“Having the back-up from the union made all the difference. They were so diligent and always following up on my behalf."
Susan works for Country Health as a trade qualified hairdresser.
She spends her days styling hair for elderly residents at a District Aged Care Facility.
“When my workplace started going through staffing changes last year, I knew I needed to have someone on my side.
“I work mainly on my own, so I wasn’t clear on what my entitlements were.
“So I spoke to United Voice, and I happened to mention my classification.
“My Organiser did some investigating, and called me with the news – I was on the wrong pay level.”
United Voice representatives discovered that Susan was being paid at a Level 3, but should be classified as a Level 5 because of her qualifications.
“There were years of payslips to go through, and it took a little while to be sorted out.
“My Organiser Kendall and Kiara from the Members Rights Centre were really on the ball. They were constantly chasing up with my employer to make sure it was being fixed.
“Having the back-up from the union made all the difference. They were so diligent and always following up on my behalf.
“I always encourage anyone working in health to join their union.
“You need to know that you have support and know what your rights are. Being able to call someone for answers makes all the difference.
“In the end I won six years of backpay. It was a pretty significant amount – enough to help me buy a new car and go on a holiday!”
Susan has some advice for other workers.
“In this day and age we are all working harder, and you deserve to be paid the right rate for the work you’re doing.
“Be proactive. Join your union!
“It’s so important to know what you’re entitled to, because you can’t rely on your workplace to give you the right advice.
“But you can rely on your union.”