently one of our members returned to work after taking 8 months’ extended leave due to a non-work related injury.

Prior to her return, Natalie, an employee of a major supermarket, touched base with the store to discuss her return date.

She was...

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Delegate of the Month - Brendan


November 2017

Here’s what Brendan (pictured left) has to say about his role as SDA Delegate.


Why did you become a Delegate?

I saw an opportunity to represent my fellow team members and use my position within my store as Deputy Manager to...

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Media Statement: Statement on Vickers discontinuation of application to terminate Coles 2011 Agreement


The Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said while he was pleased Ms Vickers had discontinued her application to terminate the Coles 2011 enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) it was important to...

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SDA terminates Domino’s Agreements to get better pay and conditions for workers


Following applications by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) made in June 2016 and July 2017 Deputy President (SDP) Hamberger of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued a decision to terminate all 27 expired Dominos Pizza...

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SDA secures draft new Agreement for Coles employees


Coles and the SDA have agreed on a draft new EBA to cover retail store team members.

 The SDA set out to negotiate the Agreement with four key priorities, endorsed at multiple meetings by SDA Delegates from stores throughout Australia:

  • ...
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Have you been injured? Read this.


Rodger works at KFC.

Lucky for him, he is an SDA member.

Rodger was recently injured in a soccer game and required a knee reconstruction. He missed out on 6 weeks of work and can now only work if his duties do not require he twists his body.


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Delegate of the Month - Liz & Rowena


September 2017

Delegate(s) of the month are… dynamic duo Liz Bass and Rowena McNeil from Coles Wyong.

Liz and Rowena have been working together as delegates for two years. They enjoy a successful partnership as delegates in the workplace as they...

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A Win For Duty Manager Gemma


Have you ever been flexed up to a management role when your company needed you?

Did you know you should be paid for any additional duties you take on?

SDA member Gemma had been working as one of three acting ‘Duty Manager’s’ sharing a full-time...

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Coles and the SDA have held meetings over the past two days as negotiations for a new Coles Supermarkets Agreement continues.

Throughout negotiations over the past 2 months there has been significant progress to secure a new agreement that delivers ...

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Let’s face facts: Women aren’t equal


Living in a country like Australia we can often forget that, in 2017, women still don't enjoy full equality to our male counterparts.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), has offered some depressing and shocking statistics on...

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Are you on Workers Compensation?


Due to changes to the NSW Workers Compensation Act 1987 in 2012 any worker on workers compensation who is covered by this Act who has received weekly benefits for 260 weeks (5 years) or more who has not been assessed as having at least 21% whole...

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Staff Shortages A Problem In Your Workplace?


The SDA know that staff shortages can be very upsetting and stressful for our members. The SDA takes workplace stress very seriously as it is a health and safety issue.

When workers have to work beyond their reasonable limits, so too does the...

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Media Release: Christmas at risk for retail workers


Christmas is at risk for retail workers in the Newcastle region following the tabling yesterday of a fundamentally flawed report which recommends full retail trading on December 26th - a day that has normally been kept closed for families to enjoy...

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Sick of unlawful workplace notices?


Have you ever seen a notice such as this in your workplace?

Not only is it incorrect but it is unlawful.

An SDA Delegate intervened today in a major supermarket on the NSW Central Coast to have this notice removed.

Unfortunately notices like this ...

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What you need to do when an abusive or violent customer comes into your store


This week, during Safety Demands Action Week, SDA Union Delegates and Organisers will be out in stores talking to workers about health and safety in their store.

Customer abuse and violence is serious health and safety concern for retail and fast...

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Your Rights as a Pregnant Worker


Balancing pregnancy with work can be challenging for working women but with improved communication and understanding of pregnancy rights the SDA has been able to secure better outcomes for its pregnant members.

SDA member Susan recently needed the...

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SDA and Coles Bargaining Update


The SDA and Coles have met over the last two days continuing negotiations for a new Coles Supermarkets Agreement.

Negotiations this week have focused on SDA claims for rostering, entitlements and protections for part-time workers, domestic violence ...

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Burns In The Workplace


Burns to employees in the workplace can occur through many means; hot surfaces, chemicals, cooking oils, steam, radiant heat, fire, hot water etc.

With over 1.1million Australian workers, working in the retail or fast food industry, some of these...

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Delegate of the Month - Jo


July 2017

Rising to the challenge is just one of the qualities we recognize in someone when choosing Delegates and Jo has done this in spades over and again this year.

Meet our Delegate of the Month – Jo Murdoch. Jo has worked with Myer for over...

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Back pay win for Brittany!


How would you feel if you were on annual leave and came back to no job?


Brittany had only worked for Subway for four months when she was terminated, as she was still in her probationary period, she had no unfair dismissal rights.



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David Jones Revised Dress Policy


David Jones has advised the SDA that it is revising it’s “Wear What You Sell” preferred dress policy.

From the end of July 2017, Intimate Apparel, Shoes & Accessories and Childrenswear will revert to the “Black Out” preferred dress.

This is in...

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Unions win important step for casual worker rights


In good news for casual workers, unions have won an important case to help secure better rights for casual workers.

Unions, including the SDA, are working hard to address the growing problem of casual work and casualisation of Australia’s...

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Unions disappointed by ruling on paid domestic violence leave that puts workers at risk


Media release | 3 July 2017

The SDA, the Union for Workers in Retail, Fast Food & Warehousing is deeply disappointed by the Fair Work Commission’s ruling not to include paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave in Modern Awards.

SDA National...

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Surveillance in the Workplace



Are there cameras at your workplace?

Do you understand your legal rights at work when it comes to surveillance?

Here are some useful facts:

The Workplace Surveillance Act 2005 (NSW) is a NSW law only, with no other states regulating...

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Delegate of the Month - Mackenzie


June 2017

Mackenzie is a proud Union member. He joined the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association Newcastle & Northern Branch (SDA), immediately after starting work at McDonalds in January 2012.

As a member, Mackenzie demonstrates ...

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Carton Counts and Scan Rates


SDA members often ask whether 'carton counts' or ‘scan rates’ are enforceable and whether they can be disciplined or even warned for not reaching targets set by management.

A carton count or a roll-cage carton count is the rate at which night-fill...

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Elyse's Long Service Leave Win


Elyse worked for a national department store as a casual for 6 years, working an average of 20 hours per week. When she returned to work from maternity leave, she was advised by her employer that there was only an average of 6 casual hours...

Read More

Caitlin Stands Tall In Her Workplace


Caitlin recently stood up for her rights at work on behalf of her co-workers and herself. Her workplace is now a better place to work with all workers receiving their minimum break entitlement – something which hadn’t occurred in her workplace for...

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Delegate of the Month – Christina


May 2017

Christina Lowe is our May Delegate of the Month. Christina has been a union member for almost 3 years and a Delegate for 7 months.

Christina was keen to share her thoughts about her role as a Delegate.


Why did you become a Delegate?

... Read More



The Fair Work Commission has handed down the Annual Wage Case, which determines the annual pay rise for workers covered by Modern Awards, writes David Bliss, Assistant Secretary. 

What does this mean for workers covered by Awards?

In 2017, the...

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Have you injured yourself outside of work?


Allex injured himself on a jumping castle.

He dislocated his ankle and fractured his right leg. Allex did not think of contacting his Union, the SDA, after his accident as it had taken place outside of working hours. It was on the advice of another ...

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Delegate of the Month - Anita


April 2017

Quite simply, "It's just about being fair."

Meet our active 'delegate of the month' the bright, vivacious and outgoing Anita Briggs from Woolworths Lake Haven! 

Anita has been a SDA member for 9 years and a Union Delegate for 8 years.

... Read More

Preparing to go on Parental Leave


Preparing to go on maternity leave can be overwhelming.  If you find yourself in this situation; congratulations, sit back and read this guide:


  • Government Paid Parental Leave (PPL)

You may be aware that the government have proposed changes...

Read More

Being able to make a complaint or inquiry about your employment is a workplace right!


"I want to make a complaint about my working conditions but….

I am scared about what will happen to me and my job if I do.”

“Last time someone complained, things got much worse out on the floor and now we don’t think it is worth speaking up.”


Read More

Liberals fight against wage increase for Australia’s low-paid workers


Yesterday, the SDA applied to raise the base rate of pay for retail, fast food and pharmacy workers covered by Awards by 10% in addition to the $45 increase sought by the ACTU.

The Liberal Government has now announced it will fight AGAINST our push ...

Read More

Great win for Harrison!


Harrison contacted the SDA, the union for retail, fast food and warehousing workers, when he was moved department and told his hours had been cut, without reason. Harrison had been working regular hours for months in the same department prior to...

Read More

AEC post-election report E2016/271


In accordance with the provisions of regulation 141 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Regulations 2009 the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association-Newcastle and Northern Branch advises that a copy of the AEC post-election...

Read More

ACTU seeks 6.7% minimum wage rise


The ACTU is asking the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for a $45 a week (6.7%) increase in the national minimum wage.

The proposed rise is above the 2.4% increase the FWC handed down last year when it lifted the national minimum wage by $15.80 a week,...

Read More



The Union strongly opposes the continuation of the Boxing Day trading trial and supports five (5) restricted trading days, specifically Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Anzac Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Public holidays remain significant cultural ...

Read More

Your rights around Personal/Sick Leave


Imagine seeing this text on your work noticeboard or being told this in a team meeting:



Recently the SDA has been made aware of an area manager of a large supermarket rolling out a new policy to staff around sick leave. The policy was of...

Read More

Great long service leave win for Olivia


Union member Olivia, recently contacted the SDA while in discussions with her employer; a national chemist chain. Olivia’s long term partner had been offered a high paying job abroad. As her partner is the breadwinner of the family, and Olivia was...

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Delegate of the Month - Harry


March 2017

Harry Fuller is our March Delegate of the Month. He has been a Union member for 7 years and a Delegate for 1 year and 9 months.


Why did you become a Delegate?

I became a Delegate so my colleagues would have representation for night...

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There’s never been a better time: for women to join a union


Australian women need to join their union now more than ever writes SDA Newcastle & Northern Branch Secretary Barbara Nebart. 

The union movement has been at the forefront of women’s rights in Australia since the beginning.

When women entered...

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Cuts to penalty rates will cost retail and fast food workers more than $1 billion each year


Media release | 23 February 2017

The Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates means that retail and fast food workers will lose out on more than $1 billion each year while not creating a single extra job.


Read More

Know Your Rights - Social Media


THINK before you post, like, share, send, tweet, re-tweet, snap-chat or instagram! 

Recently, the SDA's attention has been turned towards social media policies in the workplace in particular where there has been an increase in disciplinary action...

Read More

Know your rights - Work Safety & Injuries in the workplace


Occupational Health and Safety is a major issue facing Australian workplaces and unions.

Many decades of struggle by trade unions have produced healthier and safer working conditions but the level of occupational injury, disease and death is still...

Read More

Public Holidays


For most workers, public holidays mean a day off work with pay to share with family and friends in celebration of significant cultural, social or religious occasions.  In the retail and fast food industries, especially, if only it were that straight ...

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Know Your Rights – Rosters


It’s important that you know what your rights are when it comes to rosters and roster changes.

The SDA often receives calls from members who are considering a proposed roster change put forward by their company.

Members often ask the SDA what can...

Read More

Know Your Rights – Breaks


Breaks are not optional extras. They must be taken and cannot be withdrawn by your employer.

It’s very important to take your breaks when they fall due because they are designed to give you a rest.

A break makes you more efficient and better able...

Read More

Know Your Rights - Payment of Wages and Payslips


You have a right to be paid the correct grade:

Employees should be paid in accordance with their correct classification or “grade”.

Enterprise agreements and Modern Awards have a classification section which sets out job roles and the associated...

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The Union regularly assists members with issues in their workplaces. It might be that members are being underpaid or are unsure of their rights and come to us for help. Often we may require payslips, rosters, contracts of employment or other related ...

Read More

Broken air-con in work?


Could you survive working in the summer in the fast food industry with no air-conditioning?

Workers in a national fast food store were doing just that until a Union Official visited the store and noticed that the air con unit was no longer working. ...

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Delegate of the Month - Rebecca


January 2017

Rebecca Holt is our January Delegate of the Month. Rebecca works in Woolworths Newcastle West. She has been a Union member for 12 years and a Delegate for 3 years.

Lyn, SDA Organiser, sat down with Rebecca and asked her some questions ...

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The SDA, the union representing retail, fast food and warehouse workers,  has won a victory for H&M workers after successfully opposing an unfair enterprise agreement in the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

Deputy President Bull dismissed the...

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Snowboarding Accident? We've got you covered!


Stephanie had a snowboarding accident at the end of August. She pulled cartilage, dislocated her knee and was written off work for 4 weeks. As Stephanie injured herself outside work, she had expected to pay the cost of her treatment and time off...

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Report that Risk


Your employer is obliged to ensure that your workplace is safe (as far as reasonably practicable), so if you experience or are aware of any problems which create risks to your health and safety at work, you need to report them.


Raising a ...

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Delegates of the Month: Diane and Nicole


December 2016

Diane Bickerstaff and Nicole Ferris are Union Delegates at Coles Lake Haven. 

We recently sat down with both Delegates to discuss the benefits of working as a team. Both Diane and Nicole agreed that having a colleague to lend support ...

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Narisa's Christmas Wish


Narisa works for a national retailer. In 2015, the company trained her as a corset fitter. In 2016, she was trained in prosthesis fitting. As this training is not standard training, Narisa was unsure if she should be paid for higher duties.


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Don't Agonise, Organise!



‘Post-truth’ is the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year.

The definition of ‘post-truth’ is, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal...

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Injuries Outside The Workplace


Have you ever broken or fractured a bone or sustained other injuries at home; playing sports, out and about with family and friends or on holidays?

Accidents can happen anytime. Depending on the type of injury you suffer, you may not be able to...

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Harassment or office banter - where do you draw the line?



Earlier this month the SDA Newcastle Branch participated in a Young Workers Conference.

During the conference a report was released which found about half of young workers have experienced bullying or harassment on the job.

The stories of...

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Issues with a store transfer? Read this!


Retail worker, Barry*, recently needed a transfer to another workplace but ran into unexpected problems when he arrived there.

He faced an all too common problem. His employer attempted to unlawfully cut his hours from full-time to casual in the...

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Working Boxing Day?


On Boxing Day, Thursday 26 December 2019, you are entitled to exercise your legal right to take the time off on the public holiday unless you freely elect to work without any pressure, coercion, harassment, threat or intimidation.

Retail employers...

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Fun Fact Friday


This week a major retailer failed to process the payment of wages correctly on time. This in itself is disappointing because many workers were left with an anxious wait while the problem was rectified. Fortunately, through the quick response of...

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Theft works both ways


Imagine if you took a stroll down to the cash registers at work, popped open the drawer and helped yourself to an amount as small as $5, writes Nina Hutchinson.

You would expect some pretty serious consequences, right? Perhaps an investigation...

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Member Win: Jack's Story


You’re working full-time in a job you enjoy and your boss approaches you one day and directs you to go part-time.  What would you do?

That’s the dilemma which faced Jack last week.

Jack is a 20 year old fast food worker who has worked full-time...

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Delegate of the Month - Danae


September 2016

Danae is our Delegate at Woolworths Rutherford. She has been a Union member for nearly 6 years and a Delegate since Nov 2014.

Belinda, an SDA Recruiter, sat down with Danae and asked her some questions about her role as a Delegate.

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Payslips : What you NEED to know!


Do you know if you're getting paid correctly? When was the last time you checked your payslip? Payslips are vital to ensure that you, the employee, receive the correct pay and entitlements and allow your employer to keep accurate and complete...

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Delegate Win!


Our Delegate in Jay Jay’s Kotara, Robyn, recently met with management to advise them that they couldn’t cut back on permanent part time hours without notice. This issue affected both union and non-union members. As a result of Robyn advising...

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Blood Donor Leave


People of all walks of life need blood products, writes Jade Baker.

Some need it to get them through a serious event in their lives, like cancer or a dangerous pregnancy. Others have medical conditions which mean they need blood products regularly...

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That Wacky Tabacky could get you the sack-y!


A warehouse worker who admitted to smoking cannabis the evening before attending work has failed to get his job back in a high risk environment.  The worker claimed his dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable before the Fair Work Commission but...

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Family and Domestic Violence – A Workplace Issue


Family and domestic violence is a workplace issue, writes Branch Secretary, Barbara Nebart.

The SDA is fully committed to supporting initiatives aimed at removing domestic violence from our society and recognises that Domestic Violence is a...

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Win for Randall Connell at Officeworks


Our member, Randall Connell, works at Officeworks and recently noticed that he had not been correctly paid the higher duties rate and first aid allowance in accordance with his Enterprise Agreement.

After investigation and discussions with...

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Delegate of the Month - Jenna


July 2016

Jenna Schofield is a Bunnings workplace Delegate. She has been a Union member for 3 years and a Delegate since Oct 2015. We sat down with Jenna and asked her some questions about her role as a Delegate.

Why did you become a Delegate?

I ...

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Sacked for drinking coffee on the job


The Fair Work Commission has awarded a part time cleaner $9187.20 in compensation after he was fired for having a cup of coffee on the job.

The cleaner, an international student on a visa which restricts him from working more than 20 hours a week,...

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Coles Agreement Update - FWC Decision


In breaking news, the Fair Work Commission has just ruled that the enterprise agreement that 91 per cent of Coles workers who voted endorsed, should remain in place, confirming that the vast majority of Coles workers are better off.

Today in the...

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The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has handed down its annual minimum wage ruling today.

The FWC heard evidence and submissions from unions, employer associations and other interested parties during an exhaustive process which commenced late last year.

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Delegate of the Month – Lee


May 2016

Lee Mills is our Delegate in Woolworths Muswellbrook. She has been a Union member for 3 years and a Delegate since Oct 2013.

Kim, an SDA Organiser, sat down with Lee and asked her some questions about her role as a Delegate.


Why did...

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Your rights regarding Doctor’s Appointments


A large part of the Union’s work is assisting our members with workplace injuries and Workers Compensation claims.

The Union is aware that there have been many recent cases of employers seeking to attend Doctor’s appointments or that workers have...

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Nicole Cox fractured her ankle whilst mowing her lawn when her foot rolled into a divot.

During a Union Official’s visit to Nicole store, Nicole was advised she could claim through the Union’s Accident Insurance. She received a payout of $600.

The ...

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A Monumental Win!


SDA member Maria Lockwood turned up to work at ‘The Base Warehouse - The Entrance’ last September for an extra shift. Instead she was handed a letter that gave her the sack for reasons which she strongly denied. Her employer would not even talk to...

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SDA Member Win: Catherine Sparke


Catherine Sparke contacted the SDA after working for 10 years for an international fast food chain.

The franchise owner was being very difficult about Catherine's resignation. After some intervention from the SDA regarding notice period and amount ...

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SDA Member Win: Aimee Ringham


Aimee Ringham, a manager at a Charlestown clothing company, recently contacted the Union, shortly after becoming a member. She was concerned her wages were not being calculated correctly. While the SDA can only represent members with current issues...

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The Penalty Rate Debate


The Attacks

Currently there is a three-pronged attack on your rights at work and your right to compensation for working weekends.

Attack One: Employers

Employers have made applications to cut workers’ rights to penalty rates on the weekend....

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SDA Accident Insurance


Kaye Stevens, a long standing Union member working for Myer Charlestown, recently suffered a fall which left her with a broken wrist.

Upon speaking with her store Delegate, she was advised she could claim on the Unions accident insurance which...

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KFC Worker Burned in Workplace Accident


A sixteen year old KFC worker in Geelong suffered horrific burns to his face and body in a workplace accident on Friday night.

Tyson Grieg, 16, an experienced cook, worked for KFC for 2 years when the incident occurred.

'I was shocked at how...

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Casual Workers DO Have Rights!


Jade Baker, Industrial Officer writes:

Here are some of the things you are entitled to as a casual employee:

  • A higher hourly pay rate than equivalent permanent employees, in the form of a 'casual loading' because casual employees don't...
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SDA Win for Member


After a long drawn out Workers Compensation battle, one of our SDA members, Sharon Bailey, had a nice win last year. Sharon Bailey was injured during the course of her daily duties. While on Workers Compensation, the company deducted Sharon’s days ...

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Your Rights at Performance Meetings


A regular feature of the Union’s work is providing assistance to members before, during and after performance meetings. Far too often members find themselves in situations where they say, “If only I’d known!” or “Why was I so silly?”

The golden...

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Member Win!


A group of members from a national retailer recently contacted the union after staff members received a letter from their head office, which upon reading, they did not understand. The store Delegate contacted the SDA office on behalf of store...

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The Role of the SDA Women's Officer


The role of the Women`s Officer is to help our members maintain the balance between their working life and time with their family.

While many of the issues we deal with are specific to women, we can also advise the many dads who need to know...

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Getting Paid For The Work You Do


You have a right to be paid the correct grade:

Employees should be paid in accordance with their correct classification or “grade”.

Enterprise agreements and Modern Awards have a classification section which sets out job roles and the associated...

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