On the job with Pottsy
"Protect is an excellent scheme designed to help members and their families in a time of need. I have personally drawn on my Protect severance account on four separate occasions, due to being made redundant because of a lack of work available, and also after choosing voluntary redundancy to explore different options."
Matthew Potts, ETU Delegate
Work Union. Live Union. Stay Safe.
"I’m a Delegate and HSR currently representing ETU members at the Marvel Stadium Redevelopment Project located at Docklands, Melbourne. This is the tenth large scale project I have had the honour of representing ETU members at since October 2011 when I was first elected to these roles by my peers.
I was initially encouraged to step up into these elected positions by my work colleagues. They felt I would be a strong voice for them given I was always the type of electrician who would regularly speak up for myself and others if there were a need to do so regarding safety concerns and/or if I felt our employer could do a better job at honouring the terms and conditions of our Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).
Being an ETU Delegate/HSR is often challenging but also rewarding. I can educate members about:
- the importance of working safely
- the history of our Union so the next generation can understand what we have in our EBA and why
- ensuring our hard fought for wages and conditions are adhered to by the contractors who employ the ETU members I represent on site.
An important part of the ETU EBA includes Protect severance and income protection benefits.
Having a Protect severance account is a much-needed safety net for members given the often transient nature of our industry. As a project ends it can sometimes be difficult for contractors to maintain their workforce, which then leads to members being made redundant.
In such an event, Protect members can draw on the forced savings that their former employer has put into their Protect account for them, a figure negotiated into our EBA by the ETU. This then gives a redundant member the money they need to put food on their table and pay the rent/mortgage whilst in search of another job.
I have personally drawn on my Protect severance account on four separate occasions, due to being made redundant because of a lack of work available, and also after choosing voluntary redundancy to explore different options.
Given I started my apprenticeship in October 2003, I have become very familiar with the Protect severance and income protection scheme throughout my career, which is not necessarily unusual for those who have been around long enough.
As a Delegate I believe that it is very important to explain to all ETU members what the Protect scheme is, how it works, and what benefits a member can access if there is a need to do so.
I also explain the importance of remaining a financial member of the ETU when it comes to income protection because there are two different levels of claim payments available depending on your union status. The ETU has negotiated for Protect Extra Cover for our members, which can mean a higher dollar payment for things like broken bones, capital benefits and dental injury.
As a Delegate, I personally give each ETU member a handout of all the scenarios Protect insures each individual for during my site inductions. In almost every induction a member will say to me, “I didn’t know I was covered for that!”.
Protect is an excellent scheme designed to help members and their families in a time of need. So do yourself and your family a favour by taking the time to have a read of the Protect website, ask your Delegate and Organiser questions, or give one of the friendly and helpful Protect Field Officers a call for more information.
The chances are that you will be covered for more than you realise. You may even be able to make a claim you didn’t know that you could!"
Arrange a site visit
PROTECT FIELD OFFICERS ARE A SUPPORT FOR WORKERS
Pottsy recently had Protect Field Officer Brett Buckingham come out to the Marvel Stadium site to refresh his members about their Protect entitlements and answer questions.