The Health Services Union (Union) is the union representing members employed or usually employed in the health and human service industries in Australia. The Union collects personal information in order to conduct its business of achieving the objects of the Union as defined by the rules of the Union. The Union operates in the political, legal, industrial and social spheres.
In this Policy, the Union includes the following Branches of the Union:
- Health Services Union, New South Wales
- Health Services Union, Queensland
- Health Services Union, South Australia and Northern Territory
- Health Services Union, Tasmania (trading as Health & Community Services Union)
- Health Services Union, Victoria No.1 Branch (trading as Health Workers Union)
- Health Services Union, Victoria No.2 Branch (trading as Health & Community Services Union)
- Health Services Union, Victoria No.3 Branch (trading as Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association)
- Health Services Union, Victoria No.4 Branch
- Health Services Union, Western Australia
How this policy applies
This Policy applies to personal information the Union collects from you:
- via one of our websites;
- via social media;
- via telephone;
- via email;
- via fax;
- in person; and/or
- in writing
- via surveys
- via banking and financial institutions
This Policy also applies to personal information the Union collects from the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) or any other third party, about you.
The Union websites collect two types of information. The first type is anonymous information. The web server makes a record of your visit and logs the following information for statistical purposes:
- the user’s server address;
- the user’s top level domain name (e.g. com, .gov, .net, .au, etc.);
- the date and time of the visit to the site;
- the pages accessed and documents downloaded;
- the previous site visited; and
- the type of browser used.
No attempt will be made to identify users or their browsing activities except, in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the internet service provider’s logs.
Another way information may be collected is through the use of “cookies”. A cookie is a small text file that the website may be placed on your computer. Cookies may be used, among other things, to track the pages you have visited, to remember your preferences and to store personal information about you.
You can adjust your Internet browser to disable cookies or to warn you when cookies are being used. However, if you disable cookies, you may not be able to access certain areas of the Website or take advantage of the improved web site experience that cookies offer.
Our websites may contain links to other websites and social media pages including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We are not responsible for the privacy policies of the entities responsible for those websites and we recommend that you review the privacy policies applicable to any other websites you visit.
The kinds of information the Union may collect
From time to time you may voluntarily supply your personal information to the Union. The Union will record your e-mail address if you send us a message, subscribe to an email newsletter, or complete a form if this information is requested.
When you provide your personal information, it allows us, for example, assist you with industrial relations and employment queries, inform you about industrial, social and political campaigns, and accept you application for membership. You may supply personal information to the Union by, for example, responding to a survey, filling in a meeting attendance sheet, taking part in a competition, completing a membership form, discussing your issues with a delegate, purchasing goods or services, or signing up to a campaign. The Union only collects personal information that is necessary for the Union to perform its functions and/or activities.
Depending upon the circumstances you may provide to the Union, and the Union may collect, information such as, but not limited to:
- your name;
- your contact details;
- your social media details (e.g. blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn);
- your gender;
- your date of birth;
- your marital status;
- your employment details including occupation, classification, worksite.
- your educational qualifications;
- your inquiry or complaint details; and
- your involvement in Union activities
- your Bank account and/or credit card details.
- Languages you speak
- Case notes for industrial inquiries made by you
Some personal information is considered sensitive information and includes:
- your political opinions;
- your political party membership (if any);
- your voting electorate (State and Federal);
- any disabilities, illnesses or injuries you may have; and/or
- any other health information relevant to your industrial inquiry
The Privacy Act allows the Union to collect sensitive information which relates solely to Union members or people who have regular contact with the Union if the sensitive information relates to the Union’s activities. We will only collect sensitive information where we have received your consent to your personal information being collected, used, disclosed and stored by the Union in accordance with this Policy.
Where you provide information to the Union in relation to a job application the personal information you provide will only be collected, held, used and disclosed for the purposes of considering your potential employment with the Union. Where you provide the details of referees, you confirm that you have informed the referees that you are providing their contact information to the Union and they have consented to the Union contacting them and discussing the personal information you have provided in relation to the job application.
We will collect personal information directly from you unless:
- you have consented to the Union’s collection of your personal information from third parties – for example, from the ACTU, or your representatives; or
- when we are legally required to do so; or
- it is unreasonable or impractical to do so.
Where we have collected personal information about you either directly or by other means as set out above, we will notify you at the time, or as soon as practicable, to ensure that you are aware of such collection and its purpose.
You can choose to interact with us anonymously or by using a pseudonym where it is lawful and practicable. For example, you may wish to participate in a blog or enquire about a particular campaign anonymously or under a pseudonym. Your decision to interact anonymously or by using a pseudonym may affect the level of services we can offer you. For example, we may not be able to assist you with a specific industrial enquiry or investigate a privacy complaint on an anonymous or pseudonymous basis. We will inform you if this is the case and let you know the options available to you.
If we receive unsolicited personal information about or relating to you and we determine that such information could have been collected in the same manner if we had solicited the information, then we will treat it in the same way as solicited personal information and in accordance with the APPs. Otherwise if we determine that such information could not have been collected in the same manner as solicited personal information, and that information is not contained in a Commonwealth record, we will, if it is lawful and reasonable to do so, destroy the information or de-identify the information.
The purposes for which personal information is collected, held, used and disclosed
The Union collects, holds, uses and discloses your personal information to:
- assist you with industrial relations and employment queries;
- inform you about industrial, social and political campaigns;
- inform you about your rights at work;
- inform you about changes to legislation;
- refer you to a legal practitioner, accountant or other professional;
- improve our service delivery;
- manage our relationship with you;
- conduct surveys and research;
- provide educational services and professional development;
- conduct Union elections;
- to make payments to you by cheque or electronic funds transfer for the purposes of refunds or other payments; and
- to assist in recruitment and enabling union activism by providing names of current union members in your workplace or sub branch to local HSU delegates and representatives.
Using your information for direct marketing
You consent to our use and disclosure of your personal information for the purposes of direct marketing which may include providing you with information about events, products or services which may be of interest to you; If you do not want us to use your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may elect not to receive direct marketing at the time of providing your personal information.
Unsubscribing and opting out
If you no longer wish to receive direct marketing or other communications, you may request at any time to cancel your consent to such communications as follows:
- If subscribing to an email newsletter you may “unsubscribe” at any time from the newsletter mailing list;
- The Union may, from time to time, send you text messages about issues of importance such as events or campaigns. You may “opt out” by texting STOP in reply to a text message from the Union; or
- You may contact us at any time by mail or email directed to our Privacy Officer.
Disclosure of your personal information
The Union may disclose your personal information, in connection with or to further the purposes outlined above, to:
- the ACTU;
- other Australian trade unions;
- affiliated trades halls or labour councils;
- political parties;
- government bodies or agencies (including the Fair Work Commission, the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Australian Tax Office, an anti-discrimination body, a work/occupational health and safety regulator);
- organisations to whom we outsource functions (including information technology providers, print service providers, mail houses);
- Insurance companies where the Union holds a policy that covers you (eg Journey Insurance or Professional Indemnity insurance etc);
- Law firms and solicitors or barristers where the Union engages these firms to act for a member or group of members;
- retail shopper services;
- web host provider;
- auditors appointed by the Union to conduct audits in accordance with legal requirements;
- Australian Electoral Commission for the conduct of Union elections;
- otherwise as you have consented; and/or
- otherwise as required by law.
If any of these organisations are located outside Australia, you expressly consent to us disclosing your personal information to those organisations. We take reasonable steps to ensure that each organisation that we disclose your personal information to is committed to protecting your privacy and complies with the Australian Privacy Principles, or is subject to a law or scheme that is at least substantially similar to the way in which the Australian Privacy Principles protect information. By providing your personal information to the Union, you consent to us transferring your personal information to such other organisations.
How the Union holds personal information
Wherever reasonably practicable the Union holds electronic personal information on data servers that are owned and controlled by the Union in Australia. The data servers are password protected and login secured. However, by providing personal information to the Union you consent to your information being stored and processed on a data server or data servers (e.g. cloud services) owned by a third party or third parties that may be located outside of Australia. The Union will take reasonable steps to ensure that any third party providers comply with the APPs. If personal information is only routed through servers located outside of Australia – this is not regarded as a disclosure.
Wherever reasonably practicable the Union holds physical personal information in access controlled premises.
When the Union no longer requires your personal information for a specific purpose and we are not required to keep it to comply with any laws, we will take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to destroy your personal information or to ensure that the information is de-identified.
We will not adopt as our own identifier a government related identifier of an individual, such as a tax file number or Medicare card number and will only use or disclose a government related identifier where the use or disclosure:
- is reasonably necessary for the Union to verify your identity for the purposes of our activities or functions;
- is reasonably necessary for the Union to fulfil its obligations to an agency or a State or Territory authority;
- is required or authorised by or under an Australian law; or
- is reasonably necessary for one or more enforcement related activities conducted by, or on behalf of, an enforcement body.
How you may seek access and/or correction to personal information held by the Union
You have the right to request access to your personal information and request that it be updated or corrected. In most cases you can gain access to your personal information that the Union holds. To request access to, correction of, or updating of any personal information held about you, please write to the Privacy Officer at the following address:
The Privacy Officer
Health Services Union
54 Victoria Street
Carlton VIC 3013
Or email the Privacy Officer at [email protected]
General enquiries can also be made via telephone by calling the following number: (03) 9020 1877 or using the contact form on this website.
The Union requires that you provide proof of identity in order to seek access to your personal information. The Union may charge a reasonable fee where access is provided. The Union may refuse to provide access if permitted to do so by law or under the APPs. The Union will seek to provide you with access to your personal information within 30 days of receipt of a valid request and may charge you a reasonable fee for doing so.
You should contact the Union when your personal information details change. It is important that we keep our membership details up to date. Please contact the Membership officer in your Branch or the Privacy Officer to update any personal information. The Union may also take steps to update your personal information by contacting you directly by phone, letter, email, asking for Membership Update forms to be completed at meetings or by reference to publicly available sources such as telephone directories or electoral rolls. Membership officers located in HSU state Branches can be contacted via [email protected]
How you may complain about a breach of the APPs
To make a complaint about an alleged breach of the APPs please write to or email the Privacy Officer at one of the following addresses:
The Privacy Officer
Health Services Union
54 Victoria Street
Carlton VIC 3013
Or email the Privacy Officer at [email protected]
All complaints must be written. Please provide all details about your complaint as well as any supporting documentation to the Privacy Officer.
How the Union will deal with complaints
The Union will seek to deal with privacy complaints as follows:
- complaints will be treated seriously;
- complaints will be dealt with promptly;
- complaints will be dealt with confidentially;
- complaints will be investigated by the Privacy Officer; and
- the outcome of an investigation will be provided to the complainant where the complainant has provided proof of identity.
The Union will seek to respond within 30 days of receipt of a valid complaint.
Variations to the Policy
This Policy may be varied from time to time and an updated version will be posted on the Union’s websites. Please check our websites regularly to ensure that you have the most recent version of the Policy.