Preparing to go on Parental Leave

28/04/2017

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 ...

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

24/04/2017

"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

30/03/2017

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 ...

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Lower house must stand up for penalty rates - as bill passes senate

30/03/2017

The senate has acted to protect the take-home pay of hundreds of thousands of hard-working but low paid people in Australia. Now the legislation and the responsibility to protect working people pass to the lower house.
This legislation will safeguard ...

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Great win for Harrison!

30/03/2017

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...

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AEC post-election report E2016/271

30/03/2017

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...

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HANDS UP IF YOU HAVE A SUGAR DADDY?

30/03/2017

 

Check out this morning’s astonishing radio interview with Employment Minister Michaelia Cash.

The Liberal Minister floundered as she attempted in vain to justify her Government’s absurd anti-worker submission that you don’t really need a decent...

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ACTU seeks 6.7% minimum wage rise

29/03/2017

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,...

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SDA Submission: REVIEW OF THE 2015 AMENDMENTS TO THE RETAIL TRADING ACT 2008

28/03/2017

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 ...

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Matter No: 2014/305 FOUR YEARLY REVIEW OF MODERN AWARDS : PENALTY RATES SUBMISSION OF THE SDA - Transitional And Related Matters

27/03/2017

Matter No: 2014/305

FOUR YEARLY REVIEW OF MODERN AWARDS : PENALTY RATES

SUBMISSION OF THE SDA -

 

Transitional And Related Matters

 

Date 24 March, 2017

 

SDA Primary Position

  1. The Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association makes...
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Your rights around Personal/Sick Leave

24/03/2017

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...

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MICHAELIA CASH: BAD IR MINISTER … EVEN WORSE GREEN GROCER

21/03/2017

We already knew that Michaelia Cash was an abysmal IR Minister. Now we can confirm she would make an equally poor green grocer because Michaelia just keeps comparing apples with oranges.

 

While the Turnbull Government turns its back on 700,000...

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Great long service leave win for Olivia

21/03/2017

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

17/03/2017

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 workers in...

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

8/03/2017

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

23/02/2017

 

 

 

 

 

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...

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Welcoming A New Chapter In My Life

22/02/2017

Hi, my name is Peter Cooper and I'm excited to introduce myself as the new Organiser of the SDA for the Hunter Valley area. I am excited to take on this role and I am keen to get started in the area, assisting our members.

About me...

I was born...

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Know Your Rights - Social Media

16/02/2017

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 - Work Safety & Injuries in the workplace

16/02/2017

 

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...

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Public Holidays

16/02/2017

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

15/02/2017

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

14/02/2017

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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Know Your Rights - Payment of Wages and Payslips

13/02/2017

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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KEEP A FILE!

8/02/2017

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 ...

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Broken air-con in work?

1/02/2017

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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Are you due Long Service Leave?

18/01/2017

Quite often employees are unsure of their rights around Long Service Leave and when it can be taken.

In the state of NSW, Long Service Leave is governed by the Long Service Leave Act of 1955. Each state has its own Act so if you are seeking...

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Delegate of the Month - Rebecca Holt

17/01/2017

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 about her...

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SDA SUCCESSFULLY OPPOSES UNFAIR H&M AGREEMENT

17/01/2017

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!

12/01/2017

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

10/01/2017

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.

SPEAK UP!

Raising a ...

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Delegates of the Month: Diane Bickerstaff and Nicole Ferris

25/11/2016

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 and 'share the ...

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Narisa's Christmas Wish

18/11/2016

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.

 

When ...

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Don't Agonise, Organise!

18/11/2016

 

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

26/10/2016

 

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!

21/10/2016

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?

14/10/2016

YOUR BOXING DAY RIGHTS

 

On Boxing Day, Monday 26 December 2016, 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...

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Fun Fact Friday

7/10/2016

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

5/10/2016

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...

Read More

Member Win: Jack's Story

27/09/2016

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

13/09/2016

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.

 

Why did you ...

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Payslips : What you NEED to know!

7/09/2016

 

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!

2/09/2016

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

29/08/2016

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...

Read More

That Wacky Tabacky could get you the sack-y!

25/08/2016

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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Devastating announcement for Masters Staff

25/08/2016

The SDA is deeply disappointed with the announcement this afternoon that Masters stores will cease trading by mid-December across the country.

SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said that while stores will remain open for the next 12-14 weeks this ...

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Family and Domestic Violence – A Workplace Issue

23/08/2016

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

21/07/2016

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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Can you afford to be $17,000 worse off?

13/07/2016

Ask a young person how minimum wage increases are determined and common responses will include ‘the boss’, ‘the Government’ and the always amusing ‘I deserve them’. Unfortunately, few young workers are aware that the annual National Wage Case is the ...

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Delegate of the Month - Jenna Schofield

11/07/2016

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 wanted to ...

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STAND UP FOR YOUR WORK RIGHTS AND PUT THE LIBERALS LAST THIS ELECTION

1/07/2016

Your rights, entitlements and wages at work had been hard fought by unions in Australia for over 100 years.

A fair and just minimum wage, the 38 hour week, breaks, leave entitlements, rostering conditions, penalty rates, workplace health and...

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LET’S FIGHT FOR FAIR TAXATION AND PUT THE LIBERALS LAST THIS ELECTION

1/07/2016

Australian politicians like to pretend the tax debate is complex and we should leave it up to so-called experts (especially former successful businessmen) because apparently we’re all a bit simple, but really it is quite simple.

In the end it is...

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TO INVEST IN EDUCATION PUT THE LIBERALS LAST THIS ELECTION

1/07/2016

Education is the great enabler and equalizer. No matter what is your socio-economic background, whether you or your child attended a Government, Catholic or Independent school or if you live in the city, suburbs or the regions a good education will...

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FOR A DECENT RETIREMENT PUT THE LIBERALS LAST THIS ELECTION

29/06/2016

A decent retirement which provides all Australians with a comfortable standard of living in retirement is integral to a fair and just society.

That’s why the Australian trade union movement has always fought for the pension and a strong industry...

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LET’S DEFEND OUR PUBLIC SERVICE AND PUT THE LIBERALS LAST THIS ELECTION

29/06/2016

Public services are the cornerstone of a fair community but in the last 3 years the Abbott / Turnbull Government has cut over 18,000 public sector jobs.

These deep cuts have had an impact on almost every member of the community.

From families, job ...

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LET’S SAVE MEDICARE AND PUT THE LIBERALS LAST THIS ELECTION

28/06/2016

More than any other single issue, this election will be a referendum on the future of Medicare.

In recent days everyone seems to be falling over themselves to defend Medicare.  After three years of carving the guts out of healthcare funding,...

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LET’S BUILD A BETTER FUTURE AND PUT THE LIBERALS LAST THIS ELECTION

27/06/2016

There’s just five more sleeps until the election. Thank goodness! Five more days of politicians ambling through shopping centres, handing out at railway stations, wearing hi-vis, kissing babies and (now officially) launching their campaigns.

Then...

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Statement from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary of the SDA – the union for retail, fast-food and warehouse workers – re Coles decision

9/06/2016

Statement from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary of the SDA – the union for retail, fast-food and warehouse workers – re Coles decision


The SDA is extremely disappointed that Coles have not agreed to make undertakings as invited to by the Fair Work...

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Sacked for drinking coffee on the job

1/06/2016

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

31/05/2016

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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2.4% MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE FOR AWARD WORKERS

31/05/2016

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.

... Read More

Delegate of the Month – Lee Mills

17/05/2016

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 you become ...

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MEMBER WIN – ACCIDENT INSURANCE

13/05/2016

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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AEC urges Voters to Enrol before Federal Election

9/05/2016

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is urging voters to check their enrolment details before the upcoming federal election campaign.

The electoral rolls will close on May 23rd, ahead of the July 2 poll.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said ...

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Safety is union business

6/05/2016

Safety is union business and the SDA - the union for retail, fast-food and warehouse workers - makes no apologies for that.

Grace Collier’s opinion piece in The Australian, 3 May, insinuated that by running accredited workplace health and safety...

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$4 Internship Program a Pathway to Exploitation

5/05/2016

 Media Release: Wednesday 4 May

$4 internship program a pathway to exploitation

The Turnbull Government’s PaTH internship program announced in the Federal Budget appears devoid of practical protections and will pave the way for further...

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Turnbull's First Shell Game (ahem! Budget)

4/05/2016

Last night Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull delivered their first (and hopefully last) budget. It was a slick sales job. The Liberals say this is a plan for jobs and growth — but it’s really a plan to deliver tax cuts for multinationals at the...

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A Monumental Win!

6/04/2016

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

8/03/2016

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...

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Casual workers caught out on Super!

8/03/2016

A new ruling from the ATO means that pizza delivery drivers must be paid as employees and not contractors for the purposes of superannuation obligations.

University of Sydney economist Dr Michael Rafferty told The New Daily that the decision is...

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SDA Member Win: Aimee Ringham

8/03/2016

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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Barbara's Brainteasers Winner May 2014

8/03/2016

Congratulations to Fiona Madafiglio who has won this issue of The Distributive Worker’s ‘Barbara’s Brainteasers’.

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The Penalty Rate Debate

8/03/2016

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

8/03/2016

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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Workers get burned at Grill'd

8/03/2016

A 20 year old Melbourne woman, Kahlani Pyrah, has launched Federal Court action against fast-food company Grill‘d.

According to Pyrah, "A few months ago, one of our friends was unfairly sacked, and people came to me because they knew I was a member ...

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KFC Worker Burned in Workplace Accident

8/03/2016

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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100% Pay Week of Action 2015

8/03/2016

The SDA recently held a national week of action for our 100% Pay at 18+ campaign in August (3rd-9th).

The week saw Organisers and Delegates campaign in-store to raise awareness for the cause which currently has 56,536 supporters Australia wide to...

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Casual Workers DO Have Rights!

8/03/2016

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

8/03/2016

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

8/03/2016

Industrial Officer, Jade Baker writes about 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...

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Member Win!

8/03/2016

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

18/02/2016

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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A Special Thank You

18/02/2016

Clarissa Horsley writes: 

 

To whom it may concern,

I would like to cancel my SDA Newcastle Union membership. I am not sure if I am also still classified as a Union Delegate but if so then I would like to officially resign as delegate as well.

...
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Getting Paid For The Work You Do

18/02/2016

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...

Read More

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