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Tassie: highest union membership in the nation

IN AUGUST last year Tasmania had the highest proportion of union members according to recent ABS stats. Union membership in the state rose from 23.7% to 25.2% in the 12 months to August 2011.

Union membership was also up across Australia for the same period with numbers up by 46,900 reaching 1,834,700 in August 2011.

The proportion of public sector employees who were union members in their main job was up from 41% in August 2010 to 43% in August 2011. This compares to 13% of private sector employees who were union members in their main job. Nationally density increased slightly from 18.3% to 18.4%.

The industry with the highest proportion of male union members was Public Administration and Safety (38%), and for female employees it was Education and Training (40%).

The majority of union members were male, 976,500 compared to 858,200 who were women. Two thirds of union members (66%) had been a member for five years or more, while 11% were a union member for less than one year.

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