About us

Unions NSW represents over 600,000 union members across the state.

Unions NSW is the peak body for unions in NSW. Unions NSW organises, advocates and campaigns in NSW to ensure every worker gets a fair go at work. We believe every worker deserves decent pay and a healthy workplace. The activities of Unions NSW are funded by union members and include publicly advocating for better government policies, laws and social services.



Union members in NSW


Unions in NSW


Years of service

Frequently Asked Questions

Every person has the right to just and favourable working conditions. All workers are entitled to a safe working environment, which includes proper training and protection against underpayment, sexual harassment and bullying.

When workers organise together to represent their rights and interests, they form a union. There are different unions for different industries and occupations, in order to represent the particular interests of those workers. For example, a teacher has very different working conditions to a bus driver or paramedic.

Unions are often concerned with improving working conditions and pay; however they also represent workers when bargaining with employers or the government. Most unions also offer financial and health services as well as legal support and advice. They act as a voice for employees and help resolve workplace issues and ensure employers are meeting minimum standards and obligations in regards to workplace, discrimination and safety laws.

Joining a union is the best way to protect your rights as a worker. Union membership means…

Better pay & working conditions

  • Research has shown that Australian workers who are union members earn on average $250 more every week as opposed to non-members.

Safer workplace

  • Consistent research shows that workplaces with more union members have less incidents involving serious injuries and work in safer conditions.
  • Health & safety awareness has been shown to increase up to 70% when union members are in a workplace.

Strong community

  • You gain the collective bargaining power of your union, who stand united against exploitation.
  • You join a community movement with a long history of standing up for fairness and equality

Legal support & advice

  • Union membership offers avenues of support against workplace harassment, bullying, unfair dismissal, and any form of unfair treatment.
  • Professional advice with wages, work-related injuries or illness, superannuation, and entitlements.
  • Benefits can include high-quality financial advice, cheaper car hire, bank services, insurance, and even discounted movie tickets.


Union members work fewer hours, have stronger job security, are better trained, and have safer working conditions. If you want to contribute to a more just society, join your union. Becoming a union member means contributing to a fairer, more just society.

It’s never too late to stand up for yourself and your colleagues and fight to make a difference.

Even if you think you are in a safe workplace or are on good terms with your employer, you never know what can change unexpectedly. Your union will fight to protect your rights no matter where you stand.

Joining a union is a right that all Australian workers have. The Fair Work Act 2009 states that everyone has the right to be a union member; your employer cannot discriminate against you or stop you from being a member.

You can be a union member even if there are no other members in your workplace. There are no obligations for you to disclose union membership to your employer.

You have a protected right to be a union member under General Protections provisions of the Fair Work Act.

Anyone who is a worker can join a union, regardless of whether you are on a contract, a trainee, casual, apprentice, temporary, part-time, or full-time worker.

Union fees vary depending on your work hours, how much you earn and what industry you work in but are generally around $10 a week.

Union membership is 100% tax deductible.

The union that is right for you will depend on the industry you work in and which union has coverage of that particular industry and workplace.

To find out the specific membership fees and benefits of your union, as well as which union covers your industry, you can:

  • Call the Australian Unions representatives who can help you with any questions or concerns and find out what union is for you on 1300 486 466.
  • Complete this simple online membership form that will guide you through finding your union.
  • Talk to your workplace union representative (If applicable).

More of Unions NSW

The Sydney Trades and Labour Council was formed in 1871 with plans to find a meeting place for Australia’s budding trade movement.
Unions NSW began as the Trades and Labor Council of Sydney in 1871. We are proud of our role in making NSW a fairer and more prosperous place for working men and women to live.