Has anyone in Choice Land had anything to do with the Health Workers Union? I am uploading this topic not only to get further input for my own issue but to put it out there as a warning for others and to see if this is an area worthy of a Choice investigation in general terms.
I joined the Health Workers Union last year after speaking to them on the phone explaining who I worked for and what I did and that I was employed casually. They said they could represent me. I filled out a form with the details they required writing both my employers down. This was sent back to them and I was contacted via email to say I was now a member and a card would be sent. This was the first and last response I ever got from them. They then started taking money out of my account fortnightly but did not provide any services whatsoever. They refused to return any of my calls or emails over the next few months and I found out they were not attending the Bargaining Agreement meetings with my employer.
They did not get back to me when I emailed my concerns to them regarding work conditions to be raised at the upcoming bargaining meetings with my employer, they never sent me a membership card despite this being raised on 2 separate occasions, they did not update my file correctly after I notified them (they had me working for a company who I have never heard of), and they were not representing my interests at the Bargaining Agreement meetings because no one from the HWU was turning up. In short, they have taken my money but there has been no service and no communication from HWU whatsoever. The last time I phoned 30/01/18 I asked to speak to the manager saying I would be cancelling my membership. I did not get to speak to the manager and was told to send my cancellation in writing to her email. In hindsight I actually don't think it was even the manager that I was given the details for. I emailed her saying I was cancelling my membership and I wanted all money paid to be reimbursed. They stopped taking the money out of my account but I didn't receive a reply or any reimbursement.
I sent a letter mid March via registered post to the head of HWU (Diana Asmar) regarding the matter and she has not replied either.The only thing I have received from HWU is their magazine posted to me, big headaches,money and time wasted.
I lodged a complaint with Consumer Affairs who got back to me saying that the matter is 'not reasonably likely to be settled utilising the voluntary and non-binding conciliation services offered'. They said if I want to take the matter further I can use the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). They also gave me the Law Institute's phone number. I don't earn much so spending money on solicitors and applications, plus time off work attending hearings doesn't sound appealing.
It seems I have reached the end of my options. The Health Workers Union is a few hundred dollars richer for having effectively stolen from me and they know they can continue to conduct this rort by ignoring member complaints and not suffer any consequences at all. There is something very suss about this whole thing and I'm disgusted that realistically there is not much in the way of consumer protection when it comes to unions. How much money are they raking in from unsuspecting workers?