Join the movement for change


Australian Unions have launched a massive campaign to Change the Rules and with big business lobbyists out in the media attacking us for it - so we know we are already making an impact.

The ads have a simple message: Big business has too much power and Australians need more secure jobs and a wage rise.

Here are the first steps you can take to help get this message out to millions of people:

1. Join the movement for change

2. Share our campaign video on: Facebook | YouTube | Twitter

It has never been easy to take on powerful corporations.

But past generations of union members have done it before and we can do it again.

With your help, we can build a powerful movement to change the rules.


Governance update


The ASU Branch Executive recently finalised an independent external Review of governance issues after concerns were raised about officials' compliance with union policies. During the Review, several issues were identified – one of which related to the engagement of a building service provider for maintenance of the ASU office building in Carlton. We want to make sure you have the facts about this matter.

The Review was carried out by Neil Pope – an expert in the field, with great integrity who has served as a Minister, was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia and is member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

  • The Review found that the building services arrangement was in clear contravention of our governance arrangements;
  • Mr Brian Parkinson was an officer of the Union at the time and failed to disclose a "related party" payment;
  • On 30 January this year, Mr Parkinson was charged with breaches of the union's policies in relation to the matter;
  • Mr Parkinson was given an opportunity to respond at a hearing held by the Branch Executive, which decided to uphold the charges, including gross misbehaviour and gross neglect of duties;
  • As a result, Mr Parkinson has been dismissed from his current honorary office of National Conference Delegate and the union has withdrawn our endorsement of Mr Parkinson as an ASU nominee of the Vision Superannuation Board.

We regret the circumstances, but members have the right to know that your ASU representatives uphold the Union's values and act with integrity. That is why we have taken appropriate steps to resolve the matter in accordance with the Review findings.

As a member of the Australian Services Union, you deserve a strong union which protects your interests and actively works to achieve better outcomes for you. To deliver that, the union must have strong and effective governance arrangements and officials must uphold union policies.

We are now taking further steps to update the union's approach to governance.

  • We have selected an external provider to undertake a broader finance and governance review which will look at the current structures, processes and policies of the union.
  • We are updating the compulsory training that union officers must undertake in relation to good finance and governance.

These initiatives are about ensuring that the union remains strong, so we can keep focussing on the things that matter to members, such as your pay and conditions at work and pursuing changes to the rules and laws that are supposed to protect Australian workers.



Vale Zelda D'Aprano

The ASU are saddened to hear that lifelong equal pay activist Zelda D'Aprano passed away in February.

zeldaFrom the 1960s Zelda fought to ensure that women were paid the same as a man for work of equal value. She was still fighting to help ASU community services members win their historic equal pay case in 2012.

When, in 1969, Zelda chained herself to the Commonwealth Court of Arbitration to protest the gender pay gap women were paid on average 75% of a male wage for work of equal value. Zelda has frequently recounted that the decision to protest in this way did not come easily as she was not one to court attention. Her decision to protest, born out of a deep sense of injustice at the gender pay gap, epitomises the bravery that Zelda displayed her whole life.

Many years after Zelda's action in 1969 the gender pay gap has narrowed but is still too high. Zelda's actions have inspired women unionists from the ASU and many other unions to take up the struggle for equal pay. Her legacy is the on-going activism of a new generation of union activists. The struggle continues.

ASU members thank Zelda for her activism and pass on our condolences to her family.


Family Violence


Last week Rosie Batty announced she is winding up the Luke Batty foundation and will be stepping out of the public eye. Rosie set up the Luke Batty Foundation in memory of her 11-year-old son who was murdered by his father Greg Anderson while at cricket practice in February 2014 after she had endured year of violence at Anderson's hands.

(Rosie Batty pictured left with ASU Branch Coordinator Melissa Wainwright)

A tireless anti-family violence campaigner, Rosie was named Australian of the in 2015. Rosie has been widely credited with raising the political profile of family violence, having successfully helped campaign for the federal government's women's safety package and the Victorian Andrews government's family violence royal commission. The former Australian of the year also assisted in launching and raising the profile of Women's Legal Services Australia's campaign to improve the family law system for survivors.

The campaign which was backed by more than 90 domestic violence groups and community legal centres - proposes a number of measures, including providing more survivors free legal help in family law cases and introducing laws that prevent women from being directly cross-examined by their abusers in court. It also suggests removing the Family Law Act's focus on "equal shared time" in custody battles "to shift culture and practice towards a greater focus on safety and risk to children.

The ASU thanks Rosie for her tireless efforts championing the rights of family violence victim/survivors and her push for improved service delivery systems and improved funding for the family violence sectors.

ASU Branch Coordinator Leon Wiegard and Organiser Kristy Lee Tyrrell have set up regular meetings with Family Safety Victoria to discuss the implementation and roll out of the Safety Hubs and the potential impacts on ASU members. For further information at ASU activity in the family violence sector please get in touch with Kristy Lee Tyrrell on 0419 506 310 or Or please get in touch to come along to out next family violence network committee




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