UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 10th SEPTEMBER 2015
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY 5:30PM

The President, Com. M. Issanchon occupied the Chair.

PRESENT:  M. Lennon [Secretary], M. Morey, E. Maiden [Assistant Secretaries].

OPENING OF THE MEETING: The President, Com. M. Issanchon opened the meeting and in doing so recognised the traditional owners of the land on which the meeting was held, The Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

MINUTES: 

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the minutes from the meeting of 3rd September 2015 as circulated be received”.

 Com. J. Buhler seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the minutes of the meeting of 3rd September 2015 be adopted”.

 Com. M. Styli seconded.

CARRIED

CREDENTIALS:

From:  The Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) appointing Tracey LeFevre in place of Mark Edwards for tonight’s meeting.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the credential be received and the delegate welcomed.”

 Com. P. Kelly seconded.

CARRIED

APOLOGIES: Apologies were received and accepted for: R. Collison, J. Kiejda, B. Holmes, W. Baxter, R. Martin, P. Byrne, P. Reid, D. Ravlich.

The Secretary, M. Lennon moved:-

“That the apologies be received and accepted”.

Com M. Cartwright seconded.

CARRIED

MOTION OF CONDOLENCE

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon addressed Council to move the motion of condolence to remember our friend and colleague John Joseph Whelan who sadly passed away 16 August 2015 after losing his battle with Alzheimer’s.

John was president of the then Labor Council of NSW from 1996 to 2000.  He was a trade unionist, a member of Commercial Traveller's Union (then the NUW) superannuation board member, police office, bravery award winner, footballer, husband and father.

It was a full life lived with a great sense of responsibility but also fun.  We loved the stories, the wing commander, footballing days and his antics with his brothers and the additional ones we heard at the funeral, particularly the stories of John the wrestler.

I was fortunate to travel to Japan in 1996 with John and Geoff Derrick and Alison Peters.  The trip was memorable.

Whenever there was a problem John was the go to person. The problem may seem impossible to solve but with John’s sense of responsibility the problem was solved.  Throughout his life he solved problems.

John was a person true to his values.  He lived his life by the motto ‘virtue non verbis’ – deeds not words.   By his kind, generous, thoughtful interactions with his fellow human beings he practiced his beliefs.  Always sharing with others.

John had his story published in the Sydney Morning Herald, March 2014 on his life with Alzheimer’s.  John wrote the article to help families and friends going through the stages of Alzheimer’s.

He was a great mentor to me and many others. It was our privilege to have known and worked with John.  We miss him.

To his partner Clara – you were always the one.

To Clara. John, Cathleen and Peter, we give our deepest condolences.

 

Com. Geoff Derrick said it was his honour to follow Mark to pay respect to John and pass his condolences to the family.  Thank you to his family for sharing him. 

John’s leadership of Labor Council was significant. The Labor Council was driven by factions at the time but John ensured we focused on the main game.  I really got to know John during our trip to Japan.  John charmed them and they called him “Mr President John Wayne”. Instead of a welcome bow for John, our hosts reached for their imaginary holsters.

Geoff said he and John had a strong and lasting friendship.  John always supported me and my union and all unions.

I remember an industrial dispute at a Central Coast bank of mainly women members who had never taken any industrial action before.  John spoke and paid respect to each one of the members and he left a lasting impression on each one of them – he gave them the strength to continue the fight.

REPORTS:

1.   Productivity Commission Hearing Action 

Assistant Secretary, Com. Mark Morey said next week the Productivity Commission Hearing will be held and unions will hold a theatrical style event “Let them eat Cake” outside Grace Hotel, 77 York Street at 8:30am on Thursday 17th September 2015.

If unions could send a few representatives to show the government that the community rejects the draft findings of the Productivity Commission.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the report be received and adopted”.

 Com. S. O’Grady seconded.

CARRIED

2.  Unions NSW Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation       Amendment (Standing) Bill 2015

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon referred to the Unions NSW submission to the Inquiry regarding this Bill. The Inquiry follows a narrowing of people’s ability to take action regarding mining developments.  The government is narrowing who has “standing”.  Trade unions are saying people that are organised collectively should have the right to challenge unjust laws in a democratic country. Mark Morey has a simple template submission that unions can use and they are encouraged to do so.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the report be received and noted”.

 Com. P. Noack seconded.            

 CARRIED

3. Peter Primrose Shadow Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon, noted that Mr Primrose sent us his Media Release today regarding Baird puts developers before homeowners in largest downgrade of property rights.   Unions NSW has already written to Premier of NSW Michael Baird regarding this issue.  Issue is that it is proposed that a 75% vote of strata block owners can force a sale.  The Combined Pensioners are concerned that this will force people from their homes, particularly the elderly.  For unions, the issue of housing affordability is an important one.   However forced sales aren’t the way to achieve it.

Media Release - Peter Primrose MLC

BAIRD PUTS DEVELOPERS BEFORE HOMEOWNERS IN LARGEST DOWNGRADE OF PROPERTY RIGHTS

Apartment owners could lose their home to developers under Baird Government laws that strip the right to home ownership away from individuals.

If 75 per cent of owners in an apartment block agree to sell then remaining owners will have no choice but to sell up, if the Baird Government gets its way.

The changes will hit people living in any of the 75,000 residential strata schemes such as units, shared accommodation and even retirement villages.

The law would overturn in one fell stroke longstanding property rights, forcibly evicting people from their homes if three quarters of owners in the same building want to develop or sell up. 

More than 712,000 homes are in scope for the changes, which present the largest overhaul of NSW property ownership in decades.

The NSW Opposition says the changes in the Strata Schemes Development Bill 2015 will force home owners to sell against their will, allowing developers to kick out the elderly, and families for profit. The Opposition has pledged to fight the legislation.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Peter Primrose

“If you own property in NSW you should have the right to decide how and when you sell it, not be forced to leave when a developer tells you.”

“The Baird Government is touting this legislation under the guise of urban renewal but in reality it’s nothing more than a charter for developers to grab valuable land in NSW and make a killing out of it.”

“Once again the Baird Government has chosen property developers over mum and dad owners and the elderly who stand to lose out.”

“The law should not be used to take away people’s homes, which they own, so developers can make money.”

“Home ownership in NSW will become more insecure.”    peter.primrose@parliament.nsw.gov.au

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the report be received and adopted and Unions NSW supports opposition to the Bill”.

Com. R. Fortescue seconded.                 

CARRIED

4.  Sydney Alliance

Mr David Barrow, Sydney Alliance Lead Organiser spoke of their recent Sydney Alliance Strategic Planning Meeting held this week with forty five people attending.

They have decided to change the structure of the Alliance to a single Council that meets four times a year. The idea is less meetings, more relationships and actions for common good. 

The next two day training will be on 22 and 23 September.  

Current campaigns being run include:

  • Affordable housing.  They are focussing on achieving a percentage of social and affordable housing in every new development. 
  • Transport. Continuing to work towards their long-term vision for access. 
  • Jobs. They are in search of Blacktown mentors for long term unemployed.    
  • Parking permits for community nurses – this was won in the Inner West by a lot of hard work by Rita Martin from the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 “That the report be received and adopted”.

 Com. A. Claassens seconded. 

CARRIED

5.  Build a Better Future Campaign

Assistant Secretary, Com. Emma Maiden, reported on the Build a Better Future campaign and specifically the doorknock this weekend. 

We are really pleased with the response so far, but we are still a little short of our target in terms of the number of doorknockers. There is still time to join us so please contact one of the seat organisers if you can help out. We welcome assistance of any kind.

Com. Maiden also reported on the ‘We Are Union” launch on Tuesday 8th September at the Bank Hotel, Newtown.  Over 200 people attended the launch with many signing up to join the door knocking campaign this weekend and to take action and to build a better future. 

Special thanks to Linda Carruthers from Unions NSW for her support and hard work in organising the successful event.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

 "That the report be received and adopted”.

 Com. J. Rodin seconded.   

CARRIED          

Door Knocking Schedule – Weekend 12 & 13 September 2015 

Banks

Saturday 12 Sep  10am - 2pm

Revesby Workers Club

2B Brett St, Revesby

Maryanne Stuart

0406 460 683

Gilmore (1)

Saturday 12 Sept 11.30am -4pm

Joyce Wheatley Community Centre, Hindmarsh Park, Kiama. Access via Collins Lane

 

Lisa Kremmer

0455 557 112

Gilmore (2)

Sunday 13 Sep 10:00am -1:30pm

North Nowra Community Centre, 7 Hood Close, North Nowra

Lisa Kremmer

0455 557 112

Lindsay

Saturday 12 Sep 12:30pm – 4pm

Penrith Paceway Function Centre

Cnr Mulgoa Rd, Ransley Sts, Penrith

Mary Yaager

0408 931 899

Macquarie 

Saturday 12 Sep 9:30am -2pm

Springwood Sports Club 
83 Macquarie Rd, Springwood

Aaron Reynolds

0418 661 706

Page

Sunday 13 Sep 9am -12:30pm

Lismore City Bowling Club
Spinks Park Molesworth St Lismore
Followed by Family Day BBQ in Spinks Park.

Sharyn Usher

0478 959 687

 

Reid

Sunday 13 Sep  9:30 -1:30pm

Concord RSL

Nirranda Street, Concord West

Alison Rahill

0414 316 839

Central Coast

Sunday 13 Sep 10am – 1:30pm

Kariong Progress Hall

Woy Woy Road, Kariong

Aarin Moon

 0411 215 430

 6.  Refugee Crisis in Europe

The Secretary Com. M. Lennon reported on the refugee crisis in Europe.

The tragic images of the refugee crisis in Europe have touched us all. More than 366,402 refugees have made treacherous crossings of the Mediterranean Sea so far this year – with often tragic results.

Over half are from Syria, a country which has been embroiled in a brutal civil conflict for the past four years.  After struggling to survive in neighbouring countries, they have become desperate. They can no longer support their families on their own meagre resources and are in urgent need of help.

The UNHCR need to raise $500,000 as quickly as possible to support their urgent relief operations in Europe. They also hope to boost support to refugee facilities in countries around Syria to help reduce the need for families to make desperate boat journeys.  This is a major humanitarian emergency – one that goes to the heart of the work we strive to achieve as unionists.  All affiliates and their members are encouraged to circulate these details and help as much as possible.

The Secretary, Com. M. Lennon moved:-

That the report be received and noted”.

Com. C. Young seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1     Communities United Rally  Against fear and racism for diversity and multiculturalism
       Saturday 19th September at 1:30pm Sydney Town Hall

2     Unions NSW - 2nd Equal Pay Dinner Wednesday 16 September 2015
       The Athenian, 11 Barrack Street, Sydney   $65pp - RSVP to Rose Docwra Email rdocwra@unionsnsw.org.au

3     Retired Unionists – Call to Action  Monday 21st September- 10am to 2pm - Trades Hall, Sydney.
       Lunch will be provided - contact Alison Rahill 9881 5923.

4.     Safety and Injured Workers Conference Dinner  Thursday 22nd October
        Raising funds for the Injured Workers Support Network
        6pm for 6:30pm start The Red Room 99 York St, Sydney.    $140 per head. 
        All profits go to the Injured Workers Support Network.

5     Safety and Injured Workers Conference
       Unions NSW will be holding its Annual Safety and Injured Workers Conference
       Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd October 2015.  Please register your attendance with Rose Docwra at rdocwra@unionsnsw.org.au    

6.     Labour Day Mass  Will be held Thursday 8th October at 6:30pm at St Peter Julian’s Church,
        641 George St, Sydney.  Followed by reception at the Atrium, Trades Hall.

7.     Unions NSW Council Meetings 
        Please note Unions NSW Council Meetings will not be held during the school holidays.

         Thursday 17 September – meeting as usual

         Thursday 24 September – NO meeting (school holidays)

         Thursday 1 October – No meeting (school holidays)

         Meetings will resume Thursday 8 October.

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:00 PM

Tagged: Minutes

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