Community and Disability News

Read on for all the latest news across the Community and Disability sector, including pay rise for casuals, hundreds of jobs saved and resources for your workplace.

25% Pay Rise for casuals

Unions have won a 25% pay rise for casuals working Saturday, Sundays, Public Holidays and overtime. 

The ASU has been calling for this since the Award changed 9 years ago.

The Fair Work Commission's recent decision means that casuals working under the SCHADS Award must be paid their 25% casual loading in addition to overtime time and weekend penalty rates.

It is likely to be phased between 1 December 2019 and 1 July 2020 (we are waiting for confirmation from the Fair Work Commission).  

Weekends are important - it's when most people get time away from work to spend with friends and families. The Fair Work Commission's decision recognises that casual workers have friends and families too.

Unions won the weekend, and we will always strive for fair weekend and overtime rates.

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100 Jobs Saved

Premier Youthworks (PYW) was the major provider of residential out-of-home care in the ACT, until they announced that they were closing their doors in Canberra, with little notice to our members. This announcement could have left more than 100 workers without a job and vulnerable young people with no continuity of support or care.

Led by ASU Proud delegate Andrew Sheehan, members worked together to implement a plan. They endorsed a plan to ensure all PYW workers had the opportunity to maintain their jobs and all of their current employment conditions .

This hard work led to an agreement with Barnardos ACT to employ ASU members directly when they took over the service.

Congratulations to all members involved!

Meet Andrew

Andrew Sheehan met the Spice Girls

Andrew is a Residential Care Worker and has been working with young people for over 10 years.  

And Andrew reckons it's the most interesting job he’s ever had.

Apparently, it’s even more interesting than when he was a band manager and tour bus driver and gave one of the Spice Girls a lift.

Andrew is a lifelong Tottenham supporter, a proud ASU delegate since 2015 and he sits on the ASU’s Committee of Management.

Need to talk?

Have a question about work? Don't forget that every member can call the ASU on 02 9310 4000 for assistance.

This year our expert team have supported 4517 members who have called for assistance and recovered over $750,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements for ASU members. We have also saved over 350 individual jobs.

Recently a member called the Member Assistance Line with a question about Long Service Leave. Our member wanted to take Long Service Leave at half pay but had been told by her employer that this would be a breach of the Act.

According to the Long Service Leave Act (NSW) there are three ways in which a worker can be paid Long Service Leave are:

  1. In full when the worker commences the period of leave, or
  2. At the same time as the worker’s ordinary pay would have been paid if the worker has maintained on duty, or
  3. In any other way agreed between the employer and the worker.

Our member was provided with advice and assured that her employer was able to agree to pay her Long Service Leave at half pay. This helped our member who wrote to say, 

"My holiday is going well. Thanks for your help as I am sure it would have gone the other way without me being able to throw that information into the conversation. That was the first time since I started work that I have needed advice from the union and I retire next year!".

Advancing your career

Since launching our online training and development portal ASU Career Launchpad early in 2019, thousands of members participate in live and on-demand courses. All the courses are run by experts in the field: sign up for a live session so you can ask questions, or watch back any of the courses at any time, on-demand.

Some of our most popular courses are:

Go to Activate your Account and use the email that is connected to your ASU membership to get started.

Delegate Training

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. We also run regular delegate training across NSW and the ACT. 

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]


Rally for climate action

The Australian Services Union is proud to support the school strikers’ Global #ClimateStrike on September 20 and the young leaders who are demanding real and immediate action on climate change.

In Sydney, we’ll be meeting at 11:30am at the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park. ASU members will also be at rallies in Canberra, Newcastle, Wollongong and Lismore.

Join ASU members on September 20 at climate change rallies across the country. 

Super Sessions

We have offices in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Lismore and one year ago today we opened our newest office in Penrith.

These offices are hubs for ASU members – where you can hold meetings, pick up workplace posters and get involved with local campaigns.

We have also partnered with HESTA Superannuation to provide regional super sessions at these hubs.

Come along and find out how you can maximise your superannuation savings.

Big savings only for ASU members

Member Advantage

Standing together in union means we can get great deals to improve our lives outside of work as well as in the workplace.

You can save $1000 a year on groceries and petrol with 5% off at Woolies, Coles, and Caltex with Member Advantage. To get started, simply go to then click Sign In and if you're using it for the first time, click Request New Password and enter your email address.

Expert advice and resources

Planning a holiday or need to take leave? Find out your rights by downloading our Your Rights - Leave factsheet.

And before you go, why not remind your coworkers of all the great wins we've had over the years with our Brought to you by Union Members Poster!

Members can access all the fact sheets and workplace posters on the Resources section of our website.