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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access the Member's Only page to download the most recent rate flyers?

You will need to sign up to view the membership page and be approved by our administration team. If you sign up during business hours and would like to access the page immediately, please call us to have your membership confirmed.

Can apprentices be Union members?

YES! Apprentices can and should join the Union because we can represent you with any disputes you may have with your employer. 95% of Apprentice issues are regarding their pay and our experienced Apprentice Organisers can assist you with these problems.

Do I have to disclose my membership status to my employer?

NO! You are not obligated to tell your employer you are a Union member if you do not want them to know. It is illegal for them to discriminate against you for being a Union member. We are trained to be discreet and every enquiry regarding membership status is subject to security questions to validate your identity.

What benefits do I get for being in the Union?

Of all the benefits that come with being in a Union, bargaining power is the biggest one. The more members we have in the industry, the more chance we have of securing and improving your entitlements. You have a team of Organisers dedicated to representing you to advance your trades' prestige and access to our legal team should issues in your workplace arise.

We have also developed partnerships with like-minded business that offer our membership exclusive deals - go here to find our more.

I am thinking about joining but I would still like some help. What services are available to me?

You must be a union member before we are able to assist you. 

We are asked on a daily basis to assist those who have benefitted from our work but not contributed to it. We may give you general advice but it is not fair to the rest of our membership if we give our time to someone who is not in the Union. If you have an existing industrial issue, we are not obligated to assist you with it. A good analogy is - a car insurer would not fix your car for you if you sign up for your policy after it's damaged. Assistance with pre-existing industrial matters must be approved by our State Secretary and State Council governing body. Join us now.

I am moving states. How do I transfer my membership?

Transferring your membership is easy. If you wish to join the WA branch you will need to complete an application form. You can also use our online form. Make sure you select the box that asks if you are transferring your membership. We will take it from there.


If you are moving out of WA and going interstate -

You will need to contact the branch you wish to transfer to and ask to transfer. You will need to complete their branch application form (an auditing requirement) and once they have processed it, they will contact us and we will organise it internally.


What is the difference between a Modern Award and an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA)?

The main difference between a Modern Award and an EBA is that EBAs only apply to the employees of one particular organisation. They are tailored to suit that particular business and it's employees and are negotiated internally, then approved by the FairWork Commission. Modern Awards are standardised and non-negotiable.

A Modern Award outlines the base wage rate and conditions for your Industry and Occupation. These conditions will include the type of employment, wages, allowances, superannuation, overtime, penalty rates and leave entitlements you are entitled to. Modern Awards are formed around the ten minimum standards for employment and cover all employees unless you are employed under an EBA, employment contract or other registered agreement. Some classes of employees, like Accountants, may not be covered under an Award.

The Fair Work Act 2009 allows employers and employees to form an agreement rather than adhering to a Modern Award. These agreements set out the terms and conditions of employment and cannot contain anything less than what is offered in the Modern Award. Once an EBA is approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC), it may:

  • replace any applicable Modern Awards to act as the base terms and conditions of employment for those employees who are covered by the agreement

  • incorporate the terms contained in the relevant parent Modern Award

Under the Fair Work Act there are mandatory terms which must be included in an EBA such as:

  • flexibility to vary the EBA to meet the needs of the employer or employee

  • a coverage term which explains who the agreement covers

  • a consultation term requiring the employer to consult with employees regarding any major changes that are likely to have a significant effect on the employee or group of employees

  • a nominal expiry date no later than four years after the day on which the agreement has been approved by the FWC

An EBA cannot include any discriminatory terms or terms that otherwise breach the Fair Work Act.

How do I know what Award or Agreement covers me?

Contact the Union office or your Organiser and we will assist you.

My employer has told me to complete a Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR) form. What do I do?

Contact your Union Organiser to ensure we are on hand to represent you with your negotiations. Join here if you are not a member.

How much does it cost to join the Union?

Our join page will list the fees that apply to you. Click here to find out more.

You can also pay your dues fortnightly via direct debits - please here for our direct debit schedule.

I'm unemployed. Do I have to keep paying my fees?

Please notify the office if you are out of work. We will give you a member-exclusive jobs list and update your profile to reflect your status. We cannot put your membership on hold but we will credit you for the days you have been unemployed. You will not need to pay your dues until you return to work but you will continue to receive statements from us. These generate automatically to prompt members to keep their details up-to-date. 

I want to leave the Union. Why do I have to resign?

If you will be away from the industry for an undetermined time then we advise you to resign from the union. Resignations MUST be in received in written form - WE CANNOT ACCEPT THEM OVER THE PHONE as we are required to keep them for auditing purposes. To resign, please address your notice to the State Secretary with wording to the effect of:

"Dear Peter Carter [State Secretary]

I, [member name & date of birth], would like to resign from the ETU WA branch effective immediately due to

[insert reason - travel, leaving the industry etc.]

[Sign off with your full name]


Resignations can be emailed to or posted to PO Box 356, BASSENDEAN WA 6934.

If your account is in arrears you will be required to pay the outstanding amount before your resignation will be accepted. Please speak with the office regarding membership accounts 08 9440 3522. Your resignation will be processed within 5 business days of receipt and, provided you do not have an outstanding balance, you will be issued with a clearance.

Long serving members who are retiring may be eligible for honorary membership, please speak with your organiser about this.

You are always welcome to re-join if you return to the industry. If you are moving to another state, please see here about transferring to another state

Please note: If you do not resign, your account will continue to accrue. If you do not pay your dues your membership does not cease. For further information regarding our responsibilities to unfinancial members, please see rules 4.5 & 4.7 within our state rules.

Have more questions? Call the office or your organiser.


We're here to help. Proud to be Union.

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