Throughout 2014 the USU has ramped up our make the switch campaign across all workplaces.
We encourage all members who are still paying their subscriptions by payroll deduction to be proactive and make the switch when this campaign visits your local workplace.
In Queensland payroll deductions were outlawed by the Liberal National state government effective 1 July 2014. This also took place in Victoria on Christmas Eve 1994 by the Kennett Liberal state government. We need to protect your union membership and rights at work in NSW by making sure you are in control of paying your membership fees by Direct Debit.
Monthly draws were held in 2014 for members who Made the Switch! see winners at right.
(Lottery Number, NSW permit number LTPM/14/00140, Multiple permit class Type C)
Frequently asked questions:
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions that you may have regarding making the switch from payroll deduction to direct debit for payment of union subscriptions.
Why Make the Switch?
The right to access employer payroll deductions (PRD) is a right which may be taken away at any time. Even where PRD is allowed in an industrial instrument, such as an Award or Enterprise Agreement, changes to legislation can alter this at anytime.
With PRD the employer has control of the process.
In some cases unscrupulous employers have withdrawn PRD as a punishment in times of industrial disputation.
Making the switch is about safeguarding the collective strength of USU members to bargain for future salary increases and working conditions.
What is direct debit?
Direct debit is a simple way to pay union subscriptions.
Members can arrange to have union subscriptions deducted weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly through their bank, building society or credit union. You may use your bank account or credit card (VISA or Mastercard).
How does it work?
Once the Direct Debit Request form has been completed and received by the USU, the details are recorded securely by the USU and used to process payments in accordance with the member’s authority.
The member’s bank account or credit card cannot be accessed by the USU for any reason other than for the payment of the union subscriptions.
What does it cost?
Generally there should be no charges to make the switch. However some financial institutions limit the number of transactions you have without further fees and some may charge a small amount for the transaction. Members should check with their financial institutions about their specific accounts.
The member will pay a dishonour fee if there are insufficient funds in the account at the time of the debit. (Please ensure that funds are available).
If it is demonstrated that a dishonour fee was caused by Union error, the Union will consider paying the fee subject to the Union’s policy and the notification from the member.
How to Make the Switch
To switch to Direct Debit, Credit Card or BPAY, simply complete the Make the Switch Agreement Form and return it to the USU delegate or the USU office or the USU membership team by FAX to 02 9261 3378. (NOT your financial institution or payroll officer).
What’s in it for members?
Members’ rights continue to be protected regardless of the government of the day.
What happens on a public holiday?
Members who pay by Direct Debit should note that banks will not process the transaction on the actual public holiday and should ensure there are sufficient funds in their account the working day before the public holiday to ensure the transaction can take place.
What about a tax receipt?
At the end of the financial year, the USU will continue to provide a tax statement for purposes of claiming a tax deduction for Union subscriptions paid by the member.
Member’s banking details will not be accessed by USU staff except for the purpose processing of contributions, in accordance with member’s authorisation. The Union will ensure that members’ financial information is stored safely, and is for the sole use of United Services Union. The Union will not disclose any member’s financial data without express and signed authority from the member.
If a deduction has been initiated incorrectly (outside your drawing arrangements) you should take the matter up directly with the USU Membership Section in the first instance.
How to cancel or suspend?
Members should ensure that their current method of paying subscriptions continues until the first nominated debit date from the account. This should be done by completing the USU Make the Switch form and sending it to the USU Membership Section. The Union will make the arrangements with the employer to cancel payroll deductions.
USU subscription rates and policies are available HERE. All enquiries regarding Making the Switch should be directed to the USU Membership Team 02 92658211 or the USU Support Team Ph: 1300 136 604.