Building your union branch

At the start of each year, union members at your worksite should meet to organise your branch of the SSTUWA. It is generally the responsibility of the previous year’s union representative to arrange this meeting. The rep (or other member) should use the information in this document to build the worksite branch for 2019.

First days

1) Set up the union noticeboard.

2) Arrange to convene the initial union meeting, preferably during week one or two of 2019, or arrange to hold a ballot via email. (Note: all union members must be informed.)

Initial union meeting

Materials for meeting:
  • The Nominations for branch office bearers form.
  • Membership list.
  • OSH rep update form.
  • Getting Organised for 2019 (this document).
  • Agenda, venue and time.

These materials were posted to your worksite, attention of the SSTUWA representative and the forms are also available online at

Meeting agenda

1) Branch elections

Conduct elections for branch positions and record the results on the Nominations for branch office bearers form. Refer to the box on the right of this page for role descriptors.

  • Union rep
  • Deputy union rep
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Women’s contact officer
  • District Council delegate

2) Occupational safety and health (OSH) representative (two year role)

Check whether your worksite has a currently elected OSH rep(s). If not, seek to identify staff members, preferably union members, to fill this role. The OSH rep position is a statutory role and must be open to all staff to nominate and subject to an election if required. Further details are included on page 18 of this document. An OSH rep update form was included in the info pack posted to the SSTUWA representative at your worksite and is also available online at

3) Union communications

  • Agree on the regularity and forms of communication for union-related information within your worksite.
  • Agree on and diarise future union meeting dates for the year.
  • Delegate a union noticeboard keeper.

After the meeting

Important jobs to do as the 2019 union rep and/or deputy union rep:

1) Return the Nominations for branch office bearers form to the union office. You must return this form every school year. We recommend you return this form by Friday 8 March. You may also submit this form electronically via

2) Review and update your membership list, and email the amended list to

3) Meet with your worksite’s leader to:

  • Advise the leader of the union branch officers election outcome.
  • Raise, discuss and/or negotiate any immediate union member issues.
  • Schedule future meeting times for each term (minimum of two is suggested).
  • Seek an agreement for union rep time.

4) Contact your district organiser at the SSTUWA to touch base: call or email the office on (08) 9210 6000 or Introduce yourself, outline your workplace issues, and/or invite your SSTUWA district organiser to visit your workplace.

5) Most importantly, register for union delegate training. Visit the training tab at or call the Education and Training Centre on (08) 9210 6035.

Branch roles

Union representative

The main role is to be the first point of contact for members’ issues. The union rep may negotiate issues with management and assist with conflict resolution. The rep is usually the first point of contact for union updates and responsible for distributing information to members.

Deputy union rep

The deputy union rep assists the union rep to negotiate issues with management and assists with conflict resolution.


The treasurer is responsible for claiming branch operating expenses. They should complete the branch financial return form that was included in the info pack posted to your worksite (also available online at

Teachers Mutual Bank can establish an operating account for your branch with no account keeping fees. Call (08) 9421 8701 and visit


The secretary records the items discussed at branch meetings and the outcomes/actions agreed to be taken by the branch.

Women’s contact officer

The women’s contact officer works in conjunction with the union representative to encourage women’s involvement in union structures, disseminates information about women’s issues and gender equity, promotes women’s issues, and provides opportunities for women’s voices to be heard.

District Council delegate

The District Council delegate represents the branch at District Council meetings. This is usually the union rep.

2019 Getting Organised Forms

  • Nominations for branch office bearers form - 2019
  • SSTUWA Committee Election Nomination Form - 2019
  • OSH rep form - 2019
  • State Council Conference Election Timetable - 2019 (E2018/161 AEU Timetable)
  • Branch financial return - 2019
  • State Council Conference Election Nomination Form - 2019 (E2018/161 AEU Nomination Form)
  • State Council Conference Election Notice - 2019 (E2018/161 AEU Election Notice)