ADVANTAGES OF MEMBERSHIP OF REGISTERED TRADE UNIONS OR REGISTERED EMPLOYERS’ ORGANISATIONS WHO ARE PARTIES TO A BARGAINING COUNCIL
- Members of trade unions and/or employers’ organisations who are parties to a bargaining council are automatically placed in a position to give their representatives mandates to-
- a) Negotiate collective agreements in general on their behalf;
- b) Negotiate new or improved employment conditions;
- c) Negotiate wages;
- d) Negotiate new, amended or improved social benefit funds.
- You have the right to be represented by an official at any-
- a) Disciplinary hearing;
- b) Conciliation hearing; and/or
- c) Arbitration hearing.
- Membership provides access to an industry specific “knowledge base” which is usually available from officials of the trade unions or the employer organisations.
- Party trade unions and/or party employer organisations usually have better financial resources to obtain legal advice or any other form of assistance which may be required by members.
- The voice of united members carry more weight when giving their recommendations, demands and requests more power and persuasion.
- Trade union representatives (shop stewards) are entitled to paid leave to do their union work.
- Representatives of party trade unions and party employer organisations are selected and voted for from within the membership base concerned.
- Only registered trade unions and registered employers’ organisations may become parties to a bargaining council provided that they are sufficiently represented in the industry.
- Only registered trade unions and registered employers’ organisations may enter into agency shop and closed shop agreements.
- Only registered trade unions can enjoy the LRA’s protection of organisational rights in the workplace.
- A further benefit of being a member of a registered trade union or employers’ organisation is provided for in section 97 of the LRA which absolves members of registered trade unions and employers’ organisations for acts done by them in good faith in the course of protected industrial action. They also have no liability for damages to any other persons. This protection is not available to members of unregistered trade unions or unregistered employer organisations.