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Why Join?

The SDA is Australia’s largest employees’ association with over 200 000 members in retail, fast food and retail distribution. The SDA’s success means bigger and better wage rises and greater protection for you at work.

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Member Benefits

The SDA negotiates every wage rise you receive as well as secures all types of paid leave, penalty rates. You have access to FREE LEGAL ADVICE and representation from SDA’s legal team. Also included is WorkCover representation, Workplace Health & Safety Services, Accident insurance, Free counselling and more. There are also a range of discounts and extras exclusive to SDA members.

Member Benefits

About Us

Through strength in numbers, the SDA provides employment protection, expert confidential advice and assistance, plus up-to-date information on Awards and Enterprise Bargaining Agreements.

Our membership is diverse and covers: 

  • Retail Workers
  • Fast Food Workers
  • Hairdressers
  • Mannequins and Models
  • Motor Industry Workers
  • Warehouse Personnel
  • Pharmacy Assistants
  • Beauticians
  • Clerks

The SDA is one of Australia’s largest Private Sector Union bodies and caters to the requirements of all retail industry. With a membership in Tasmania of over 6,000 and 230,000 nationally, we are able to achieve and improve many things in the workplace.

The SDA is registered under the Commonwealth Fair Work Act 2009. It is governed by the rules of the Association and our audited accounts are published annually and sent to all members.

Think of us an insurance policy against unfair dismissal or any other unfair practice in the workplace defending workers rights and improving the working environment.

Our members appreciate and enjoy fair pay for the work they do, the feeling of security and being treated with respect and dignity. This belief underpins everything we do for our members and we only act on their behalf when instructed to do so.

We offer:

  • Free legal advice
  • Support with Workers Compensation
  • Health & Safety
  • Free confidential phone advice
  • Accident Insurance
  • Text book scholarships

A member of the SDA never goes to work alone

We also know that a bit of extra financial help never goes astray. So, along with many other benefits, we provide all our members with free membership to the Frequent Values programme and also a free insurance policy which covers our members for accidents that may occur outside of the workplace.

Along with all these benefits and so much more, we prove that it doesn’t cost, it pays to belong to the SDA union.

The SDA protects its members against threats to their jobs and unfair practices such as: 

  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Victimisation
  • Intimidation
  • Bullying
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Discrimination

Paul Griffin
General Secretary

James Russell
Assistant to the Secretary

James is the organiser for the North of the state. His previous experience in working in retail for many years has gained him the knowledge and expertise of the industry to enable him to successfully represent our members. James is also the OH&S and Work Cover representative for Tasmania.

Andrew Coyle
Union Organiser

Andrew has been servicing our members in the North West for many years. With a background in IT, Andrew also keeps us up to date with the ever changing technological updates that affect our members such as social media and self serve checkouts. With regular visits throughout the North West Coast requiring extensive travel to remote areas, Andrew ensures that all members have access to the Union.

Carol Wadley
Union Organiser – State Women’s Officer

Carol is the Education Training officer, as well as the State Women’s Officer. Prior to this she was the principle of the SDA Academy of Modelling since 1989.

Janine Wilson
Office Manager

Employed by the SDA in the role of Office Manager. Janine is responsible for the day to day administration requirements of the Union. Having an extensive background in admin, Janine is very knowledgeable in all aspects of office procedures and operations.

Jodee Inches
Southern Organiser

Jodee took up the position as  the Southern Organiser in 2013. Jodee also has a very strong knowledge of the retail industry from her 24 years experience at Coles.

Melissa Read
Southern Organsiser

Melissa commenced her position with the SDA in 2012 as the Southern Organiser. Melissa comes from a strong retail background having worked for Coles for 17 years.


Remember – your union fees are tax deductible!

As a not for profit organisation, SDA contributions are tax deductible. If you earn over the tax-free threshold you can claim your SDA contributions on your Tax return.

Latest News

SDA takes McDonald’s Franchise to the Federal Court for substituting paid breaks for free soft drinks.

The SDA is seeking thousands of dollars in compensation for workers who did not get the breaks they were legally entitled to.

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Retail workers pay the price for COVID pandemic sacrifice

For seven months, hundreds of thousands low paid frontline workers have endured a Morrison government endorsed pay cut while some company executives have been paying themselves bonuses with taxpayer money which they should not have received.

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SDA Junior Rates Win

The Fair Work Commission handed down their decision this morning and have agreed that junior rates will no longer apply to workers at level 4 and above. This is a big win for the SDA and more importantly for young workers in the retail sector. This mean that thousands of young workers will now earn the full adult rate of pay. The previous arrangements discriminated against both adult and junior workers.

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Know Your Rights

Work is becoming busier and more demanding and that is why breaks are essential for retail, fast food and warehouse workers.

Every SDA-negotiated Agreement and Award contains specific provisions at work that requires you to have breaks.

Your Agreement or Award details your entitlement to unpaid meal breaks and paid rest / tea breaks.

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Sexual harassment is any physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature that is unwanted or unwelcome or offends, humiliates or intimidates the person.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is against the law and the SDA is here to support you.

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You must receive a pay slip – either printed or electronic – within 1 working day of your pay day.

Pay slips may not seem important, but all your details are there in black and white.

Pay slips can help you tell if you’re underpaid and make it easier to calculate how much back pay you are entitled.

It is important that you keep your pay slips.

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It’s important that you know what your rights are when it comes to rosters and roster changes.

The SDA often receives calls from members who are considering a proposed roster change put forward by their employer.

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Be careful of what you upload or write on social media, including on Snapchat and Instagram story.

Workers can face consequences or disciplinary action at work for posting negative comments online about a boss, customer, coworker or the company. Your employer can hold you responsible for what you post online.

Never believe that “what happens online stays online”.

Many companies monitor mentions of their brands on the Internet. You should assume that anything you publish on social media – even snapchats or posts in private facebook groups – can become public knowledge.

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Personal leave is in every SDA Agreement and is one of the National Employment Standards (NES).

Personal leave covers sick leave and carer’s leave which means employees can access their personal leave to provide care or support to a member of their immediate family or household who is unwell or has a medical emergency.

The NES provides that permanent employees accrue up to 10 days of sick leave per year.

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Annual Leave is an important entitlement that unions fought hard to introduce so that you can access paid time off.

Annual Leave applies to full-time and part-time employees but not casual employees.

All full-time and part-time employees are entitled to at least 4 weeks of paid annual leave per year.

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A casual worker is an employee who has no fixed roster or guaranteed hours.

However, just because you are a casual worker it doesn’t mean that you don’t have rights at work.

The SDA has fought to improve the pay and conditions of casual workers which you can read about below.

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Nightfillers face unique workplace pressures at work – which is why we’ve built protections into SDA Agreements for nightfillers.

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Are you experiencing difficulties with the tasks your manager has set for you?

Do you feel you have not received adequate training to complete these tasks?

Don’t wait until you are called into the office for a ‘counselling’ on your work performance. Be pro-active and ask for help or more training from your supervisor or department manager. If your requests are ignored, speak to your Store Manager. It is always wise to record in your diary the date and to whom you spoke to regarding this matter.

Your employer is entitled to interview and counsel you if they feel it is warranted.

However this process is to assist you in improving your performance, not to punish you or be used as a threat to make you yield to unreasonable requests.

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Your employer has a duty to provide you with a healthy and safe work environment during hot weather.

While your workplace doesn’t have to be below a certain temperature, during hot weather, employers should allow greater flexibility within the workplace to minimise the effects of extreme heat on workers.

Check with your SDA Delegate or HSR to find out if your company has a Heat Policy.

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Workplace bullying is any repeated, unreasonable behaviour which creates a risk to a worker’s health and safety in the workplace.

It can be verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse by your employer or manager, another worker or group of people at work.

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