Workers: derecognise a non-independent union

An employee or group of workers can apply to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) to derecognise a non-independent union that the employer recognised voluntarily.

A non-independent union represents employees but has not been given a certificate of independence by the Certification Officer. You can check this on the Certification Officer’s website.

You can apply any time after the union has been recognised by the employer.

Apply for a secret ballot

Apply to CAC to hold a secret ballot of workers to find out if they want the union derecognsied.

The form must be completed and signed by an employee in the bargaining unit.

Provide evidence (eg letters supporting your application, workplace surveys) for both of the following:

  • at least 10% of the workers in the bargaining unit want the union to be derecognised
  • a majority of employees in the bargaining are likely to favour an end to the bargaining arrangements

Send the completed form plus your documents to CAC. Send a signed copy of the form and evidence to the union and your employer.

What happens next

CAC has 10 working days to consider your application.

You may be asked to attend a hearing if CAC needs more information before deciding whether to grant your application.

Your application will either be:

  • rejected and the union will continue to represent the bargaining unit
  • accepted and you’ll enter a negotiation period of 20 working days

Taking part in negotiations

CAC will try to help everyone involved reach an agreement. They may extend the 20-day negotiation period if everyone agrees.

The outcome of the negotiations will be one of the following:

  • you withdraw your application and the union continues to represent the bargaining unit
  • the union agrees to end the arrangements and is derecognised
  • no agreement is reached and CAC arranges a secret ballot