An appreciative member shares a few thoughts about workplace issues and AEU support.

A couple of years ago I had the need to contact the AEU in response to some ongoing issues at my workplace.  My initial contact, which was anonymous, was supportive and dealt primarily with the systems that I needed to follow in case the situation escalated.  My biggest mistake here was maintaining my anonymity as it didn’t hold me accountable for following the systems and processes that really did need to occur.

Six months later, the situation had escalated to the point where I once again reached out and contacted the AEU.  The officer who I spoke to was extremely helpful even though I had not followed the process outlined in the previous conversation.  I was offered a number of different options to reach a solution.  During this time, I was in constant contact with my supporting union officer and together we worked through the paperwork and the processes and eventually reached a solution that was beneficial to me.

Two things that this situation taught me were firstly, listen to and follow the advice given by your union officers.  They are far more knowledgeable about matters and know the specific processes that you need to follow to support yourself and to let the union support you.  Secondly, I learnt to reach out before a situation escalates, as nobody can help you unless they know you need help and nobody can help you if they don’t know who you are.

I realised that having my union support, and an officer at my side, meant that I had someone I could reach out to that understood my work situation and how the department handles specific situations.  Having my union assist me so wholeheartedly ensured the outcome was as favourable as it could be.