This Policy seeks to provide guidance to members and staff as to how the Union’s resources are to be used when called upon by individuals that seek to join the Union while in dispute. The principle underpinning this policy is to ensure the income derived from Union fees is spent on members who are committed to unionism and not on non-members who join the Union for convenience purposes only.

This Policy is based on the commitment of USU Executive and staff to providing industrial advice, advocacy and professional representation of the highest quality on an equal basis to all financial members.

This Policy is to be read in conjunction with MSR-01 Membership Status & Representation.


  1. There will be no assistance to non-members who join the Union with a pre-existing issue, unless a special exemption is approved by the General Secretary. Such exemptions will only be approved in circumstances where it is in the best interests of the members in the workplace and would only occur with the endorsement of the delegate(s) and/or members at the workplace.
  2. In the first 3 months from the date of joining as a member, the new member will only be provided with advice and assistance to resolve an issue at a local level only. An exceptional circumstance would be if a member joined within 2 weeks of being employed, or in the case of a new member where a problem developed that required advice and/or assistance after the date of joining.
  3. In the case of unfair dismissals, the Union will only make application once a person has been a financial member for 6 months or more.
  4. Where a non-member seeks advice about an existing problem or a member seeks advice about a problem that arose prior to the time they joined the Union, no assistance will be given, subject to the provisions of clause 6 below.
  5. Where a person experiences an ongoing problem while a financial member of the Union, but is no longer eligible to be a member of the Union, the member shall continue to receive advice and assistance in relation to that problem.
  6. In the interests of advancing the objectives of the Union, a special exemption may be granted at the discretion of the General Secretary, whereby the above clauses may be waived in whole or in part.
  7. Where an exemption is granted pursuant to clause 6, a fee equivalent to twice the annual fee at the time of joining or rejoining shall be charged.
  8. This policy will not apply to junior Apprentices or junior Trainees.

This Policy can be downloaded here (pdf format).