MEU Delegates at the 1914 Annual Conference


Woollahra Council employees and Plant, Road Making, 1918


Bathurst 8 Hour Day Display 1919


Union’s 6 Hour Day Display for 1938 Procession


Women of the union – Labor Day Procession, October 1954


Labor Day March – October 1958


Labor Day Procession – 6 October 1958


Heading into South’s territory, Labor Day 1967


Betty Spears addresses the Equal Pay Rally at Wynyard Park, 25 February 1969


Picket at Waltons Chullora Distribution Centre, on 20 May 1987


Clerks join the protest against the Greiner Industrial Relations Bill outside Parliament House, Sydney in 1991


Sydney Rally Opposing Tendering, 1999

The United Services Union was formed on 21 May 2003 following the merge between two branches of the Australian Services Union – the Municipal Employees Union and the Clerical and Administrative Branch of the ASU. The USU represents local government, energy, airline and clerical and administrative employees throughout NSW and the ACT.

History of Municipal Employees’ Union

History of the Municipal Employees UnionOn March 20, 1903, a document was signed at the office of the registrar of friendly societies which stated;

“I hereby certify that I have this day registered the Sydney municipal employees’ union (as it was then known; under the trade union act, 1881.”

Later ratified on the 8 November, 1908, under the ‘industrial disputes act 1908’.

This was the beginning of an era of industrial reform in local government which years later has placed the New South Wales Division of the Federated Municipal and Shire Council Employees’ Union (formally named on 27 November 1913) among the leaders of industrial trade unions.

The original NSW union which amalgamated with similar organisations in other states in 1916 to form the federal body has, through its leadership, achieved remarkable and tangible success.

The MEU as with other trade unions was born of necessity.

Conscious of the needs of the times a handful of workers from several city depots met in a nearby hotel to take their place in the new movement. They met to mingle their enthusiasm with that of others similarly imbued.

As a result of that meeting the first branch of the MEU was formed.

In 1991 the Municipal Employees Union amalgamated federally with the Australian Services Union giving members the benefits of being part of a large federal organisation while still providing the protection provided by the MEU’s local branches.

To celebrate the centenary of the Municipal Employees Union, “United” A History of the MEU has been written by former MEU General Secretary Peter McMahon.

If members want to obtain a copy of “UNITED”, the history of the Municipal Employees Union in NSW please contact the union on (02) 9265 8211 or download a copy here:

Part One: Pages 1-19
Part Two: Pages 20-58
Part Three (a): Pages 59-69
Part Three (b): Pages 70-89
Part Four: Pages 90-131
Part Five: Pages 132-181

History of Federated Clerks Union

The History of the Federated Clerks UnionThe Federated Clerks’ Union of Australia, NSW Branch, was first registered on the 6th April 1908, as a State Union. Registration as a Federal organisation followed on the 13th April, 1911. The union has long been a participant on behalf of clerical and administrative employees in both Sate and Federal jurisdictions where registration as a trade union is compulsory if those unions want the benefits either system has to offer.

Up to 1927, the State Branch underwent various name changes. United Clerks Union stemming from 1908, Australian Clerks’ Association from February 1918, and on 11th November, 1919, a further change to Australian Clerical Association, NSW Branch, a name which persisted until 7th February, 1927, when the title Federated Clerks’ Union of Australia, NSW Branch, was bestowed.

Prior to the amalgamation the name of the union, which occurred after the historic amalgamation in 1993, was Australian Services Union, NSW Clerical and Administrative Branch.

To celebrate the centenary of the Federated Clerks Union, “The Clerks” A History of the Federated Clerks Union was written by historian Lyn Milne.

If members want to obtain a copy of “THE CLERKS”, the history of the Federated Clerks Union please contact the union on (02) 9265 8211 or download a copy here.