The Australian Unions Supporter Program

In July 2020, Australian Unions launched a new program to enable workers who are not eligible for union membership to support and engage with the union movement. 

Every year, we are contacted by thousands of people – workers temporarily out of paid work, retired workers, small business owners – who want to support the vital work that unions do. 

Our movement is about improving the lives of working people and their families, at work and in the community. Everyone benefits from the wins that we achieve – things like improved and universal public services, safer workplaces, superannuation, higher wages and greater job security has a positive impact across all of Australian society. 

As Australia enters its first recession in a generation, our conviction in building a better future has never been more important. 

Why we’re launching our Supporter Program now 

Almost 2 million working people are proud members of their union. Since the pandemic hit Australia’s shores, we’ve seen hundreds of thousands of people have their jobs impacted or wrecked by coronavirus and the economic crisis it created. Tens of thousands more people had their lives and incomes negatively impacted; carers, retirees and pensioners, sole traders and small business people.  

Our core conviction as unionists is the notion of solidarity – the simple but powerful idea that an injury to one is an injury to all. While union members are more likely to have job security and higher wages, we also stand up and fight for every worker. 

It’s why the Australian union movement fought for, and won, increases to the Jobseeker support payments and for the creation of the Jobkeeper wage subsidy.  

Both these vital programs predominantly benefit workers who are not yet members of their union – but our movement believes in solidarity. 

There’s no doubt that our success in improving the Jobseeker payments and winning the Jobkeeper wage subsidy has benefited the lives of millions who otherwise faced poverty or severe financial stress. 

As the recession worsens, the Australian union movement is committed to continue the fight for a better future for everyone. While more working people than ever are joining their union and seeing the benefits of unity and solidarity, we know there are more than one and a half million working people who are not in paid employment, and millions more people who are carers, retired or otherwise not currently eligible for union membership – all of who we want to welcome and engage with our movement. 

What is the Supporter Program? 

Signing up as a Supporter means making a financial contribution of $2.20 per week (or $8.80 per month). By becoming an Australian Unions Supporter, you’ll be able to contribute to our movement, our campaigns and our work to improve workers rights and build a better future. 

Your Support means we can increase our efforts and activities to advance: 

  • Greater job security, so that everyone has a secure, decent job they can count on. 
  • Fair wages and social supports, so that no working person lives in poverty 
  • Safer workplaces, so workers can go to work and go home safely each day 
  • A fairer society and economy, so that we are all benefit from the wealth that working people create 

Your financial contribution will support all of this and much more – the vital work that our movement undertakes every day is completely people-powered and as a Supporter, you’re a part of the change we’re making. 

I’m in paid work, can I be a Supporter? 

The Australian Unions Supporter Program is open only for people who are not eligible for union membership. There’s a union for almost every industry and sector, covering almost every conceivable job.  

You can join your union at

As a union member, you can choose to make an additional voluntary contribution to Australian Unions by making a donation. Visit to chip in. 

If you are not eligible for union membership – perhaps because you are not in paid work, are retired or because you are a sole-trader or small business owner – then you can sign up as a Supporter.  

Importantly, being a Supporter is not the same as union membership, and by signing up as a Supporter, you are not joining a union. Union membership, in addition to providing a large range of collective benefits, provides legal rights and entitlements under workplace laws.  

Is this tax deductible? 

No, the financial contribution you make as a Supporter is not tax deductible, and it is not a charitable donation. (Union dues are tax deductible however.)  

Even though there is no tax deduction, you do get the benefit of knowing that your contribution is supporting the bigger effort to make Australia a better place to work and live for everyone. 

How can I become a Supporter? 

Visit to find out more and become a Supporter.  

Date Published: 29/07/2020 Category: Opinion

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