Metro Trains workers opt for protection
In addition to being the Metro Trains Shop Steward, Linesman Andrew Taranto is an ETU State Councillor and an advocate of Protect income protection and counselling. Infrastructure staff eligible to be in the ETU are able to opt in for Protect cover.
“You get people who present to State Council who have accessed their income protection due to severe circumstances and thank the union for it. Its compelling when you see a real circumstance where its changed someone’s life and they’re recovering. Just the fact that they can concentrate on their recovery rather than financial burdens, that’s the predominant message I suppose, for people considering taking it up.
Many other insurance companies will promise the world and deliver nothing. Protect’s claim acceptance rate is excellent. If you lose your income, we’re not talking about 3 or 4 weeks sick leave, we’re talking about long term, its great insurance in that regard and the bells and whistles are the injury benefits which other schemes don’t have.”
One of the benefits is free confidential counselling provided by professionals Hunterlink, a service available to all Protect members and their families, and all ETU members.
“Back in 2018 we had a really well regarded work mate die by suicide unexpectedly which sent shock waves through the place. Myself and the Metro Peer Support Officer, Kym, were the conveners of support to all the gangs. The shock and grief was varied with some affected dramatically. We were front and square that counselling via Hunterlink was available to them.
“We have a 24/7 roster so after we’d captured all the gangs at toolbox meetings we found that we were cooked. There was no time for Kym and I to pause and reflect ourselves. My Organiser was on to it and arranged for Hunterlink to call me.
“We were probably on the line for 40 minutes and it was an extremely comforting call. The same counsellor spoke with Kym and a number of others. For me it was really useful to outpour grief that I hadn’t had the opportunity to deal with. Hunterlink’s knowledge of workplace issues was excellent, I needed an impartial ear and I found the counselling extremely helpful.”
Dedicated Counselling Phone Number
Protect counselling is a free confidential service for individuals seeking support, as well as employers and workers wanting advice on the best method to assist colleagues dealing with a range of concerns: