Union membership - demystifying changing unions and SECAs

Our team get a lot of questions about the rules around when RMOs can change union membership and/or collective agreement (SECA) terms & conditions (T&Cs) that you are covered by. Below we share information and a flowchart to help demystify the process and terms involved.

The first thing to note, is that the ability to change union and/or your terms and conditions is outlined by the Employment Relations Act, rather than something in our Collective Agreement.

  • When can I change union?  Anytime! It is possible to change unions at any time. Check your union membership policy for the notification period and whether you are covered under the coverage clause and the unions constitution.


Under STONZ we have several types of membership.

  • Trainee Intern/ Final year medical or dental students

  • Full members, House Officers and Registrars who are eligible to be covered by our collective agreement.

  • Associate member, those RMOs who are on an IEA reflecting the STONZ collective but cannot yet be a full member.


  • Can I be a member of multiple unions? Yes, you can.  You might want to join a union to show support, or you might want to join so you can access their terms and conditions. You can however, only be covered by one union’s T&Cs at a time.


*It is important to note, that whilst you can change your union membership or sign up to another union at any time it is not as straightforward to change your terms and conditions.

  • Do my SECA (terms and conditions) change automatically when I change union?  This depends on the timing of your change and whether or not you have resigned from your previous union.

This is where the legislation (Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA), sections 57 and 58) kicks in and it can get a little wordy, so we developed a helpful flowchart to assist you to understand the terms used and process of change.


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