Workplace problems overview

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Problems at work always crop up. These can be just small problems - like a last minute request for you to do overtime when you've planned to be at home, or big ones like a disciplinary meeting for misconduct at work. Belonging to a union is a good way to start solving your problem. This is because when you face a problem - you're never left to deal with it alone.

In the first instance, often a quick chat with your site delegate can deal with the issue (they may give you advice or go and see the employer on your behalf). If there isn't a delegate or another member around to help you, you can always ring your union organiser.

There are other problems that may sometimes come up between you and your employer.

Some examples are:

  • Not being allowed to attend union meetings or take employment relations education leave 
  • Being suspended from work when there is a strike
  • Your employment status

This list does not include all the problems that might come up. However, there are two types of major problems that you can face. One is called a Personal Grievance  and deals with fairness issues directly related to your employment. The other type of problem is called a Dispute, and is concerned with your employment agreement.

Outlined within this section is a six-step Mediation process for dealing with personal grievances and disputes , from Raising your Problem  with your employer through to the Court of Appeal . However, remember very few problems ever end up in Court.