Australian Services Union Victorian Private Sector Branch
ORGANISE Union News for delegates and workplace representatives
Organise Issue 6, August 2012 ASU Victorian Private Sector Branch, L1, 117 Capel Street North Melbourne 3051
Most people experience stress at work from time to time, but extreme, prolonged stress can have serious consequences. Stress can: • Negatively impact mental health • Increase the risk of physical disease or illness, e.g. cardiovascular disease • Impact work performance • Erode social relationships at work and home The ASU most commonly deals with stress resulting from bullying or other issues at work.
1 in 8 Australians reports feeling severely stressed
30% of these say work is the cause of their stress - Australian Psychological Society (2011)
Taking time off for stress
After musculoskeletal injuries, work-related stress is the second most common illness/injury claim in Australia. Still, the ASU is aware that many workers suffering from
stress never make a claim – all too often, workers use up their annual leave and sick leave to recover from stress, meaning those resources aren’t there in the future. As a result, the worker can end up even more stressed and the cycle continues. Calling your union for advice as soon as you have any concerns will yield much better solutions to your workplace stress issues. Workers who have been diagnosed with work-related stress may be entitled to Work Cover compensation, in the form of paid time off work to recover. Your union organiser can assist you through the claims process.
Preventing work-related stress
Stress at work can be managed by identifying work stress factors and taking steps, with your OHS rep, to manage those hazards. The following questions cover common areas of stress for people at work – take this quick quiz to help identify where the risk factors are in your workplace.
Preventing work stress in your workplace - self assessment guide 1. I often have unrealistic time pressures Often Sometimes Seldom Never/Almost Never 2. Staff are consulted about change at work Often Sometimes Seldom Never/Almost Never 3. I have some say over the way I work Often Sometimes Seldom Never/Almost Never 4. I am clear about what my duties and responsibilities are Often Sometimes Seldom Never/Almost Never 5. I receive the respect I deserve from my colleagues at work Often Sometimes Seldom Never/Almost Never 6. Staff are exposed to interpersonal conflict at work Often Sometimes Seldom Never/Almost Never 7. My line manager encourages me at work Often Sometimes Seldom Never/Almost Never
Call centre staff - use our online stress tool at www.asu-stressometer.com.au
August 2012 Edition: Authorised and printed by Ingrid Stitt, Branch Secretary ASU Victorian Private Sector Branch, 117 Capel Street North Melbourne 3051
Workplace news - ASU members at work Members at Travel Design International have negotiated a new agreement with fantastic results. In addition to negotiating a 3.5% pay rise each year for three years, members have achieved union rights and OHS clauses, and redundancies are capped at 52 weeks. All the staff at TDI are union members, and are very pleased with their bargaining results. ASU Organiser Gail Drummond noted that negotiations were mutually productive, with management benefiting from union experience establishing new clauses, and members receiving great outcomes as a result. Significantly, the conditions offered in the new EBA mean the boutique travel agency will no doubt continue to attract experienced, enthusiastic and committed staff to help grow their business. Virgin Airlines customer service officers are signing up to the ASU in big numbers. Staff are eager to address a number of key issues relating to their work arrangements. The airline’s Enterprise Agreement is due to be renegotiated in September, and the ASU hopes to be in an even stronger position by then. Accordingly, members at Virgin are being urged to talk to their colleagues about joining the union in preparation for successful negotiations! In Castlemaine, ASU members at Flowserve manufacturing are working with their shop floor colleagues to negotiate a new EBA. Members of the ASU, AMWU, AWU and ETU are all working as a single bargaining unit, uniting in solidarity to ensure everyone at the company is protected by the new agreement. At the moment, members are assembling and consolidating claims to put to the company. We look forward to seeing members cooperative spirit paying dividends as bargaining commences! Delegates at Armaguard have had a win fighting for their union rights. Armaguard had initially insisted that delegates would be forced to take annual leave to attend delegate training with the ASU—training these delegates need to continue to effectively represent their co-workers! ASU organisers stepped in to enforce the EBA and ensure that Armaguard delegates received paid union training leave. New delegates attended training at the end of July.
OH&S Training Dates
Initial 5 day training course August 6 - 10 Ballarat August 20 - 24 Carlton August 20 - 24 Ringwood September 3 - 7 Frankston September 10 - 14 Geelong September 24 - 28 Carlton 1 day refresher September 18 Carlton September 20 Ringwood September 21 Frankston
ASU Delegate training
“I found the training answered my questions, giving me the confidence I needed in my role as a delegate and knowledge to pass onto our members.” 9th-10th October Organising for EBAs (prerequisite for “Negotiating for EBAs) 23rd & 24th October Core Skills for delegates (great for refreshing skills and new delegates)