14th October, 2020
VAU Membership and Industrial Assistance Policy.
- The purpose of this Policy is to:
a. assist the Committee of the Victorian Ambulance Union Incorporated (VAU)
when considering whether to accept or reject applications for membership under
Part 3, Division 1 of the VAU Rules; and
b. establish the basis upon which Industrial Assistance will be provided to Members
by the VAU in a manner consistent with the approach that would be adopted by
an independent legal practitioner engaged by a person.
- This Policy is to be read in conjunction with the VAU Rules as amended from time to
time. To the extent of any inconsistency, the VAU Rules prevail.
Admission to membership (see Rule 10 of the VAU Rules)
- When considering applications for membership (Application), the Committee may reject
an Application in the following circumstances:
a. the application does not comply with the rules;
b. the applicant has conducted themselves in a manner contrary to the terms of the
c. the applicant is of general bad character.
- Prior to rejecting Application on any of the grounds listed in clause 3, the Committee
may provide the individual concerned with written notice of the proposal to reject their
Application and invite a response.
- No reason for the rejection of an Application need be given to the individual pursuant to
rule 10(4) of the VAU Rules.
- The VAU is committed to providing the highest quality advice, advocacy and
professional representation in industrial matters on an equal basis to members of the
VAU in accordance with this Policy.
Eligibility for Industrial Assistance
- To be eligible for Industrial Assistance, members of the VAU must be Financial
Members within the meaning of this Policy.
- Industrial Assistance may be provided for an issue that first arose when they were a
- Where a member experiences an industrial problem while they were a Financial
Member of the VAU but is no longer eligible to be a member of the VAU, the member
will continue to receive Industrial Assistance in relation to that industrial problem.
- Except as provided in clause 9, no Industrial Assistance will be provided to an
Unfinancial Member or Non-Member or to a Financial Member in respect of an issue
that first arose prior to them becoming a Financial Member.
- Notwithstanding the conditions of eligibility for Industrial Assistance in this Policy, the
Secretary and/or the Executive may at his/her/their discretion:
a. grant a special exemption pursuant to which the restrictions upon the provision
of Industrial Assistance contained in this Policy may be waived in whole or part;
b. place conditions and/or limits upon the provision of Industrial Assistance.
Conditions of Industrial Assistance
- If a member is eligible to receive Industrial Assistance under this Policy, the member
a. tell VAU or its nominated representative openly and honestly everything relevant
to their matter or issue, and any material change in their circumstances that
might impact on their matter while the VAU acts for or represents them; and
b. fully co-operate with the VAU and do everything that the VAU reasonably asks in
the conduct of their matter and in a timely manner, including giving the VAU all
information necessary to provide them with Industrial Assistance.
- The VAU may stop, or limit or impose conditions upon providing the member Industrial
Assistance if it considers it appropriate, including but not limited to the following
a. if they have not performed the obligations set out in paragraph 12 of this Policy;
b. if they have not given adequate instructions to enable the VAU to assist them
within a reasonable time of being asked to do so;
c. if, in the VAU’s reasonable opinion it appears that mutual trust and confidence
no longer exists between the member and VAU;
d. if, in the VAU’s reasonable opinion, continuing to represent them may breach
practitioners’ obligations governing legal practice or industrial representation;
e. further evidence, assessment or analysis of their matter indicates that it should
no longer be progressed;
f. the member harasses, bullies or is aggressive or rude towards VAU employees;
g. there exists a conflict of interest or duty;
h. the member does not accept or fails to act according to the advice provided by
VAU officers or employees;
i. to represent them or to continue to represent them would be contrary to the
interests of the VAU; or
j. the costs and extent of the resources required to continue to represent the
Member is in VAU’s reasonable opinion disproportionate to the reasonable
interests of the Member and the use of VAU’s resources.
- In accordance with normal legal principles, VAU will cease to act for members if they
choose to engage independent legal practitioners to assist them.
For the purposes of this Policy:
a. Committee means the Committee as defined in the VAU Rules;
b. Financial Member means a person who is a member of the VAU and has paid the
joining fee and all annual or periodic fees in accordance with the VAU Rules;
c. Industrial Assistance means the provision of legal and industrial advice and
assistance by VAU in relation to workplace and employment related issues, including
but not limited to the preparation of correspondence on behalf of Members, the
provision of advocacy and representation for members and/or the referral of a Member
to external lawyers for assistance. It also includes instigation of and assistance with
proceedings in courts and tribunals on behalf of members where this is considered
appropriate by the Secretary or official with delegated authority. Referral to external
lawyers will be on the basis that the member meets their own costs unless VAU
approves some other arrangement in writing;
d. Independent legal practitioner includes any legal practitioner commissioned directly
by a member to assist them in relation to the particular issue about which assistance
had been sought from the VAU;
e. Member means a member of the VAU as defined in the VAU Rules;
f. Policy means Victorian Ambulance Union Incorporated Membership Policy;
g. Unfinancial Member means a person who is in arrears 3 months’ worth of payments of
h. VAU means the Victorian Ambulance Union Incorporated (No. A01070431);
i. VAU Rules mean the Incorporation Rules of the Victorian Ambulance Union Inc. as
amended from time to time.