Schools know your rights

Union membership subscriptions FAQs

When does my membership become effective?

Normally your membership is effective from the day the office receives your completed application. For those who were previously members and are re-joining, the same rule applies provided there are no outstanding arrears to be settled from your earlier membership.

I am an ex-member and wish to join the union but have outstanding arrears to settle before my application can be accepted – what are my options?

If you are re-joining and owe a balance the arrears can be settled by authorising three extra direct debit payments. This option takes care of the arrears as well as current fees without affecting your membership entitlements.

How do I know if my application for membership has been accepted?

You know you are a member when you receive a welcome email, you will also be sent a package in the mail. If you don’t receive your welcome email or package within two weeks of applying for membership, you should contact the membership team on 9210 6000 or

How are my subscriptions calculated?

Your subscriptions are based on 1.1 per cent of your gross annual salary. This applies to all members who are employed full-time or part-time.

The membership dues for casual/relief teachers, in 2019, are $8.90 per fortnight or $19.29 per month.

Subscriptions are tax deductible. At the end of each financial year the union office will email you a link to the union’s website along with instructions of how to log-in and download/view your statement of contributions. Alternatively you can view your statement of contributions on the SSTUWA App.

What do I need to know about electronic debits?

Electronic debits are the most efficient and convenient way to pay your membership subscriptions. Debits are designed to occur on your paydays. Bank direct debits occur fortnightly in advance to the period paid. Payments from credit cards are debited monthly on the first payday of each month.

Successful debits depend on accurate and up-to-date account details on our database and sufficient funds in your nominated account. If you are about to change or close your bank/credit card account, please inform the union of your new bank/credit card details to avoid falling in arrears due to rejected debits.

With credit cards, you will need to update your card expiry date whenever it is renewed. If your card has been lost or stolen, ensure you contact the office as soon as possible to update your details.

Do I have to pay subscriptions while I am on leave without pay (LWOP)?

By applying for LWOP benefits, the SSTUWA allows you to maintain your full membership entitlements without paying subscriptions while on leave without pay. You will be required to provide a copy of your employer’s approval letter or a screenshot from HRMIS that shows your LWOP dates. The union temporarily suspends debiting subscriptions while you are on approved LWOP and resumes debiting of subscriptions when your LWOP expires in our database.

If you extend your LWOP, you will need to provide the union with an updated approval letter from your employer indicating your new LWOP end date. You must do so to avoid being debited for subscriptions while on extended unpaid leave.

I was late in notifying the union about my LWOP. Can the LWOP benefits be backdated? What happens to the monies debited while I was on LWOP?

Requests for credit towards future fees due to late application may be considered; please provide supporting documents.

Do subscriptions apply when I take long service leave (LSL) or maternity/parental leave at a reduced rate of pay?

Since long service leave and maternity/parental leave is paid leave, subscriptions do apply in proportion to the salary paid while you are on leave. That is, if you are on LSL on full pay, then full rates apply. If you are on LSL on half pay, then half rates will apply. Supporting documentation required.

I am participating in the deferred salary scheme. Does this mean I do not pay subscriptions on the deferred portion of my salary?

There are two options you can take:

  1. You can pay full time membership subscriptions (1.0 FTE) for the four years leading up to your year off and then pay no union subscriptions for your year away from work (supporting documentation required).
  2. You can pay 0.8 FTE (80 per cent of 1.0 FTE) membership subscriptions for the four years leading up to your year off, then continue to pay at the 0.8 FTE subscription rate during your year off.

You must let the union know which option you choose to use at the start of your four year scheme.

I started my employment on a full-time basis but now I work part-time. Does this affect my rate of subscriptions?

Pro-rata subscriptions apply for part-timers. If your hours of work alter, you need to notify the union immediately to update your membership fees. The Department of Education does not inform us of changes.

I will be sent on foreign exchange by my employer soon. Do I continue to pay my subscriptions while overseas?

Yes, you continue your membership with the SSTUWA and we notify the relevant union overseas to provide reciprocal services. Contact Member Assist to organise this.

I will be retiring/resigning from employment soon - what happens to my membership?

You need to inform us about your retirement from employment in writing via email or mail. Your resignation will take effect from the date received.

Note: If you intend to take up casual/relief work, you may wish to remain as a full member of the union for $8.90 per fortnight. This keeps you covered for any incident in the workplace and also for journey cover for travel to and from worksites. Please contact membership if you wish to remain as a casual/relief member of SSTUWA

You will receive written acknowledgement confirming your retirement. If you have authorised electronic debits for subscriptions, they will cease accordingly. Although you will no longer be entitled to full membership, you are entitled to become a retired or associate member.

What are the benefits of retired or associate membership?

Both types of membership give you access to general services and benefits available to all members of the union. Retired members are automatically given membership in the Retired Teachers Association. The annual subscription for retired members is $25 and for associate members $27.50.

I have retired but continue to teach on a casual/relief basis. Can I get full union coverage?

Yes, you can access full union coverage by switching to the casual/relief membership category. You can do this by calling or emailing the membership team.

Updating my details

When a member changes any details (such as their school/worksite, working hours/FTE, rate of pay, home address, phone numbers, email address, bank/credit card details, retires or resigns) it is important to advise the membership team as soon as possible via email or telephone so we can update your details on our database.

Further queries

Please feel free to contact the SSTUWA Membership Team:

(08) 9210 6000 | 1800 199 073

Open Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm

Updated February 2019

Download PDF