If you already know you are eligible to join Unite, then click here to go to the online application form. 

If you are unsure if you are eligible or want more information about membership- keep reading. 

Why you should join

Being part of Unite makes your working life easier:

  • Negotiation of your wages and conditions
  • Learn about your rights as a worker
  • Enforcement of your legal and work rights
  • Representation with any work problems
  • Legal Advocacy for personal grievances
  • Regular visits by a paid organiser to your worksite
  • Delegates on your worksite to assist you
  • You decide your Employment Agreement
  • You vote on major Unite decisions
  • You can become a workplace representative
  • You vote or can stand for leadership positions
  • You can choose to join the Unite Active Members Network and really get involved in helping others

Who can join Unite?

Unite mainly covers workers in the following areas:

  • Fast Food Restaurants (Restaurant Brands, McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Wendys)
  • Hotels
  • Call Centres
  • Casino
  • Cinemas
  • Security

If you work in one of these areas and we already have a collective agreement with your employer then your application will normally be approved.

We may accept members working for employers we do not bargain collectively with. If accepted such members pay a lower amount of 1.2%, with a minimum of $2 and a maximum of $4 a week but we will not engage in wage bargaining on their behalf and support may be limited to advice by phone or email.

If there already is another union on your worksite you should join them. Unions in New Zealand prefer to expand union coverage rather than compete with each other for the same workers. You can check to see what other unions may cover your industry and occupation at union.org.nz/findyourunion/

If we decline your membership we will either refer you to another union or advise you which other agency may be able to assist you.

How much does it cost? 

For most of our members the weekly union fee reflects the reality that their income can vary pay to pay. The fee for members covered by a union agreement is 1.2% of your wage with a minimum of $2 a week and a maximum of $6.75 a week. If your pay goes down, so does your union fee.

This means if your pay is:

  • Up to $167 per week – the fee is $2 per week
  • Between $167 and $563 per week – 1.2% of income
  •         (eg $300 = $3.60, $400 = $4.80, $500 = $6.00)
  • $563 or more – $6.75 per week

Fees are as of 1st December 2019 and are normally deducted from your pay by your employer.

What if I already have a problem with my employer?

When it comes to helping members with individual employment issues (eg disciplinary meetings, rosters etc) the union fee is much like an insurance premium. Members join the union and pay a little each week so when they need professional help they  get it without having to worry about paying hourly fees at their time of need.

Just as you can’t insure your car the day after you crash it, the union can’t just accept members who only join when they have a problem. It would be unfair to existing members. This is particularly true if you have been working alongside Unite members for some time but have previously decided not to join the union.

That doesn't necessarily mean we won’t take you as a member and help, but it may mean that we negotiate additional fees for helping with the pre-existing issue. These will be a lot less than paying an employment lawyer and we may allow you to pay them off over time. You will still need to join the union and pay the regular weekly fee as well.

What if I change my mind?

Union membership is voluntary. You can leave the union at any time. We need written notification (email is fine). It may take a few weeks for your deductions to stop as this is controlled by your employer – not us. All union benefits will cease when you resign. If you leave your current job your union fee deductions will stop with your last pay.

Your right to join and be active in a union is strictly protected by law. If you are pressured by anyone not to join or to leave the union you should let us know immediately.


If you think you are eligible to join Unite click here to go to the online application form.