Community and Disability Sector News

Wage theft in the community sector, new NDIA CEO... and ASU babies!


wage theft in the community sector

200 Family Violence support workers in North Queensland have had $200,000 stolen from their wages. Their employer won’t go to jail - instead they’ve been given a year to pay their workers back.

The Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the organisation “has not only breached workplace laws, it has let down committed employees that form the backbone of its organisation and fallen short of community expectations.”

Our Civil Society campaign demands that organisations in our sector treat workers with respect – and that includes being transparent about wages and classifications of all positions. Add your name to the Civil Society campaign.



Fran Teirney Award - Nominations

Fran Teirney is an ASU legend. Fran joined our Union when she started work in the early 1980s and inspired and mentored many ASU members. Fran was President of the Community and Disability Sector Division from 1993 until she retired in 2009. Fran is a life member and dedicated to the community sector and to her Union.

Do you know an ASU member like Fran?

Someone who has been a leader of ASU members in their workplace and helped shape the community and disability sector in your community, across the state or across the country?

Someone who has fought hard for better outcomes for clients, better funding for programs or better recognition of the community and disability services sector?

If you know of such an ASU legend you should nominate them for the Fran Teirney Award.

This is an annual award to an ASU member in the community and disability sector who has shown an outstanding and long-term commitment of at least 10 years to both the ASU and our sector. The Award will be presented at a special event later this year and announced to all ASU members. 

Nominate a union colleague for this special Award.

Nominations close at 5pm Friday 1 November 2019.



ASU Member Lisa Smajlov at Anti-Poverty Week Event

As part of anti-poverty week ASU legend and community worker Lisa Smajlov joined Anna Bacik, Director and Policy and Research at NSW Council of Social Services spoke at a Sydney panel about the need to increase the rate of Newstart.

Despite the increasing cost of living, Newstart has not been increased in 25 years. $40 per day is too low to give people the support they need to get through tough times and into suitable paid work.

Add your voice to the campaign to Raise the Rate and get Newstart working.



After 170 days without a chief executive, Martin Hoffman has been appointed the new NDIA CEO. Minister Stuart Robert also announced that the agency would gain an additional 800 staff to help reduce delays for participants accessing their plans.

There is still a lot of work to do to make the NDIS the best it can be. We need to see improved NDIS prices, meaningful careers, quality standards and secure jobs. Agree? Join the campaign to make the NDIS the best it can be.



Phone call button

Do you need to talk to someone about an issue at work?

Use our new online form to book a return call and our team will be in touch.

For urgent matters you can always call the ASU on 02 9310 4000 for assistance.

You can also find a copy of your pay rates, Award or Agreement on our website. There are some useful fact sheets up there too which may answer your questions.



Baby in ASU bib

Are you expecting a new addition to your family? Get in touch and we can help with all you need to know about taking parental leave and returning to work.

If you’re taking unpaid parental leave we can put your union subscription on hold (don’t worry, you continue to access your member discounts and savings for the whole family!).

Our new Parental Leave Kit includes fact sheets, links to useful online courses, tips for your superannuation and more. Plus – the Kit includes a cute bib for the newest member of the ASU family!

Book an organiser visit!

Organisers can come visit your workplace to talk with members and non-members about the Civil Society and #bestNDIS campaigns, and hear about what's going on at your workplace.

These workers at Bonnie's Support Services learned about member benefits and how the Civil Society campaign relates to their workplace.

Contact your delegate or the union office to book a visit from your organiser.


Delegates Training 101 October 2019

This week five new delegates from the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability, Nature Conservation Council, Sydney Water and Sydney Trains attended delegate training at our Redfern office.

Delegates are the face of the ASU in their workplace - they keep everyone up to date with ASU news, represent members and build our union. 

Delegates are provided with comprehensive induction packs and can access fact sheets about issues at work to give advice and support to their members in the workplace.

If you're interested in becoming a union delegate, activist or contact get in touch with your Organiser or call the ASU on 02 9310 4000, or email [email protected]