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Member information

About joining

To join the MEU NSW South Western District you must work in our industries and regions of coverage.

Our South Western District covers South of Sydney to the Victorian border and west to Broken Hill. This includes Coal Mines and Coke Works, Metalliferous Mines as well as Energy (Broken Hill Region) in NSW in these areas:

South – Wollongong Region & Southern Highlands/Tablelands.

West – Lithgow & Mudgee Region and Central Tablelands.

Far West – Broken Hill Region

We cover contractors and permanent employees.

If you are not sure if you are eligible, please contact us – we are happy to help.

Please complete the online form and we will follow up with you.

Member benefits and services

Members have access to:

  • District Officials are available 7 days a week
  • Industry Safety and Health Representatives 7 days a week
  • Mine site representation
  • Protecting wages, entitlements, working conditions and safety standards
  • Negotiating Enterprise Agreements
  • Member-focused service providers
  • Office staff available Monday to Friday

Members can access expert legal advice and assistance, including workers compensation, superannuation, retrenchment, unfair dismissal, long service leave and more.

Your best protection at the workplace comes from belonging to the Union. It is against the law for your employer to prevent you from joining the union.

As a member of our Union you can access the assistance of full time Officials, specialist professional legal and industrial staff. You also have the opportunity to network with other unionists in the industry. Be part of a collective that secures your rights and continues a long and proud history of better and safer workplaces.

Your Rights at Work

Are you and your mates sick of not having a say at your workplace? The Fair Work Act gives you the right to bargain as a group and to be represented by the Union. Your employer can’t say no. Have a talk to your workmates and get organised to improve your pay and conditions. Contact your District office for help with organising your workplace.

Awards

Under the Fair Work Act (FWA) the new safety net for employees’ wages and conditions is made up of a Modern Award and the National Employment Standards (NES). If you have a collective agreement at your workplace then it will provide for more and if negotiated by the Union, much more.

These are the modern awards that apply to our areas of membership. If it isn’t clear from the name of the award if it is for your industry, open it and read the coverage clause. The NES cover minimum core conditions for ordinary hours, unpaid parental leave, most types of paid leave, notice of termination and redundancy pay.

For information about specific awards, please contact the National Office – 02 9267 1035.

Enterprise Agreements

Most employees in our industries are covered by a collective (Enterprise) agreement. You can search for and find the agreement which operates at your workplace on the Fair Work Australia website. It can be tricky to find the right agreement. Select the “Advanced Search” button to enter more search options, including selecting your industry from a drop down list.

The Mining and Energy Union plays a vital role in developing and enforcing safety regulations and standards in the coal mining industry. Industry Health and Safety Representatives with statutory powers under coal mining legislation are available to you 7 days a week to deal with safety issues.

The National Assistance Fund (NAF) supports Members through tough times in three main ways:

  • Financial assistance to Members when wages are lost in industrial disputes with employers. This provides a financial safety net for Members fighting to protect and improve coal industry conditions.
  • A lump sum benefit to next of kin in the case of a work-related death.
  • Assistance to Members unable to work and without an income due to injury, in the case their workers’ compensation claim is disputed by the employer or insurer.

Eligibility for NAF payments starts after three months of membership. NAF payments are subject to approval by Trustees according to criteria determined by MEU Central Council.

Should you be killed on your work site or travelling to or from work, you may be entitled to a benefit which is paid in accordance with the Fund’s guidelines to the beneficiary as nominated on your Mortality Fund Benefit Beneficiary Nomination form.

Claims lodged and followed up on mineworkers’ behalf.

Service Providers and Partners

Mineworkers Trust provides funding for hospitals, schools, sporting groups, emergency services and many other community projects.

Annually MWT awards scholarships to MEU family members to pursue tertiary education. Read More about Scholarships.

The Trust has a truly remarkable history, beginning in the 1970s when the operators of the Nymboida Mine, near Grafton, declared bankruptcy and abandoned the lease. The workers staged a “work in” believing the mine was still viable. And so began “the Mine the Workers ran”. A series of negotiations between the Union and the State Government resulted in ownership being granted to the Miners Federation. Thus began the new initiative of United Collieries, a new joint venture with the Federation as lease owner and a number of big mining companies who provided finance for developing the mine.

So far the Trust has returned more than $10 million dollars to Australian mining communities.

About Mineworkers Trust – interview with Andrew Vickers

Mine Super was established from a merger between the Coalsuper Retirement Income Fund (COALSUPER) and the Queensland Coal and Oil Shale Mining Industry Superannuation Fund (QCOS). Prior to 1 July 2015, Mine Super was known as AUSCOAL Super.

We’re an industry fund

We’re owned for the exclusive benefit of members. Our profit-to-members approach means we can return benefits to our members through lower fees and better returns.

The way service should be

We have a team of highly qualified and experienced people who can assist you. Whether you need a quick answer or general advice about super we can help you over the phone or provide face-to-face guidance from someone you can trust.

We can also help you find sound personal financial advice from a licensed financial adviser. As salaried employees, Mine Super Financial Advisers can look at your overall financial position and put in place strategies to help you maximise your wealth over the long-term.

Unity Bank started in 1970 as Waterside Workers’ of Australia Credit Union when a group of dedicated people from the maritime industry got together and formed a mutual financial institution to benefit all maritime workers and their families when the big banks refused.

Since then, it has expanded and now includes Members in power, mining, forestry and energy, their families and the local communities. Today, thanks to the loyalty and support of our Members, we have grown into a strong and healthy financial institution that has remained 100% owned by Unity Bank Members – by you.

Benefits of Unity Bank membership include:

Learn more about the Unity Bank MEU Supporter Package designed to help you gain the most from your finances and to assist you during periods of challenge or hardship in your workplace or community.

We understand the health needs of people in regional Australia because we grew up here and we’re on your side.

We are different because we live here. Our building blocks as an early not-for-profit health fund for miners is still deeply rooted in today’s Westfund – we exist for the health and strength of local communities and have been doing so since 1881.

West Fund Health InsuranceWe have members, not customers and we treat you like a real person. We’re always looking to fill the gaps in local healthcare and continue to provide ongoing regional investment and support, particularly in regional NSW and QLD. Westfund has invested millions of dollars in these areas to deliver much needed services to its members.

Our dental and optical services and community initiatives help improve health outcomes and we also assist various local clubs and community groups to help bring people together to live happier healthier lives. We always operate in our members best interests and are deeply connected to local communities, because this is where we live.

NSW South Western District members are eligible for a discounts on when they obtain a quote.

Union Shopper is a 100 percent union-owned service that provides members with discounts on a wide range of products and services. As a member of MEU NSW South Western District, you are automatically eligible to register.

Union Shopper is all about ensuring members receive great value for money on whatever you are looking to buy. At no cost to you, they help save time and money, without the hassles and headache. Make the most of this valuable money-saving service.

Before you make another purchase, remember Union Shopper and challenge them to find you a better deal. For detailed information on how to purchase through Union Shopper visit the MEU South Western District Union Shopper Portal.

With your union details on hand you can easily register your membership online, which will then reveal to you the full benefits of our online Members Only area.

Request a quote online: Members can find their best prices on the electrical goods you want to buy 24/7. Simply visit the MEU South Western District Union Shopper Portal with your product details and in two to three business hours they’ll have our best price back to you.

Access to District Lawyers: Members are able to have Wills prepared at no cost as well as Powers of Attorney, Enduring Guardianships and Family Law Service provided at discounted rates through the District Lawyers.  A Free online Will is also available, by contacting the District Office.

Notices and resources

2024 MEU General Elections

Nominations for the MEU General Elections open on 15 April 2024 and close on 6 May 2024.  The ballot period will open on 20 May 2024 and close on 11 June 2024.  Notices for the National Office and each individual District and the respective nomination forms are available here:

South Western District Notice

South Western District Nomination Form

South Western District Nomination Form for the position of District Check Inspector

The FWC has issued a decision to amend the South Western District rules regarding the District Branch Executive, the Board of Management and Additional Officers.  A copy of the decision can be found here.

Financial Reports

South West District Financial Report ending December 2023